Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Darktime Human Illuminated Bus Stop

Hail your bus in the dark of night
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While waiting for my bus this morning in the pitch dark of early morning, I realized I had no torch to flag the driver and make him aware of myself standing in a one-man queue. Thankfully the driver made an effort to look and stopped for me anyway. Put me to think that maybe some sort of illuminated post that puts bus drivers aware of an occupied stop. A simple lamppost should suffice, with some sort of recognizable symbol on top that lights. I'm thinking either the marquee of the bus company, or perhaps a large extended thumb.

Anyhow, the lamp can only be illuminated by a determined and passive effort. That is, one must stand next to the post and either depress a button, or merely touch the post (as some home torchieres). This would keep pranksters from flipping the light on and walking away. Would also be nice if the lamp switch was inside a shelter (if available). Obviously you wouldn't need to depress the switch as soon as you arrived, but once you saw the bus coming.

This would be no replacement for the driver's keen eye and sharp wit. They would still be obliged to stop if they saw you, though the nastier ones may claim the lamp was unlit and they couldn't see you. Best to touch it anyway.

bdag, Nov 20 2009

miner's hat http://www.reiht.co...9/09/miners-day.jpg
[xandram, Nov 20 2009]

Alesandr Orlov http://twitpic.com/photos/aleksandr_orlov
[po, Nov 21 2009]

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       light activated by a heat sensor?
po, Nov 20 2009
  

       [+] How about stepping on some type of pedal that raises a headlight-reflecting sign?
swimswim, Nov 20 2009
  

       Heat sensor would certainly work. Touch lamps work in a couple of ways. Sensing 37C would be fine unless you were in North Africa or Southern California.
bdag, Nov 20 2009
  

       //the marquee of the bus company// I don't think they'll provide a tent for this. But otherwise a good idea.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 20 2009
  

       Our local transit authority recommends carrying a torch to hail your bus in the dark. I'm merely addressing a concern that they have. I've not personally been skipped as I'll stand out in the lane to catch the driver's eye.
bdag, Nov 20 2009
  

       //How about stepping on some type of pedal that raises a headlight-reflecting sign//   

       No good. Pranksters would just train a fat collie to do that. +
shudderprose, Nov 20 2009
  

       You could always smear a bunch of lightning bugs on your clothes.
RayfordSteele, Nov 20 2009
  

       [+] reminds me of a crosswalk I saw in Berkeley that lights up when people are walking across it.   

       And also you might want there to be multiple lights for people who are looking to catch different buses.
calculust, Nov 20 2009
  

       Rather than a simple torch, one might stuff a sock with oily rags, attach it to a cord and then whirl it in a circle once lit. After the bus comes, the signal sock could be stomped out then left at the bus stop for use by future riders.
bungston, Nov 20 2009
  

       simple - a flashlight hat!
xandram, Nov 20 2009
  

       I like it.   

       To make it less amusing to pranksters and more likely to be noticed, maybe forget the 'light' aspect and just have the button wirelessly send a signal to the next bus? The technology exists. Come to think of it, that might not be a bad idea at any time of day.
gisho, Nov 20 2009
  

       I considered the wireless technology but I wondered if it might get a bit confused in the city centre. Our transit authority doesn't use the auto annunciators until they're out of the core due to the GPS confusing busses in close proximity to one another. At my particular morning stop I could take one of three bus lines that pass by. I'm not going to call all of them at once. The first one to arrive would note the light and the rest wouldn't need to bother.
bdag, Nov 20 2009
  

       //Simples//   

       Don't tell me you've got that fucking irritating meercat over there as well?
jtp, Nov 21 2009
  

       Let's hope it stays that way for your sake. It was mildly amusing at first, but...   

       Anyway, maybe I'm missing something here, but if it's pitch black in the middle of the night, wouldn't the bus have its headlights on?   

       In which case, all you'd have to do is put your hand out. Unless the driver was particularly unobservant, I'm sure he'd/she'd see you.   

