Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), along with JCDecaux and RATP, have developed what is being hailed as a ‘super’ bus shelter. The facility on Piccadilly, in close proximity to Manchester Piccadilly rail station, features free charging points for phones and other mobile devices, free Wi-Fi, plus news, travel and city information via digital touchscreens. It was created by AUREL Design Urbain and supported by celebrated art director, Peter Saville. It has a planted roof that is intended to absorb pollution and a dark wood ceiling. The shelter’s modular design means it could be adapted to fit other sites in Greater Manchester and offer different services if required. In addition, the digital advertising opportunities offer the potential to generate income for TfGM, which it says would be reinvested into public transport. The shelter is a £300,000 pilot scheme which has been entirely funded by the DfT from a ring-fenced capital grant with the aim of reducing carbon emissions, congestion and pollution and increasing active travel.
Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, Cllr Andrew Fender, said, ‘This is a really exciting and unique scheme for Manchester as this pilot shelter is the first of its kind in the UK. One of our key aims is to provide an improved public transport network that encourages more people to choose sustainable and more environmentally friendly ways to travel, especially in the city centre. Research indicates that improved public transport environments, with technology built in, encourage more people to use them and that’s what we’re testing out here. We’ll be asking people who use this bus stop for their views over the coming weeks and more new services and facilities could be trialled here.’