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Yo Kaminagai, Head of Design, Projects Management Department, RATP

“…future stations should be adaptable, expressive and attractive areas…”

Yo Kaminagai, Head of Design, Projects Management Department, RATP

Yo Kaminagai, Head of Design, Projects Management Department, RATP

RATP1 – the Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports – has launched a research project called Osmose – a forward-looking study examining the possible forms that stations of the 21st century might take in the densely populated area around Paris. Initial studies have shown that future stations should be adaptable, expressive and attractive areas, and shared with other operators (not restricted to transport alone).

As part of this ambitious research programme into the transport facilities of the future, from 22 May 2012, RATP has been trialing a pilot bus station in Paris in the Gare de Lyon hub as part of the European EBSF2 (European Bus System of the Future) project. Designed by Marc Aurel, this pilot station was immediately adopted by its users. With two ‘fronts’ (a bus side and a city side), it integrates many services including digital devices, a Wi-Fi connection, a retail corner and a library. Behind the design of the station there is of course a strong business-case and many findings about new business models for bus stations have been identified.

About the marketplace

Bus stops have incorporated bus shelters over the last decades. Financed by publicity, they offer a standardised quality but they are not adapted to incorporate the wider-needs of passengers waiting at a bus stop. Some bus terminals are made of several elementary bus shelters but the result is not an interesting or an attractive urban place in a city.

Bigger and more sheltered stations are needed and although it is possible to build these dedicated constructions the maintenance and operation budgets is sometimes a hindrance, especially during these difficult financial times.

Public space operators (either the public transport companies or the urban furniture operators) should invent new business models based on new types of services operated by new players paying fees or participating to the investments. These business models could finance new enhanced mix-use stations gathering transport functions and new urban services: the venture is to find the most interesting and profitable services for urban public spaces.

This demonstration shows a first realisation designed to integrate a wide range of services. After a six-month experimentation period, RATP is now studying how to transform it into a ‘Living Lab’ to welcome new service operators who would test their propositions and their economical sustainability in order to feed the future of Parisian bus stations which will be decided through a new tender launched by the Paris city.




Yo Kaminagai has worked at the RATP since his graduation as a Civil Engineer in 1980. He began in the Marketing Team and was in charge of innovative projects – specialising in passenger information. Yo was the first manager of this domain in 1990 before being invited to build the design management function within the company. In March 2011, Yo was named Head of Design alongside the Director of the same department. In 2012 this department was merged in a global projects management platform, gathering all the RATP projects (environments, transport, information systems), in which the design management function has become much more transverse. Yo is also Chairperson of the Design & Culture platform of the UITP and serves on the Boards of several important organisations in charge of promoting design in France.