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IT AND DIGITAL INNOVATION


Smooth journeys


The information strand of this scheme could signifi cantly improve the ease, and therefore appeal, of public transport. This is one of the main advantages private transportation such as the car currently holds over the train, tram or bus. “It’s very smooth”, Flausch agreed, and said: “Public transport is not that easy. You have to know how to go to the place, how long [it will take], which bus stop, which metro station.”


Information to support these trips is needed throughout the journey when moving between different operators and modes of transport. Flausch continued: “The whole philosophy behind this is making travel easier, as easy as possible.


“Because of all the competition introduced we have more and more operators; all the time you need help fi nding your way and that’s all about real-time information. In addition you don’t want to wait.”


Connections between transport modes must match up more effectively, to allow truly


seamless travel, and precise information on journey times, locations of stations and stops and possible destinations should be clearly accessible for passengers, UITP argues.


Flausch said: “In the world as connected as it is today, if public transport is not able to provide this real-time information it will look archaic and dusty. We’re looking to gain market share, to have more and more people using public transport, so we need to be developing this.”


Public transport for the future


Speaking about UITP’s future plans, Flausch said: “We have we developed a strategy which was endorsed by the whole industry, PTx2. There is a nice idea, now we have to make sure that in all cities of the world it is implemented and following the targets.


“There are of course different paces from one country to the other; if you look at a country which has always been a forerunner, like


Sweden, they endorse this as a national model for the government


to bring public transport.


“I think our role is giving the industry an ambitious objective and trying to help them do it. It has been very successful in some parts, in other parts it’s less successful, but it’s going to keep us busy until 2025.”


This ambitious plan is a “major ingredient” in economic development across Europe, he said. “A city without public transport and without an alternative mode of transport will no longer survive today.


“I think we have a good political case, without making the car an enemy. The car is not an enemy – it’s very useful in some certain places; in the suburbs of London if you have to rely on public transport it’s much more diffi cult.


“It is intelligent transport”, he concluded, “which is key. The Germans have an expression ‘umdenken umsteigen’ (roughly translated, meaning re-think and then change).


“Today with the car, we are not doing this; we’re just jumping in and not thinking about anything. It’s not an ideology.”


Alain Flausch


FOR MORE INFORMATION www.uitp.org http://growpublictransport.org/


rail technology magazine Dec/Jan 13 | 45


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