New ways of using and providing services, creating new production processes, producing massive quantities of data and information: the digital era is transforming our societies and economies. UITP’s new report Digitalisation in public transport explores the impact of this trend in public transport, outlining the opportunities it brings as well as the challenges faced.
A host of opportunities
Increasing efficiency, enhancing quality, lowering costs, opening up new revenue streams, improving the customer experience and loyalty as well as exploring new services are among the tantalising opportunities. Crucially, it is the chance to redefine the relationship with the customer which is at the heart of the revolution.
Significant challenges face the sector
Digitalisation is forcing public transport operators and authorities to redefine their businesses. For most, this is a significant challenge. On top of changing governance, embracing digitalisation implies real costs, whether through the acquisition of new staff profiles or investment in new technologies. It goes without saying that cyber threats increase the more digitised the sector becomes. On top of this, emerging players are putting pressure on traditional public transport players to up their game.
Digitalisation is forcing public transport operators and authorities to redefine their businesses
Unlocking the potential of data
The exponential growth of data is both a blessing and a curse. There is little doubt that public transport is fast becoming a data-driven business, yet it generally lacks the knowledge, know-how, processes and tools to make the most of the gold-mine it is sitting on. Besides the continued debate around the governance and ownership of data, unlocking the potential of data is key to making the most of digitalisation. Watch out for UITP’s upcoming Action Points on ‘Stakeholder cooperation on data in public transport’.
The public transport sector faces a huge challenge in adapting to face these changes, and there is no time to lose. But if it succeeds in transforming itself to a supplier of the evolving expectations of customers, public transport will thrive, urban mobility will improve, with huge benefits to society.
In order to support its members as they navigate the digital revolution to take stock of their readiness to embrace digitalisation, UITP is running a survey, helping members to take stock of their readiness to embrace digitalisation.