Bus Stops

Living in London, it is inevitable that at some point you will be waiting for a bus. Have you ever wondered about bus stops?

  • Some are just a post & a sign on a crowded pavement or in a rural area:rural
  • Some have shelters to keep you dry, and some have digital signage to tell you when each bus will arrive:rzh-bus-stop-1331

(Richard Hooker “By the Bus Stop” series)

Miss Hughes made me think about bus stops. She has always wondered about how some bus stops are able to tell you when the next bus will arrive – like this:


  • How do you think these information signs may work? What is the control ie what triggers a particular bus to show on the screen? What inputs (information) are involved – how is this communicated? Note – they don’t tell you when the bus is timetabled, but when it will arrive. 
  • Why do you think trains (usually) arrive and leave exactly on time, but buses don’t?
  • There are other ways you can find out when a bus is due, using an app such as London Bus Live Countdown. Have you ever used an app like this? Does it work? What information can you get from this app? Is it useful?
  • If you had to wait for a bus every day of high school, and the average wait time was 5 minutes each way, how much of your school life would be taken in total waiting at bus stops?! Does this shock you?

Some other questions about bus stops:

  • Where there is a bus shelter, how big a space does the bus stop take up on the pavement? Can you draw/ map this space in your classroom/ home? Is it bigger than your bed?
  • How could this space be used in a more interesting way? Could you design a better /more interesting bus stop now you know how much space you could use?
  • Can you make it interesting, as well as practical?
  • Have you ever thought about why bus stop “seats” are so small and they no longer use benches?

Here are some photos of bus stops around the world. You can click on each picture to make it bigger. Do they give you any ideas?

Think about:

  • What’s clever/ special about them?
  • Who paid/ pays for them? Why would they do this?
  • If they need power, where does it come from?
  • What might go wrong?

(These pictures have come from various websites, but I can’t credit them all with a link as the sites may contain inappropriate material)


This entry was posted in Learning projects by nic schofield. Bookmark the permalink.

About nic schofield

I’m a primary schools computing technician, interested in teaching children, their teachers & their parents, about IoT, computational thinking and implications of technology on their lives and encouraging children to think critically about technology to influence change in the world.

10 thoughts on “Bus Stops

  1. I also. Like the Denmark one because on the side there is a skateboard slope attached to it.


  2. I am completely flabbergasted by the bus stop in Dubai, but it must use a lot of energy. I think the digital boards work very similar to Air Traffic Control, but it is shown in less customary and complex way- the bus sends out a unique that tells each board and the board estimates how long it would be. Also, since July, I have found a special website called Live Heathrow Air Traffic Control ( http://www.heathrow-london.co.uk/airport/live-air-traffic-radar ) which is amazing like plane, airline, and airport geeks like me. If you go on it, you will see every aircraft over the world. I was amazed. It tells you what airline it is, a picture of the airline-d aircraft, the tail type, callsign, altitude, speed, angle, estimated arrival, squawk and where it is going.


  3. Some of these pictures of Bus Stops are quite unusual e.g The one in Dubai and the one in Sheffield, England. I think they mean something.


    • Thanks Priya, it looks very attractive and unusual doesn’t it? Do you think it’s practical? What would you improve about it?


  4. Digital signage demonstrates the difference between data and information. Data is the GPS position of all the buses in London. Information is when you process that data and work out when the next bus will arrive at your bus stop.


    • Thanks Tim, that’s a really clear explanation and makes a lot old sense to me!


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