In Copenhagen, like several other European cities, management of the public bus system is contracted out to a private company, in this case the British company Arriva. One consequence of this is that you get much more bus-related marketing gimmicks than you see in the socialistic United States. Ashley Braun at Grist tells us about the latest:
Copenhagen’s buses are introducing another way of getting around while you get around town: “love seats,” or “kærlighedssæder.” (Gesundheit!) A social experiment of Danish bus company, Arriva, these special spots aim to make things a little cozier for those would-be cuddlers who haven’t been feeling the love on public transit.
“You can sit here either if you want to signal to your fellow passengers that you’re single or if you feel in a very good mood,” Marianne Faerch of Arriva said.
These aren’t “love seats” in the sense of furniture that’s smaller than a couch but bigger than a chair. Rather, they’re specially labeled seats that you sit in if you want to signal that you’d be interested in flirting with strangers on the bus. This sounds not so promising to me, but it’s good to see cities trying to innovate with their bus networks. The low-hanging fruit of better transportation policy is finding ways to make buses more functional and appealing, since if you can create bus lines that people actually use it’s pretty cheap and easy to just add new lines. Copenhagen is, in general, a world leader in transportation innovation so it’s always worth watching their ideas.