LOHA has reinterpreted the conventional bus stop as part of an effort to revitalize the perception of public transportation in the City of Santa Monica. A product of rigorous research, the new stop has been restructured to provide maximum flexibility, shading, and visibility at all times throughout the day. Roughly 300 stops will be raised in Santa Monica, and roughly 700 bus stands will be placed throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan region. This project will incrementally transform the urban fabric and streetscape of the city.
Los Angeles is known as a region that has evolved around the automobile. With an overwhelming percentage of private commuters, the public bus system is often a secondary method of transport. LOHA teamed with Bruce Mau Design to redesign the City of Santa Monica’s public transportation branding and identity package. The architect’s scope was a bus stop design overhaul.
By stripping the basic bus shelter to its most essential components, the horizontal sun-shade and the vertical wind-buffer, and integrating research on the Southern California climate and public transportation statistics, an adaptable modular prototype was developed that could be adjusted for various conditions throughout the city. The model maximizes the horizontal element’s shading capacity by considering solar angle orientations and, due to minimal vertical components, does not block views of storefronts and businesses.
Through the synthesis of design and technology, the system is a model for sustainable urban development. The use of locally available recycled and reclaimed materials is employed. Alternate power sources and high efficiency light fixtures, including LED illumination, will be incorporated for extended life span, and ease of maintenance. GPS-based technologies will provide real-time schedule information and improved signage to enhance the rider experience at select high-volume stops.
The Big Blue Bus Stops will not only visually redefine public bus transportation, but also serve as new iconic markers and functional works of art for the City.