The City of Sydney has begun rolling out its new bus shelters, as the city aims to turn over a new leaf with digitally enhanced street furniture designed by Grimshaw Architects.

340 bus shelters in total will offer increased protection from the elements, better accessibility and comfort for people waiting at transport stops. The digital shelters feature advertising screens that can display real-time event information, community updates and public safety messaging. 

The council will be doubling the amount of public toilets within the city, adding new information pylons with interactive touch screens and more streamlined kiosks, that will be tailored to suit street access and use for different areas around the city.

As part of the rollout, an increased number of award-winning benches and litter bins designed by Tzannes will be implemented. The installations will be carried out in stages, in order to alleviate any potential disruptions to those living and/or working in the city.

City of Sydney CEO, Monica Barone, says the new infrastructure will transform the city’s streets for residents, visitors and businesses

“The contemporary sustainable and energy-efficient street furniture will make the city more accessible for more people to enjoy,” she says. 

“Much of the street furniture we’re replacing is more than 20 years old. This is an excellent opportunity to revamp and reshape our streets for the future and further support Sydney’s post-Covid recovery. 

“A new long-term agreement with QMS Media will provide significant revenue to the City of Sydney, which will help us provide and maintain high quality services and public spaces.” 

The old street furniture will be recycled in line with City of Sydney’s sustainability model. The upgrade of street furniture follows the signing in 2020 of the 10-year deal with QMS, with an option for a 5-year extension. 

QMS General Manager, City of Sydney, Jemma Enright, says the company is excited to be working on the project to reinvigorate Australia’s most premium and sought-after street furniture network. 

“It is great news for marketers, agencies and the people who live, work and visit the city and we look forward to working closely with the City of Sydney to create something truly world-class for Sydneysiders,” she says. 

“The new street furniture network will set a new standard for function, accessibility and sustainability – and will be more advanced as an advertising network, with bigger displays optimised for visibility and attention, and significantly more digital panels for greater impact.” 

Grimshaw Architects’ Managing Partner, Andrew Cortese, says the elegant designs are functional and accessible. 

“Our aim was to create a distinctive and elegant ensemble of street furniture that gives service and amenity to Sydney’s streets, its parks and the public realm,” he says. 

“This design affirms Sydney’s standing as a progressive and citizen-oriented city with continued investment in public infrastructure. The design is digitally enhanced, resolved to place, heritage and the natural landscape, and has an enduring materiality and resilience. It’s a design that is unique to Sydney.” 

The bus shelters will be replaced from November 2021 in the city suburbs and from January 2022 in the city centre, while the kiosks and new pylons will be installed in February 2022. For more information regarding the installations, click here.