Manchester unveils high tech bus stops

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Advanced bus stops with free WiFi and USB charging points have launched in Manchester, the Manchester Evening News reported.

The facilities could be rolled out across Greater Manchester if successful.

The stops have been unveiled in Manchester city centre on Piccadilly, close to the railway station. The stops aim to lure more drivers onto public transport by ensuring they are able to stay connected throughout their journey.

Passengers using the city centre stop can plug their phones into USB charge points built into the shelter, although they’ll still need their own charging cables, as well as log into the shelter’s WiFi hotspot.

The shelter’s design is courtesy of designer Peter Saville – co-founder of Factory Records – working in conjunction with design firm Aurel Design Urbain, bus group RATP, and ad firm JCDecaux.

Officials at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said that if the city centre shelter proves a hit, then the design could be rolled out across the whole region. It is funded by the Department for Transport.

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chairman of the TfGM committee, 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.

“The shelter’s modular design means it can be adapted to fit other sites in Greater Manchester and offer different services if required.”