The top trends in bus shelter design for 2021

Bus shelters serve a very functionary and practical purpose; but would you believe there are also trends to be adopted within bus shelter design for 2021?

Passenger alerts

With increasing advances in technology, bus stops have been able to provide passengers with a wide level of information to improve their experience of using buses, from knowing where their bus is on its journey, how long it is going to take, whether it has been delayed, and if it’s at capacity or not.

Over in Sweden, the architecture studio, Rombout Frieling Lab, and the Research Institute of Sweden, took this one step further by creating a prototype bus stop ( that uses both sound and light to alert passengers of any approaching buses.

Designed to be used in the Artic region, where passengers are often waiting in freezing cold conditions for their bus, the shelter aimed to make the experience more relaxing as they could wait under the cover, safe in the knowledge that it would alert them of a bus coming, instead of them having to repeatedly check themselves.


In 2021, bus shelter colour is going to be much more of a talking point, with creativity coming through the design in various ways. Exciting colour isn’t a hugely new concept for bus shelter design, but it does get reignited every few years. Back in 2015, three Rotterdam bus shelters were designed by Dutch studio Maxwan, using baby pink paint and razor-thin rooftops to create the feeling of fabric blowing in the wind ( They proudly announced that the canopies were the ‘World’s thinnest steel roofs’.


Bus shelter design doesn’t have to be perfunctory and many bus shelter designers are now thinking about ways to be more abstract with their appearance. In Santa Monica, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects created bus shelters that were based on a modular design and sat together to form an assortment of round blue canopies, each held up by slim poles ( The aim of the bus shelters was to address the reputation of the bus network in the area, as it had been considered an ‘undesirable’ way to travel. Each of the abstract covers came with stools to sit on while waiting, making it both comfortable and creative.

Open air

COVID-19 has certainly made us all much more cautious about all being together within enclosed spaces – and this has never been more apparent than when it comes to public transport. There will no doubt be a move within bus shelter design towards a more ‘open air’ concept, such as with our Harrogate Bus Shelter (, which has quarter end panels instead of being fully enclosed. Although this offers less protection against the wind and rain, it is a safer option while the virus remains prevalent throughout 2021. It is also a practical option as it will require less maintenance, ideal for rural or remote locations.

Bus shelter design in 2021

As with every year, trends will change in bus shelter design for 2021 – some locations will just want to upgrade what is already there, some will want to reinvent the concept to suit modern needs, and others will just be looking to make it safer amidst COVID-19. As the UK’s leading manufacturer of shelters, canopies and walkways, we’re here to bring your vision to life. Get in touch with us today.