At Design Urbain's bus station on Paris' Boulevard Diderot, you can grab dinner and charge your phone while you wait.
If asked to describe the perfect bus station, you probably wouldn’t have much to say. A place to sit, not too dirty, and a bit of overhead cover in case of rain? The truth is, there’s not much to them. At least there hasn't been in the past. At best they they're comfortable and don't feel unsafe.
But what if we could re-imagine bus stations, making them so useful and attractive that they would actually draw people to public transportation? It sounds a little bit strange, but that’s exactly what it looks like the French firm Design Urbain is trying to do. The firm has debuted an "experimental station" on Paris' Boulevard Diderot that sounds more like a Starbucks than a place where you wait for the bus. At the Diderot station, you can grab a sandwich, charge your phone, listen to music, rent a bike, borrow a book—or, yes, get a cup of coffee.
Building a lot of these stations might be pretty financially impractical. Or who knows? Maybe it's not. There are probably some sponsorship opportunities here and apparently there's retail space for rent. At any rate, it puts the average bus station to shame.
Photo via Design Urbain