Public transport is at a crossroads. You hear about it in conferences, you read it in magazines or newspapers, you discuss it when you meet experts, you brainstorm about it in your business meetings and you even experience it when it comes to choosing the right mobility option in your city.
In the past few years, the sector has witnessed unprecedented changes, driven by a rapid digitalisation of all its different branches, but not only this. Public transport, which was considered as an old and traditional, not to say conservative, sector, has proven to be more open to innovation than many others, to the point it is now defining the best ways to integrate disruptions.
However, what all these talks about technology tend to omit is that there is no common denominator between the stages of progress from one ecosystem to another and that while access to information might be globalised, the different technologies are not. The level of maturity of a region, or even more precisely of a city, is defining the drivers behind the innovation developed.
The challenges, the needs and even the expectations are different whether you are in Los Angeles or Johannesburg, Sao Paulo or Paris. It seems obvious, but rarely do experts take the time to address innovation from this contextual perspective.
Of course MaaS, on-demand services and artificial intelligence are exciting, and yes, these will define the future of our sector, but in some regions of the world they just don’t help in any way to locally improve the mission of operators, which is to offer a better service to passengers.
In this first issue of the PTI Magazine in 2019, we decided to explore the different systems of the world to provide you with regional snapshots, examples which could summarise, in our opinion, the main trends experienced in the different regions.
Obviously, it is not possible in a single issue of a magazine, even the PTI, to analyse all the singularities differentiating each local case. Difficult editorial choices have been made. Many topics didn’t make the cut and, as you can imagine, the vast majority of cities will not be featured. We already apologise if your own reality is not included in the following pages, but we however sincerely hope that you will have learned about the complexity of each reality.
In fact, after having explored this world of public transport, you might even reach the conclusion that public transport might not be so much at the crossroads anymore. It has taken the road of meaningful progress, at the benefits of cities, populations, and more directly, our passengers.
Enjoy your read!
The PTI Editorial Team
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