This blog originally appeared on Jarrett Walker's blog and is reposted here with permission.
Do you think bus service is never as “permanent” as rail service? Well, it depends on how much infrastructure you build, and how proudly it announces the bus service as an essential part of the cityscape, both as icon and as opportunity.
Each time I visit Paris there’s something new in its public transit, but these new bus stop signs, now standard across the city, are remarkable.
They’re around 4m (12 ft) high, towering over the bus shelter to which they’re attached. At night they are the most prominent informational icons in the streetscape, by an order of magnitude.
Every stop has a name, reaffirming your sense of your place in the city. (At night, these are actually the easiest locational signs to read, so they have navigational value extending beyond transit.) For each route, there’s the number, the endpoint (indicating direction of travel) and the number of minutes until the next bus arrives. If you know the network, you don’t even have to look down to know where you are, and when the next bus is coming.
Continue reading the full post here.