Accessible Bus Stop Announces Approaching Buses in Kyoto, Japan
(excerpted from Diary from Asia, December 10, 2006)
The other adventure we had taking the bus was discovering a FABULOUS bus stop sign! We almost didn't see it, as it was raining and dark when we left the art museum and I suggested taking a taxi, but Stephan wanted to take a bus, so we did. While we waited at the bus shelter, we almost jumped out of our skins when a bell rang and a voice came on to say a bus was coming, and we realized that the board that named the 4 buses that pass there had 3 round openings next to each bus. When that bus is within about 5 minutes of the stop a sign appears in the opening, and then when it is within 2 minutes of arrival a sign appears in the second opening, and when it is almost within sight the third opening has a sign and the bell rings and it announces (although almost too quietly to hear) which bus is coming. Cool, huh? wouldn't it be awesome to have something like that in the U.S.? As Stephan said, the Japanese have it all over us when it comes to gadgets and cool things.
This bus stop shown below ("A") in Kyoto, Japan, has an awesome signage system to indicate the approaching buses both visually and audibly.
There are 4 buses that pass this stop, and the sign has 3 openings for each bus, indicating that the bus is 5 minutes away, 2 minutes away, or within sight – when it is within sight, it is announced audibly. The sign in the middle below ("B") indicates that bus 100 and the 206 bus to Shuo are about 5 minutes away.
The sign to the right below ("C") indicates that bus 100 is about 2 minutes away, bus 206 is within sight of the stop, and bus 208 and the other bus 206 are both about 5 minutes away.
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