New Solar Technology Could Launch a Bus Stop Revolution

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Bus stops in Hounslow are getting a revamp with the help of new revolutionary technology.

From October, bus stops in the borough will be fitted with solar technology that can light them up, even during the darkest of British winters. Hounslow will be first in line to benefit from the new scheme, and shelters around the capital will be updated by Transport for London (TfL) at a rate of 1,400 a year.

Currently, bus stops have no lights at all, but with the addition of solar panels, future stops will light up automatically at dusk, making passengers feel safer while waiting for their bus.

The white lighting also makes it easier for bus drivers to see people waiting at the bus stops and provides down-lighting for waiting passengers as well as timetables, which will light up at the press of a button. The stops can be installed anywhere and cost nothing to run.

Ivan Bennett, research and development manager at TfL, said: "It's immensely satisfying to get cutting-edge technology to work in such challenging real life conditions.

"When we started looking at solar batteries that could cope with the British winter, they tended to be the size of a filing cabinet. We've now got a unit that can sit on top of an ordinary bus stop and provide light all year round.

"This is one of those projects that works well on so many levels it's an environmentally-friendly improvement which is relatively cheap to build, costs no extra money to run, and will make a big difference to passengers."


Note: Solar bus stop lighting technology designed and manufactured by Carmanah Technologies Inc.