Hong Kong's Double Decker Tram 'Island' is a Social Distancing-Friendly Innovation

A double-decker driverless tram in Hong-Kong focuses on social distancing and is beautifully & safely designed for the boarding passengers.

3 years ago
Hong Kong's Double Decker Tram 'Island' is a Social Distancing-Friendly Innovation

Coronavirus pandemic has affected the world adversely. People are following social distancing in the buses and trains. They are meeting people virtually and avoiding crowded places. Indeed! Coronavirus has changed everyone’s lifestyle in several ways. 

By looking at the social-distancing scenario, a Hong-Kong based Italian designer Andrea Ponti has designed a beautiful double-decker driverless Tram that focuses on social-distancing. It is providing mobility and sustainability in the coronavirus phase. Tram, a rail vehicle that runs on the tracks along the streets, is famous in Hong Kong.

On the 115th anniversary of Hong Kong Tramways, Ponti Design Studio came up with the innovative concept of double-decker streetcar that would maintain the social distancing to avoid COVID-19 infection

The Pandemic Has Given Him a Good Reason to Start the Project

Source = Boredpanda

Ponti wrote on his website, 

“The idea of designing a tram is no coincidence. Trams are one of the city’s landmarks and the tramways celebrate their 115th anniversary this year. The concept of social distancing, which limits people’s freedom to move and interact became the design challenge and focal point for the new concept.”

Hong-Kong was not under complete lockdown like other countries. But there was seen a drastic change in everyone’s life. He told- 

“Like everywhere else, everyday life changed in terms of personal and social behaviors. I believe that design is the mirror of our culture and behaviors, and as an industrial designer, it’s crucial for me to observe social changes and understand their impact on the products we create.”

When everyone focused on designing masks, his team focused on the wider public scale and then designed this tram. The exterior design of the tram is inspired by the urban landscape of Hong Kong. It features rounded-corner buildings and a vast surface of the glass. 

Ponti said that COVID-19 gave them a great opportunity and a good reason to design double-decker. It took them a couple of months to finish this project. He said- 

“The pandemic gave us a good reason to start the project. When everyone started designing masks and face-shields, we decided to focus on the post-COVID period on a wider public scale. The design took shape in a couple of months and everything was created around the idea of a new layout of the interiors.”

The Tram’s Name is Island and Has Passengers Seating Outwards in a Radial Pattern

Source = Designboom

The natural light enters the interiors and doomed top throughout the day and also provides mesmerizing views at night. The tram features driverless technology and makes it easier to manage traveling times and also improves onboard safety. 

The interiors have circular benches that let people sit while maintaining social distancing. It also has a retractable connector for charging at tram slops. The interior has soft circular seating, natural finish, and beautiful black walls. Additionally, it also features a dark color palette that enhances the beauty of Hong-Kong. 

The interior is contrasting with the exterior and has a healthier environment. 

Source = Boredpanda

It has been described as-

“Minimalist design, charcoal black walls, soft circular seating, wooden floors, and trims with a natural finish all create a neutral and friendly environment. This chromatic diversity, in addition to the dark color palette, frames and accentuates the beauty of the Hong Kong urban landscape. The simple tram stop structure has sleek, essential lines. Being open on both sides, it facilitates a linear, orderly flow of people and a healthier environment.”

It is open on both sides and facilitates a healthier environment. The payment is made by the octopus card before boarding. The images inside the tram guide the passengers about its features. 

After the Coronavirus pandemic has occurred, people are traveling and relying more on private transport rather than public. 

He said, 

“We wanted to reimagine public transport in the post-COVID era from a prevention perspective. Especially in the densely populated city of Hong Kong, where social distancing is hard to achieve.”

Source = Yankodesign

Final Words

This elegantly designed Tram has beautiful wood flooring and also features floor-to-ceiling windows. What are your thoughts on this innovation? Don’t you think other countries should also design a similar kind of tram for people? 

After the Coronavirus pandemic, people have become aware of social distancing and are avoiding going out unnecessary. Do you have other ideas that can help the people in going out from home with proper safety and social distancing? If yes, then share your views.


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