The UITP Photo Contest, which came to its conclusion at the Global Public Transport Summit in Montreal, celebrated innovation in the sector and embodied the Summit’s theme of ‘Lead the TRANSITion’. We sat down with each winner to discuss their photograph and pick their brain about the future of mobility…
Interview with the Bronze Winner: Alex de Jong
Alex de Jong was awarded third place by the Photo Contest jury for his photograph of VDL buses at ‘fast-charging’ stations. The image captures the necessary infrastructure to bring e-mobility to life. “No fossil fuels are used at all. Instead the zero-emission electric buses are charged with green energy at a rapid charging station”, said Mr de Jong.
The buses in the photo are Citeas SLFA Electric, which are 100% electric and part of Europe’s largest electric bus fleet; they have been operating in the Eindhoven region of the Netherlands since December 2016.
What is innovative in your photograph?
My photo shows where large scale e-mobility comes to life. No fossil fuels, but charging multiple zero-emission electric buses at a fast charging station with green power. By enlarging the scale of operation with 43 electric buses, the charging infrastructure is more efficiently used, and the total operation benefits from more flexibility. The futuristic design of the buses enhances the look and feel of the state of the art electric zero-emission drive train.
How do the fast-charging stations respond to specific public transport challenges of today?
On all levels the demand for cleaner and more efficient vehicle increases. Through large-scale implementation of electric buses, the benefits of these vehicles become very clear. The industry can adapt faster to changes with larger number of vehicles and the operators get a better view on the possibilities of zero-emission transport.
What do you think are the benefits of zero-emission transport for customers?
On the operator side there is a lot of feedback on the positive experience of the silent and smooth drive train. This is obviously reflected in the passenger experience. The benefits of zero-emission transport are experienced mostly by people who are within close contact to the vehicle – with over a million kilometres that these 43 buses have driven in the first four months of operation, the impact of the zero-emission operation on the city environment is evident.
What do you think the future of public transport looks like?
Bright. With the possibility to scale up zero-emission bus operations, operators can offer clean and efficient public transport solutions. With clean and comfortable zero-emission buses, there is a solid alternative to private vehicles to find your way around urban areas.
Stay tuned! In the coming days we will publish the portraits of the Silver and Gold winners!