Elections are on the horizon. Promises will be auctioned at the speed of cyclonic wind. (…) But what about bus shelters? In the Republic of Mauritius we have never given much thought to bus shelters. Why? Because we have always accommodated as we go along. No real planning! (…)
There are many villages which are deprived of bus shelters. And were it not the help of the veranda of Chinese shops many citizens would have been deprived of a bus shelter. Example of Hugnin Road is not a lame one. Bus shelters are important because we live in a republic where there is micro climate change within a radius of less than one mile. With the event of Metro Express bus shelters from Metro Express Stations will have a new role to play.
A bus shelter is a reflection of the country’s caring attitude. What is a bus shelter? A bus shelter is a bus stop where one can wait for the bus without being inconvenienced by the climate because the bus stop has a roof with at least one side open. But today’s definition of a modern bus shelter is more elusive as it must answer the following:
- Must be visible to all road users.
- Easy access to the bus.
- Comfortable and convenient (with the necessary amenities for the disabled, blind and the elderly).
- Provides clear information.
- Safe especially at night.
- Must be vandal resistant.
- Low maintenance requirements. To build the best shelter we must take into consideration:
- The neighbourhood;
- The activities of buses (frequent, infrequent, moderate, seasonal, religious…)
- Good locations (…)
And furthermore our planners especially in newly residential or industrial zones should take care about:
- The distance between intersections – pedestrian crossings and the bus shelters. How ludicrous to see the narrow distance between the intersections and pedestrian crossings. The shocking example is a former BAT at Military Road, Port Louis where numerous accidents have occurred.
- Distance between the bus shelter and the kerb for free movement of passengers in exiting and boarding buses.
- Precaution for bus shelters not to obstruct free movement of pedestrians.
- Route Information – Map should be located near the bus shelter so as not to obstruct the view of any incoming bus. (…)
- Lighting should be protected against acts of vandalism and directed towards the users.
- Convenience and comfort must be central to any bus shelter. Place to sit, protection from sun, wind and rain and a feeling of safety and security.
- The side panels made of glass must be accident proof.
- Telephone booths which are regularly monitored by the telephone operators must be near the bus shelters.
How to finance the bus shelters? Revenues generated by the advertisement on the shelters are only one of the avenues to attract partnership between government and the private sector.
Bus shelters should reflect the area where they are built. Architects with innovative minds should be enrolled.
I hope that the political parties will ponder over my suggestions. By the way we must start keeping space for flying car (and taxi) stations. The majority of us will see the flying taxis in Mauritius before the general elections which will be held after the impending ones.