Many of our daily habits have changed in the era of COVID-19 and the way we commute is definitely one of them. While most citizens are currently wearing a face mask from the moment they step out the door, masks can’t keep on being worn forever. In light of this, Hong Kong-based Italian designer Andrea Ponti has reimagined the tram – the iconic method of transportation in Hong Kong which celebrates its 115th anniversary this year – with maintaining social distancing in mind.
Dubbed Island, the name is not a reference to where the tram system would be operating, but rather to the concept’s innovative interior design. Instead of standard rows of seats, Island features large circular benches so that passengers sit facing outwards, meaning social distancing can still be facilitated in the limited space inside the tram. The driverless concept allows more space for seating and further increases onboard safety.
The minimalist exterior design has a futuristic look, with large tinted windows and rounded-corners inspired by the Hong Kong city landscape, while the domed top offers ample daylight and an additional way of admiring the city views at night. Ponti’s vision includes a makeover for tram stops too, featuring the same sleek lines and monochromatic palette; it would also double as a rapid charging station for trams via a retractable connector. Although it’s hard to imagine Hong Kong without its traditional trams trundling along the busy city streets, this reimagined concept would certainly provide a stylish and more hygienic alternative.