A designer created a new concept for Milan's trams that seats separated by plexiglass and tells passengers which section to get in to social distance

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.
  • Design Arturo Tedeschi created a concept for public transportation with social distancing.
  • The Passarella design is specifically for trams in Milan, but the ideas could work on subways and busses around the world.
  • Seats are separated by plexiglass, and markings at stops indicate where passengers should stand.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Italian architect Arturo Tedeschi designed a coronavirus-friendly version of public transportation for his home city of Milan. Milan was one of the hardest-hit cities in Italy by the coronavirus pandemic, and COVID-19 has changed people’s habits, including how they think about and use public transportation.

Public transportation has been cited as one of the vectors of coronavirus spread. The virus can reportedly survive on bus and subway surfaces for up to 72 hours. The CDC has recommended that Americans choose cars over public transportation when possible to avoid close contact with others. In response, subway cars and buses have been cleaned more frequently, and stop-gap measures like covering every other seat or stickers advising people to stay six feet apart have become the norm. Tedeschi’s design adapts Milan’s trams to the coronavirus age in a way that’s conscious of aesthetics and design principles.

Here’s what it looks like.


Tedeschi’s design on the right shares most characteristics with the classic 1503 model on the left.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

Tedeschi’s design gives the outside an updated look with modern materials.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

He says that he reinterpreted the style and proportions of the original, though it’s still recognisable.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

The side features a dynamic display of the route, similar to what many trains have on the inside.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

The information on the side changing in real time could make navigating a foreign city much easier.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

They could also be used for advertising space.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

Inside, seats are separated by plexiglass.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

Tedeschi said that he turned the centre of the tram into a runway, or “passerella” surrounded with safety measures.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

Geometric designs on the floor also signal a safe distance to maintain between passengers.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

Tedeschi focused not just on practicality but also appealing designs that are attractive regardless of the coronavirus.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

“Milano is the capital of design and ‘Milanesi’ won’t easily adapt to trivial and poor solutions” he said.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

He even extended the design to the roof, which can be seen from balconies around Milan.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

The yellow design and pattern on the roof are a reference to Italian futurism, according to Tedeschi.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

In one rendering, he placed the Passerella in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, showing how the design would fit into the city.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

Though this design is specifically for Milan, the principles could work on public transportation around the world.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

As he noted, right now trains and buses around the world have been quickly adapted to a pandemic, with some seats blocked off and stickers reminding people to keep a safe distance.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

Tedeschi has created a more elegant design that incorporates safety measures, but doesn’t make them the focal point.

Arturo TedeschiPassarella tram design.

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