In an effort to ride the wave of excitement caused by the FIFA World Cup championships, a bus in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region had artificial grass layered throughout its flooring. However, according to the driver, the benefits of this promotional scheme went far beyond stirring up a little soccer-fever.

First the driver suggested that the grass had a calming effect on passengers. Particularly on hot summer days the presences of grass, real or not, gave a sense of coolness. Perhaps even in the winter months, the bright yellow seats and railings with the bright green grass would create an image of warmth for riders.

While that’s all just speculation, one quantifiable benefit that the driver reported was a drastic reduction in litter. Perhaps the passengers felt guiltier to sully the bright green landscape, or maybe they were just acknowledging that it’s much harder to clean than a plain floor.

We can also assume that benefits of turf on the pitch apply to the bus as well. If so we may see a long term reduction in injuries due to slipping and falling. That being said we would have to compare the traction of a turfed bus with that of one with a regular floor covered in sticky spilled cola. There may be an Ignoble Prize for the researchers willing to take that one on.

Of course the benefits aren’t all for the passengers as well. The greatest bane of a bus driver’s existence – people stepping over the line – will be greatly reduced by our innate fear of getting an offside offence.

Indeed, adding a layer of turf to public transportation seems to have a bounty of benefits with hardly any downside aside from the obvious installation and maintenance costs. In fact, I even went ahead and AstroTurfed my bicycle seat… It tingles a little.

Source: Tencent News (Chinese) via Toychan (Japanese)