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San Francisco is a unique place, full of sights and experiences that singularly belong to its identity. Importantly, several of those signature elements are symbols of transportation – the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, the Ferry Building, and of course the Cable Car. These icons define the unique physical character that is so much of San Francisco's magic. The design of the next generation of bus shelters is an opportunity to create an object that celebrates function, is visually arresting, and specific to San Francisco. The SFMTA selected our shelter from 35 other design submissions – 1,400 new shelters have been installed in four years.

New bus shelters for San Francisco replace cramped shelters with larger spaces and more sustainable features. New LED lights use 80% less power than the old fluorescents, the structural steel has 70% recycled content, and the roof material is 40% recycled content. The photovoltaic film embedded in the roof is organic-dye based, and thus less toxic than traditional silicon-based photovoltaics. The solar energy powers the NextBus LED display during the day, while feeding excess energy into the grid. A Push-To-Talk button reads the NextBus display information aloud for the visually impaired, and free public wifi allows riders to get online.

The colored canopy is the signature of the design, recalling a seismic shock wave, a pattern of surf, a ribbon in the wind, even an abstraction of the curvy MUNI logo. The glass panels have a gradated frit pattern that resembles the fog in San Francisco – dense at the bottom and fading to clear at the top.

San Francisco, CA | 2009-2013


San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

LD Team

Ryan Hughes

Project Team

3Form, Second Harvest Asia, North Construction Inc.

Press and awards


Ryan Hughes