3iBS project identifies five-point plan to improve bus systems in European cities

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The bus sector has released a five-point action plan to improve Europe's bus systems as the three-year 3iBS research project came to an end yesterday at the closing event in Brussels.

Coordinated by UITP, co-funded by the European Union and including major bus domain players, the intelligent, innovative, integrated Bus Systems (3iBS) project set out to create a new generation of buses. The bus accounts for 30 billion journeys per year in the EU, which is around half of all EU public transport journeys.

In the action plan, the 3iBS partners call on the European Institutions to include public transport in all European CO² reduction strategies and require cities to set targets to boost public transport’s market share by 2025. As air, car or rail related issues are predominant, there needs to be a Europe-wide campaign to re-dignify the bus as a clean and cost-efficient tool for European cities’ and regions’ growing mobility needs.  

The sector calls for financial mechanisms to accelerate fleet modernisation, an instant way of reducing CO² emissions as almost 50% of buses in Europe are Euro III or older. In total, 80% of fleets are still running with diesel engines that are becoming cleaner and cleaner whilst propulsion technologies are increasingly diversified: the project also calls for additional resources for the further testing and uptake of alternatively fuelled buses and infrastructure.    

Finally, the 3iBS partners suggest a genuine long-term strategy to boost research into bus systems. As such, the European bus industry will be able to maintain its international leadership while continuously working to make the bus a more attractive mode of transport.

“The improvement of the public transport offer requires an excellent bus service to trigger a modal shift towards public transport and combined mobility modes,” said Umberto Guida, EU Projects Director at UITP. “EU-funded projects and EIB financial tools are needed to further support our cities in improving their bus systems”. 


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