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Abu Dhabi Transforms Shipping Containers into Bus Stops

Think you’ve heard all the ways that a shipping container can be repurposed?

Well think again. This year, in Abu Dhabi, in a city-wide effort to promote public transportation usage, the Department of Transportation has approved construction for 100 air-conditioned bus shelters. 30 are already in use and 20 of them are recycled shipping containers.

All the new units will have a refreshed design with geometric patterns, outdoor shading and seats, bus timetables, bins for regular and recyclable waste, a QR (quick response) code panel that enables connection to bus routs and top-up machines for hafilat cards.

The Sleek, Modern Exterior

“The idea is to improve the quality of the public transport service,” said Ahmed Al Mazrouei advisor to the chairman of the department.

The government also believes that encouraging people to use the public services will help with traffic congestion problems the city has been facing on a massive scale.

The news has come as a relief to hard-pressed users of public transport. Concerns have recently been raised about the lack of shelters in many areas and the fact that the air-conditioning systems often break in the summer heat. This move comes partly in response to that, but also as part of a broader plan to upgrade the system.

Some of the bus shelters reflect the identity of their neighborhoods. For example, a new unit near Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has been painted white to mirror the famous place of worship. The new units have also dispensed with the large advertising sign common on the top of old shelters and instead have ads down the sides.

“The project reflects the aspirations of the leadership to establish a modern transport infrastructure and a sustainable living environment in the emirate of Abu Dhabi,” said Mr. Al Mazrouei.

The inside of Abu Dhabi’s new bus stops.

Why use shipping containers for the bus shelters? The containers have been selected due to their high capacity and fast installation, especially in the city’s high demand areas. And they also have an added value reflected by their comparably low cost of entry.

Innovation in the way of shipping architecture is just getting started! What are some other interesting ways we can use shipping containers to revolutionize our lives? Leave your ideas in the comments!

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