Cool new bus stop near Plaza Singapura

Waiting for a bus near Plaza Singapura? No sweat.

A trial bus stop, erected alongside an existing one outside Plaza Singapura, comes with overhead nozzles that deliver cool air, which the company said is more than 90 per cent cleaner, with harmful PM2.5 particles filtered out.

The smart bus stop also has a camera system that tracks commuter flow and average waiting times. It has algorithms that can spot unattended baggage or suspicious individuals.

Launched yesterday, the bus stop, built by ST Engineering, is on trial for a year. The company also wants to explore how its air-cooling systems - used in places such as the Singapore Zoo - can be used to other settings.

Compared with conventional air-conditioners that employ refrigerants and generate heat, the company's Airbitat Oasis system creates a reservoir of cold water through evaporative cooling, which is, in turn, used to cool the air it blows out.

Sensors monitor air temperature and purity, levels of which are displayed on a board.

The bus stop was developed over 18 months by ST Engineering subsidiary Innosparks, a research and development outfit and start-up incubator.

Its head, Mr Gareth Tang, said the air-cooling system and sensors can easily be retrofitted to existing bus stops.

He said the Airbitat Oasis unit costs around 60 cents an hour to run, while it is more than $2 for an air-conditioning system.

Mr Tang said Innosparks will conduct commuter surveys and share the data collected at the bus stop with the Land Transport Authority . - ADRIAN LIM