City Planning 2.0: Mini-Marketplaces at Mass Transit Stations

What if we could make sterile, cold, concrete, light rail stations a little more lively and human by allowing small-businesses to rent out little kiosks on the platforms of the more busier stations. Not only will this provide income to the transportation authority but it will also provide an extra set of eyes and ears (aside from security and cameras) and make the station feel more inviting and safer. Kiosks can be rented by the hour, day, week, or month to businesses or can be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Adding businesses and services to the platform might also help increase ridership. If the business using these booths provide something special (like super low prices due to the low cost of kiosk rent) that isn’t found anywhere else, drivers might take the light rail to that specific station just to make a platform purchase.

The station pictured is Brentwood / I-64 on St. Louis, Missouri’s MetroLink Red Line. Which isn’t a busy station (I didn’t feel like PhotoShoping 20 people out). Stations like Forest Park, Civic Center, Union Station, Central West End, and the UMSL Stations have a constant stream of people. I’m hoping someone out there that works for public transportation sees this and is crazy enough to suggest trying it.

Crazy ideas are, after all, the first step to innovation.

1 Comment

  1. Small kiosks have been a feature of many British railway/subway stations for over a century. Typically they sell food, drinks, and and newspapers and magazines. Having them makes waiting on the platform a far more hospitable experience.