What does the Editor think?
Posted: 11 February 2016 | Intelligent Transport | No comments yet
We’ve collated a selection of questions from Intelligent Transport readers to put to Editor Craig Waters. Here are his thoughts on current and future trends…
A: The needs of passengers have changed over recent years, perhaps in-line with changes to technology. Public transport operators must take advantage of new technology and offer their passengers a digital platform for them to access real-time departure and arrival times. People want a better quality of living and by knowing exactly when the next bus will arrive, or when the train they have chosen will roll into its destination, is a top requirement for passengers. Effective Real-Time Passenger Information will attract a greater number of passengers, which will improve a public transport operator’s finances. But operators must be willing to invest in the technology in the first place to reap the rewards; and that’s exactly what Transport for London and Trafikselskabet Movia have done, as explained in their RTPI-focussed articles within Intelligent Transport Issue 1 2016.
A: Using two or more modes of transport for a journey has become a standard method of travel for many people across Europe. But a modern approach to intermodality is starting to appear; many cities are making their public transport networks more attractive and accessible, and many are introducing cycle lanes/routes, which in turn is reducing the need for automobile use. By offering an intermodal network which gives reliable real-time passenger information across different modes, and operates on an easy-to-use ticketing structure, transport operators can make a real impact on passenger satisfaction, and passenger satisfaction is perhaps more important than ever before in the public transport industry. In Intelligent Transport Issue 2 2016, we take a look at intermodality developments in Manchester (UK) and Copenhagen (Denmark).
A: Smart cities is a term that I’ve heard mentioned a lot recently and I’ve been keen to bring this topic into Intelligent Transport this year. With the emergence of paperless ticketing and smartphone apps, plus the introduction of services like Uber, travelling within cities has changed dramatically over recent years. But we live in a time where population numbers are rapidly increasing, especially in cities. In order to meet growth and offer efficient and effective public transport, innovation and new technology for public transport is needed. To offer a more in-depth look at how public transport could operate in the smart cities of the future, Intelligent Transport has invited some key industry experts to contribute thought-provoking articles on the topic for our third issue this year, including one that will look at how cyber security is an important element going forward.
A: The development of BRT across the world is resulting in many cities in Europe deciding that buses can provide an attractive option for carrying large numbers of passengers. Rapid growth in urban population is placing heavy demands on public transport, and BRT is gaining popularity as a lower cost alternative to rival tram or metro construction. Intelligent Transport has a BRT Supplement coming up in our third issue this year which will shine a spotlight on some key BRT networks plus Juan Carlos Muñoz (Director of the BRT Centre of Excellence) will take a look at what the future of this alternative mode of public transport should look like. Furthermore, Intelligent Transport’s forthcoming European Bus Forum on 23rd June 2016 will have a dedicated session on BRT for experts to discuss the effectiveness of Bus Rapid Transit and what measures can be taken for a city to implement BRT as a full network rather than the occasional route or corridor.
A: Absolutely. Passengers want vehicles to be easily accessible and of course comfortable. It doesn’t matter if a journey takes 5 minutes of 50 minutes; comfortable seats and ample space inside a vehicle will improve a passenger’s experience immensely. It is important for vehicle manufactures to liaise with their clients so that new vehicles can be built with passengers in mind. They don’t necessarily have to have mod-cons such as at-seat TV screens (although that would be nice!) but simply offering low-floor access, large windows, ample luggage space, and reliable real-time information screens or audio announcements, makes all the difference. Vehicle Design has become a popular annual supplement within Intelligent Transport Issue 5, and it returns again this year to take a look at how operators and vehicles manufactures must work together to offer the best possible vehicles.
Further information on Intelligent Transport 2016 upcoming features can be found in our Editors guide.