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A Green Paper for greener cities

7 December 2007 | By Jacques Barrot, European Commission Vice-President in charge of Transport

Our cities are the engines of the European economy. In the European Union, over 60 per cent of the population lives in urban areas and almost 85 per cent of the EU's gross national product is generated in urban areas. All European cities are different, but they share similar challenges;…

Vienna’s public transport

7 December 2007 | By Robert Huka, Treasurer, Fahrgast

Fahrgast was founded in 1985 to work for public transport passengers. Their first great action was the fight for the tramway line 8, which runs parallel to the – as then un-constructed – underground line U6. In 1995 at their tenth anniversary, Fahrgast held a symposium, Renaissance of Tramway. Fahrgast…

TLS: Leading the way

7 December 2007 | By Jeroen Kok, CEO of Trans Link Systems (TLS)

The Netherlands is the first country in the world to introduce a nationwide electronic payment system for public transport. Smart card transport systems are not new. However, the Dutch are the first to roll out such a system (OV-chipkaart system) for an entire country and for all modes of domestic…

Stepping up security on the transport network of Greater Lyon

7 December 2007 | By Jacques Bajard, Security Advisor, Sytral

Greater Lyon ranks as the second largest metropolitan area of France, with 1.3 million inhabitants. It is the top transport network outside of Paris in terms of availability and multi-modal use, with four metro lines, three tramway lines, two cable car lines and 1104 buses. Indeed, 1,440,000 journeys are made…

ITS and Public Transport

7 December 2007 | By Ivar Christiansen, Director of ITS Norway

The transport challenges facing many Norwegians are similar to those confronting citizens of other countries. Queues and chaos on the road network result in health problems, accidents and substantial economic losses. There is a growing acceptance in the larger city areas that these problems cannot be solved by merely extending…

Control and Information Systems of Brno Public Transport

7 December 2007 | By Zdenek Schimmer, Administrator of Public Transport Telematics and Information Systems, Dopravni podnik mesta Brna, a.s. (Brno Public Transport Company)

The origin of public transport in Brno dates back to 1869 when the operation of the first horse-drawn carriage from the city of Brno to Kralovo Pole commenced. A long evolution of Brno public transport began in 1884 with the introduction of a street steam tram, electrification of the tram…

Tunnel fire safety systems

7 December 2007 | By Dr. Ricky Carvel, Assistant Director, BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering, University of Edinburgh

In the past decade, over four hundred people worldwide have died as a result of fires in road, rail and metro tunnels. Fires in tunnels have destroyed over a hundred vehicles, brought vital parts of the European road network to a standstill – in some instances for years – and…

Copenhagen Metro opens new extension

7 December 2007 | By Torben Johansen, Technical Director, Ørestad Development Corporation

A new stretch of the Copenhagen Metro has been opened by HRH Crown Prince Frederik. The new addition is a boon to foreign tourists, business travellers and most of all, the employees of Denmark's largest workplace; Copenhagen Airport. It is now possible to travel from the airport to the city…

World class trams for Edinburgh as project is given the green light

7 December 2007 | By Willie Gallagher, Executive Chairman, Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (tie)

In a recent television poll, Edinburgh came out top of the list as the best place to live in Britain. Its combination of beautiful buildings and gardens, affluence, services, crime rates and culture put the judges in no doubt that Edinburgh is a great place in which to live and…

The true cost of congestion

7 December 2007 | By Gareth Elliott, Policy Adviser, British Chambers of Commerce

High quality transport infrastructure is critical to the success of any economy. It is a vital part of the chain that links businesses with customers and suppliers. As a result, economic growth is strongly linked with the quality and length of a country’s transport network. The ability to travel further…

Dublin Bus – serving the community

7 December 2007 | By Joe Meagher, Chief Executive, Dublin Bus

Carrying 150 million passengers in 2006, Dublin Bus remains the largest public transport provider in Dublin with 70 per cent of public transport users each morning commuting into the city by bus. Last year was a particularly successful year for the company in terms of passenger numbers and profits, and…

The future rests on the rail

9 October 2007 | By Moritz Leuenberger Director, Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications

Switzerland is shifting freight traffic across the Alps from road to rail and has anchored this in its constitution. The goal is to reduce transalpine freight traffic to 650,000 trucks a year. To achieve this, it has drawn up a package of measures grouped around a central element; the New…

Public transport – a real alternative

6 October 2007 | By Anu Vehviläinen, Minister of Transport, Finland

A public transport system has to function around a country’s special features. Finland is a big country with a dispersed population, so a private car is often an essential means of transport outside urban areas. However, Finland does not differ much from other EU countries in that our public transport…

Focusing on Oslo’s transport network

6 October 2007 | By Peter N. Myhre, Commissioner for Environmental Affairs and Transport

Oslo is the capital of Norway and its largest city, with 530,000 inhabitants. With the surrounding county of Akershus, there are more than one million inhabitants. The growth in population in recent years has been large (8.1 per cent from 2000 to 2006) and higher than expected (4.4 per cent).…

TETRA – Taking care of transport

6 October 2007 | By Phil Kidner, CEO TETRA Association

Across Europe and around the world, public private and commercial transport systems are managed, connected and protected by TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio), the digital trunked mobile radio standard. The TETRA standard was developed by ETSI to meet the needs of traditional Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) user organisations, and utilises a…