Solar Power and Public Transportation

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Bus stations don’t have to be second-rate, as this one in Tilburg, Netherlands demonstrates. Cepezed Architects have designed a bus station that is elegant and self-sufficient.

The structure consists of a steel framework covered with ETFE-foil. The lighting is fitted above this foil. During the day, the awning filters the sunlight, while during the dark hours, it becomes one large and spacious lighting element that strongly adds to the travelers’ feeling of safety. 250 m2 of solar panels lie atop of the awning. The panels supply sufficient energy for all functionalities of the bus station, including the lighting of the awning, the digital information signs, the staff canteen and the public transport service point.

When we look at transportation in Europe, we go gaga over the trains and trams, but they are no slouches with buses either. There is nothing second rate about the way they treat their passengers.

Really, there is no reason that a bus shelter should get any less consideration than an airport or a train station, even in the USA. We should look to Tilburg as an innovator of how solar can play a huge role in public transportation.