Cities across the globe are facing similar challenges so it is important to learn from each other. We must highlight the benefits of public transport to combat climate change and make cities more liveable. Owing to low ridership, many cities are planning to reduce their services. However, service reduction will lead to further ridership reduction and cause a vicious cycle. On the other hand, many cities including Cincinnati did not reduce the service during pandemic. In fact, it is planning to increase the service on many routes. This will help to retain existing customers and attract new riders.
The experts also highlighted the importance of human-centric approach while building new infrastructure and planning services. Transit agencies should focus on the entire passenger experience, including first and last mile connectivity, accessibility, station design and service delivery. Stations are more than transit points. They are people hubs. Thus, transit agencies need to invest in station, and passenger and employee facilities.
Cities are for people and should be the centre of any solution – like on-demand mobility, ticketing, MaaS (Mobility as a Service). Public transit should not compete with new mobility. The two should complement each other. The experts emphasised that cities should not underestimate the power of commercial speed. By increasing commercial speed of public transit, the agencies can improve customer satisfaction but can also reduce capital and operation cost. Thus, there should be more investment in initiatives that speed up transport services like dedicated lanes and transit signal priorities.