Charge your phone, enjoy free Wi-Fi, download e-books and sit on a swing at this new bus stop

The mobile phone charging station.
The mobile phone charging station.PHOTO: URBAN REDEVELOPMENT UNIT
A board with information about project bus stop and commuters can sit on the swing while waiting for the bus.
A board with information about project bus stop and commuters can sit on the swing while waiting for the bus. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The bike parking area.
The bike parking area.PHOTO: URBAN REDEVELOPMENT UNIT
The bus stop features a book exchange corner.
The bus stop features a book exchange corner.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The interactive smart boards.
The interactive smart boards.PHOTO: URBAN REDEVELOPMENT UNIT

SINGAPORE - Waiting for the bus need not be boring at a new bus stop in Jurong East where commuters can enjoy free Wi-Fi, charge their mobile phones, download e-books and even sit on a swing.

Designed to "make waiting fun", the bus stop is located along Jurong Gateway Road at Jurong East Central. Its new features will be in operation for a year starting from August 2016.

Interactive "smart boards" allow commuters to access information like bus timings, the weather and the street directory. There are physical books to browse, as well as e-books to download. Commuters can use mobile phone charging points, and free Wi-Fi coverage will be provided from September.

Besides its digital features, the bus stop also boasts a green roof, vertical greenery, solar panels, bicycle parking and even a swing, and is decorated by local illustrator Lee Xin Li with panels showing the evolving landscape of Jurong.

The public is encouraged to share their feedback at AUDE@ura.gov.sg, which will help the Government decide whether the features and services should continue, and whether they could be incorporated into future bus stops.

The new bus stop is the brainchild of a group of architects from DP Architects, who designed it as a corporate social responsibility initiative.

Said DP Architects' director, Mr Seah Chee Huang, who led the project: "We are looking forward to see how commuters use, experience and enjoy this new setting. Hopefully the community will appreciate how bus stops can be an extension of their social environments, as sites of possibilities, fun and enrichment.

"We also hope this project will encourage more fellow professionals to step forward and collaborate actively in the design of our everyday public spaces, as well as inspire the community to take greater ownership in shaping their own environments."

DP Architects brought the idea to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

It was implemented through collaboration with multiple government agencies: the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, LTA, National Environment Agency, National Library Board, National Parks Board, Singapore Land Authority and the URA.

"I'm very encouraged to see these young architects come forward with their ideas to make our public spaces more vibrant," said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in a blog post on Thursday (Aug 18).

"We hope to have more Singaporeans play an active role in shaping the use of our public spaces."

He noted that this is why the URA has the Our Favourite Place initiative, which provides funding support for ideas to enliven public spaces.

"Planning our future city is not just a job for our urban planners," he added. "We all can play a role in shaping our streets and public spaces.

"The more we do so, the more we strengthen our sense of ownership, identity and emotional connection to Singapore our home."

Members of the public with ideas for such projects can visit http://ura.sg/ourfaveplace or e-mail URA_ourfaveplace@ura.gov.sg