Our public transport system is not much of a system, and design is not high on the agenda of city planners. Yet like every aspect of life here, someone, somewhere, gets a ray of inspiration, and something wonderful is realised. The simplicity and elegance of our old bus stops, is an example of this. To me, they are the ‘red phone-boxes’ of Kuwait. Form and function sculptured into an icon.
This post is inspired by Mark’s project. Since reading his post, I’ve been keeping an eye out for different types of bus-stops, and planning when and how I can take a few shots as my small contribution. My favourite type is not the one he displayed on his blog, but rather this amazingly simple version – mixing steel and wood. Apart from the ends, there isn’t a single right angle… genious!
Imagine my surprise (and horror) when I saw a discarded one on the side of the highway. This was in Bayan on the slip road joining 30. For one (long) night I contemplated taking it home, restoring it and transforming it into a nice feature for the garden. Upon closer inspection, it’s badly corroded and bloody heavy.
They will continue to replace these with the ugly, unimaginative yellow ones. Some are donated by local co-ops, and in most cases these are a disaster! I shall wait for the result of the project to learn more about the history and fate of Kuwait’s bus stops. In the meantime, I want to share three more images of this ‘dead’ bus stop – now immortalised.
Finally, the two photos below are for readers outside Kuwait. They’re to illustrate how the bus stop stands. These were taken in Abu Halifa’s coastal road, just before Mangaf.