       []
jtp, Nov 21 2009
  

       I have been missed by many a bus at night, but largely because multiple buses use the same stops, and unless you positively flag them down, some will assume you're waiting for a different bus and just drive past. Something like this could be useful.
mitxela, Nov 21 2009
  

       Standing at a stop on the edge of town in Riyadh waiting for the Al Qadisiyah bus in the spot marked for arrival. As the busses are rolling in a guy is leaning from a side window of each shouting the destination.. the destination that is already highlighted in vivid script on the illuminated panel above.   

       I turn to another standing next to me and ask why these guys are carrying on so. He says, a little apologetically, for the sake of my naive presumption or for his own shame I don't know, that most of our fellow riders are illiterate.
outloud, Nov 22 2009
  

       I tried to illuminate a bus shelter with human power once, but the bugger wouldn't lie still long enough to catch fire.
BunsenHoneydew, Nov 22 2009
  

       that aint funny, BH.
po, Nov 22 2009
  

       If you were dressed in a suit made from Retroreflective Pinstripe (q.v) cloth you would be seen in the light from the bus's headlights.
hippo, Nov 23 2009
  

       I had an idea to solve this problem but I see someone has been here before me.   

       [jtp] holding your your hand so the bus driver can see it in the beam of his headlights is not much good when the bus is batting along at 60mph in the pitch black and rain! I was once riding such a bus late at night (the last of the evening of course) and the group of girls dressed in black who wanted picked up ended up standing in the carriageway and almost getting run over.   

       The illuminated post here is no good for rural bus stops miles from the nearest house or electrical connection.   

       However every bus stop does have a pole so that was my starting point. Attach on the road-facing side of the pole, a universal joint at about chest height. Attach to the joint a paddle about 3 feet long. The inner half to be a nice ergonomic hand grip; the outer half to be a flat paddle affair with retro-reflective material on each side.   

       To hail the bus you just grab the paddle handle and waggle it.   

       The end of the paddle has fixed to it a powerful magnet, and another magnet is fixed to the corresponding position lower down the pole. So when you drop the paddle it swings down to the vertical position and then the magnets snick together holding the paddle parrallel to the road so it won't reflect annoyingly at other vehicles or flap in the wind.
pocmloc, Jul 27 2013
  

       Some kind of pocket wicker-man?
not_morrison_rm, Jul 27 2013
  

       Is not the better solution simply to buy a car?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 27 2013
  

       It would certainly help in attracting the attention of the bus driver, but they most likely won't allow you to bring it onto the bus with you.
pocmloc, Jul 28 2013
  

       Surely a robust button, such as that adorns most crosswalks and intersections for pedestrian crossings would work better? Pressing the button either a) switches a light on that illuminates the whole bus shelter, or b) lights a sign saying "passenger pickup" or somesuch. Said light could have a timer so it's only lit for 30 seconds or so.   

       I like the option to light the whole shelter, because then if you're forced to wait in the dark, you could turn the light on anytime you needed to look around, got the heebie jeebies, etc.   

       This thing could run on solar power/battery if you like, pretty much anywhere you get sunlight of life sustaining intensity (sorry [8th], [Max_b] etc - you'll be needing mains power, or even better, RTG's).
Custardguts, Jul 28 2013
  

       True, but I think I see what MB is 'driving' at. If you had a car then you could flash the headlights on & off in order to signal the bus to stop.
DrBob, Jul 29 2013
  

       Perhaps better to get your chauffeur to flash the lights for you, shirley ?   

       // Some kind of pocket wicker-man? //   

       Ooooh ... now THERE'S a good idea in the making ...
8th of 7, Jul 29 2013
  

       I can let you have a gross, fresh off the boat from Guandong province, useful for pagans with only window boxes.
not_morrison_rm, Jul 29 2013
  

       //pocket wicker-man?// That would presumably be a wicker hamster?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 29 2013
  
      
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