Not many people have had positive experiences with buses. The slow moving, perpetually late mode of transport is normally associated with swearing, anger and frantically refreshing iPhone apps to discover that you’ve actually been looking at the wrong route on the wrong day and the next one doesn’t come for another 2 hours. Let’s not even talk about public holidays.
However, someone has finally found a good use for buses. Australian entrepreneur Simon Rowe has designed the “Sleepbus” which promises to give more than 8 000 homeless people a place to sleep for the night each year.
The bus will help ease the strain on homeless shelters and hostels by providing a mobile service featuring 22 sleep pods, toilets, lockers and most importantly – room for pets so people can bring along their trusty pooch.
Simon Rowe was motivated to create the “Sleepbus” from his own personal experience of homelessness. After being evicted from his house, he camped out in his car for 4 months, sneaking into a caravan park to shower before work.
The buses are decked out with some pretty nifty gadgets. Each pod is fully lockable with a mini-TV to help people relax and reconnect them to the world they may have been missing. Although they’ll probably turn it off pretty quickly once they discover Donald Trump is still leading the polls. There’s also climate control and intercom so families can communicate with each other during the night.
The initiative joins a growing number of vehicles aimed at helping the homeless including an orange van that allows homeless people to wash their clothes and a food truck that dishes out delicious crepes to those in need.
The Sleepbus Kickstarter is edging towards its goal of $50,000 to fund the prototype bus. Eventually Rowe hopes to have a fleet of 300 buses roaming around Australia, translating to over two million safe sleeps for people living rough.
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