Like many other regions in the world, Eurasia is experiencing population growth that both increases the need for public transport and represents an opportunity for the sector.
In Russia, a whole week of conferences and activities aiming to improve the dialogue between governments and the transport industry took place last week, entitled ‘Transport Week’. As part of this event, the international conference and exhibition ExpoCityTrans gathered more than 40 exhibitors and international speakers. It attracted 600 delegates and 7,000 exhibition visitors, confirming its reputation as the biggest event dedicated to public transport in the Eurasia region.
Russia Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov and UITP Secretary General Alain Flausch opened the ExpoCityTrans conference, whose programme explored current and future public transport trends: mobility is becoming electric, connected and shared.
“The future of mobility is electric”
Today, 95% of the world’s transportation is powered by fossil fuels. Electricity helps make transport greener and is therefore an appealing solution for the sector, which is putting its research efforts into the deployment of electric systems. At the individual level, cities are increasingly fostering the use of private e-vehicles. In Moscow, 150 charging stations are being built at private expense and parking for electric vehicles is free of charge. As far as public transport is concerned, electrification is the “next big thing” and electric vehicles are increasingly replacing diesel trolleybuses and buses. However, the bus industry is still struggling with some issues: how to produce clean electricity? And: how to store energy? These topics were addressed in depth during the second day of the ExpoCityTrans conference, which was entirely dedicated to electric transport.
ExpoCityTrans 2016 gathered 41 exhibitors
“The future of mobility is connected”
Big data and digitalisation have changed the face of public transport, resulting in an improved customer experience: thanks to mobile apps and real time information, it’s now much easier for passengers to plan and make their journeys. In Moscow, WiFi is being installed across the public transport network, at stations and on board the metro, buses and trams.
Thanks to the increasing use of connected data, autonomous vehicles – individual or collective - are, with electrification, the current big trend in public transport. Their integration with existing public transport systems is key for effective mobility in cities. But, as the Deputy Chief Executive of Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, Jeremy Yap, stated during the opening session, “A carless driver is better than a driverless car”…
“The future of mobility is shared”
The sharing economy is nothing new, but it is now well established in customers’ habits and the further development of data exploitation and mobile applications will help ensure greater sharing of individual transport modes. Be they autonomous or not, shared vehicles have the potential to provide last mile service and must be therefore integrated within the whole urban mobility system as a whole. This is why public transport has to develop partnerships with the providers of shared mobility services.
Next year, ExpoCityTrans will take place from 7-9 November 2017. Save the date!