Our initial solution was to replace all the bus stop names with numbers, such that it is easy for a commuter to remember that he got on at say, bus stop 4 and has to get off at bus stop 26. Being in numerical order according to the placement of the bus stops, the commuter will also have the opportunity to prepare himself to alight the bus in advance when they see that the bus has passed bus stop 25, whether that bus stop was on the route of the bus he took or not. The number signs would also have to be prominently displayed for easy and instant recognisability.
From investigating the various bus stops around NTU, we have observed several physical features of the bus stops which have to be taken into consideration:
1. Standalone bus stops tend to have flat and thin roofs and it may not be feasible to stick the numbered sign on the side of the roof as they might fall over
2. There are some bus stops which are long and connected to a shelter, for example North Spine and Hall 8, and therefore the numbered sign may have to be placed a distance away from the actual bus stop. This would cause confusion for commuters who may not relate the numbered sign to the bus stop itself.
3. Most of the bus stops tend to feature a cylindrical sloping roof of average height. Suspending the numbered signs would therefore not be the best idea as they might fall on commuters’ heads, unless they are firmly affixed to the ceiling of the bus stop roof.
Other sign features which we took into consideration:
- Whether the numbered signs should be standalone or adhered to some feature of the bus stop. For the former, the placement of the sign would be more flexible; however, it might become a path obstruction to commuters. For the latter, the placement has to be considered such that the sign is visible from the bus itself.
- Material of the sign has to be waterproof to withstand the rainy seasons of Singapore, particularly if it is to be displayed beyond the reach of the bus stop roof
- By extension, it should also be hardy and durable, particularly should we go with the standalone signs
- The signs should also be clear even in the dark, and perhaps will have to be made out of a reflective surface material.
- The signs also have to be of a certain size to be clearly seen from afar
Some initial, quick super-impositions of numbered signs to brainstorm potential placement and sizes:
From the critique, it was suggested that having icons and simplified names which corresponded to key landmarks would be better than having numbers. Therefore, we would proceed in this direction when designing our maps and information for the bus stops.