Jun 19, 2020
If you missed our webinar with UITP on Tuesday 9 June 2020, After COVID-19 – The Future of Public Transport, here’s a link to the recording.
With so much news coverage lately about the impact of Covid-19 on public transport, the webinar 'After COVID-19 – The Future of Public Transport' provided a refreshingly positive look at the future for our industry.
Some of the topics discussed by the panel in the Q&A were particularly relevant:
- Lauren Skiver, CEO of Sunline Transit in California, pointed out that now is the perfect time to capitalise and bring future planning to the foreground. She also encourages the public transport industry to flex its creative-thinking muscles and change how we communicate with the public: “Don’t be afraid to talk about how good we are!” Sunline is focusing on the long-term viability of hydrogen fuel, not only for its longer range – 482 km versus 193 km for batteries – but also for the opportunities available for Sunline to produce and sell hydrogen, (using solar energy in its production) as an additional revenue stream.
- Phil Verster, CEO of Metrolinx in Toronto shared his similarly positive, entrepreneurial outlook: “Never let any crisis go under-utilised”. He pointed out that this could be an opportunity for transport operators to innovate and implement business improvement plans. Phil encourages public transport leaders to consider the secondary benefits of microtransit solutions, enabling last-mile connectivity to “compete with the car and compete with convenience.” Microtransit capabilities can deliver greater returns than investing in infrastructure - one example he gave was the cost of installing extra car spaces at stations - $65,000 for each new space.
- Monash University Professor Graham Currie says that while there is understandably a lot of doom and gloom dominating the news at the moment, looking at research and evidence can give us a clearer perspective – and a more positive outlook. He mentions how Hong Kong and Taiwan recovered ridership more quickly than expected after the SARS pandemic. While the Covid-19 situation is different to SARS in terms of its virulence and impact, it is interesting to look at the historical data on major disruptions for a different view of the anticipated timeline for public transport recovery.
- “Transport has the power to create equity” was the key message from Trapeze VP Paul Comfort. As part of the research for his 2020 book, ‘The Future of Public Transportation’, Paul interviewed transport leaders around the world. He distilled some of what he learned into to three ‘silver bullets’ that have and will help agencies increase ridership. Paul is enthusiastic about how technology can help public transport emerge from the pandemic stronger than before, with advances in Planning & Scheduling, Intelligent Transport Systems and Headway and Workforce Management set to help the industry future-proof and recover.
We trust you’ll find the session interesting. If any of the topics raised resonate with you and your current situation, Contact Us