Public transport is often portrayed as a sector of heavy transport modes and high-end technologies, but much more importantly, public transport is a people’s industry. From front-line employees to engineers and high-level executives, our sector is driven by the passion and determination of individuals to provide the best services possible to passengers. Our new web series ‘A people’s industry’ aims at introducing the leaders that are driving public transport forward.
Our first leader to be interviewed is Stanislas Pinte, CEO, ERTMS Solutions. ERTMS Solutions is a world leader in railways testing, maintenance and systems integration product tools, especially known in the European Railway Traffic Management System world (ERTMS).
What is the most important change related to public transport you have witnessed since you started working in the sector?
IT integration, which follows a clear willingness to go digital. I’m not just talking about passenger experience, but also about infrastructure, marketing or planning managers’ challenges. Managers are dealing with tons of data that they cannot properly treat because of the fragmentation of information systems. A lot of companies are using cloud solutions, artificial intelligence and predictive maintenance, but in the end that does not solve more fundamental IT integration issues.
What is the leading force of innovation in your organisation?
All of our customers, regardless of where they are, have comparable needs. At ERTMS Solutions, we provide them not only with one solution, but with three. We answer our customers’ needs related to railway signalling testing and maintenance. Since more recently, we also offer a cost-effective agile answer to solve their IT integration issues, with Ontologies.
We help our clients manage their digitalisation with a “future-proof” approach. Digitalisation is not a “one-shot deal”, it must be done properly to be quickly adaptable in case of new regulations, or market changes.
What would be the most important challenge facing the industry in the years to come?
Traditional public transport modes should reinvent themselves. I think that the biggest challenge is the change in itself. We must be able to adapt quickly, to better listen to our market and users. They want innovation, they want efficiency. The traditional model is over, we need a breakthrough! The traditional tools and approach are not viable anymore.
When we talk about ontologies to our clients, they see it as a very conceptual approach to solving information systems’ problems. Clients express their interest when they first hear about the technology, but when they see the power of this solution they definitely want it!
What would you tell world leaders to encourage them in developing more public transport?
I would tell them to go after the low hanging fruits: leverage IT to lower the costs of public transportation.
If you had one advice to give to someone entering the sector, what would it be?
Transportation might seem like an “old-school” sector or an old industry. But it’s the opposite, transport has always been the future. The public transport sector has opened new frontiers, improved technologies, boosted the economy and allowed people to travel. Public transport is the future. They should be part of it!
What are you most proud of since working in public transport?
Every time we have one of our customers recording a video testimonial, and share their positive experience on our Youtube channel, it makes the team very proud!
Stay tuned for our next Q&A in the "A People's Industry" series!