During the coronavirus pandemic, UITP has brought together the varied voices that make our sector one.
We’ve shone a light on the many different areas of public transport around the world to focus on their role in surviving COVID-19.
What has become clear during this turbulent time is that the more information people have; the more reassured they feel.
Step forward UITP Senior Director Kaan Yildızgöz with his viewpoint on taxis and ride-hailing during the pandemic.
As our resident taxi and ride-hailing expert, we’re pleased to bring you news on Kaan’s brand new book 'Taxis in the era of coronavirus' ("Koronavirus Caginda Taksiler” in Turkish), giving the sector a much-needed update on its status during COVID-19 – and featuring a special preface from UITP’s Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani.
Eagle-eyed followers of UITP will know that this is Kaan’s second book.
In 2018, 'Taxis in the era of digitalisation' was published to great acclaim in several languages, leading to interest in a second title from Kaan during a time when the more information released, the better!
Currently available in digital format to cater to the sector’s needs for quick news during COVID-19, the book is first published in Turkish, with the English language version to come.
As an e-book, it can reach audiences quicker as they look to consume sector information during the coronavirus crisis – physical copies will also become available in due course.
So what does this focus from Kaan on the impact of COVID-19 on taxis deal with?
This book is a testament to my passion for public transport
At the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted all mobility modes, including taxis and ride-hailing. The impact has resulted in a decrease of ridership and therefore a decrease of revenues and the additional costs.
'Taxis in the era of coronavirus' outlines what the taxi sector was discussing before the pandemic, and the ways in which the impact of the crisis has led the taxi and ride-hailing companies to respond.
What will be the key issues to consider when taxis approach a return to normal times?
What may change in the taxi sector after the full impact of the crisis is felt? Better design, the acceleration of digitalisation and partnerships and governance are all considered.
Kaan’s outlook gives a fully-international overview and UITP is proud to see our experts making efforts to improve and develop sustainable urban mobility around the world!
Let’s check in with Kaan and get some more insight in to his second title and what’s coming next…
Q: Kaan, congratulations on your new book focusing on the taxi sector! Was it an easy choice for you to publish your second title during these times?
The pandemic has changed so much in our sector and what people are searching for is information. There’s been a big spotlight placed on public transport, with our essential sector workers and the constant presence of public transport in our cities during the coronavirus outbreak, so I knew I could offer an outlook here. And by publishing the book first in a digital format as an e-book, it meant people could get this information quickly and consume it as life continues to change. I hope that it will help people during the pandemic and allow them to get a feel for what has happened to the taxi sector during COVID-19.
The pandemic has changed so much in our sector and what people are searching for is information
Q: So 'Taxis in the era of coronavirus' focuses on the pandemic, what has happened, and what may come next?
But it also looks at what the taxi sector was discussing before the outbreak occurred. By looking at this, it’s easier to see the ways in which the focus has shifted. The book goes in to detail on how the pandemic has impacted taxis – and crucially, how the sector has responded. I’ve taken ten points developed for mass transit modes by UITP and customised them to a focus on taxis. There has been some unique changes applied to the taxi sector during COVID-19 and I hope that my new book helps people understand this more.
Q: Readers will be able to learn about potential, and recommended, changes in the taxi sector. Can you tell us more?
What may end up changing going forward is important to address. I look at partnerships and governance in taxis: that is partnerships between regulators and operators, between traditional taxis and ride-hailing companies and also those individually owned taxis towards corporatisation. The acceleration of digitalisation for smooth operations with using artificial intelligence, automation, big data and mobile technologies and insight for autonomous vehicles is also discussed. What we will see for taxis post-pandemic, and for public transport in general of course, is better design. This means from the city level – curb side management and more - to the vehicle level. There will be a lot of important and interesting discussions taking place now and in the near future as we look ahead to a life beyond the pandemic.
I hope my latest book contributes towards that in its own way.
What we will see for taxis post-pandemic, and for public transport in general of course, is better design.
Q: You have dedicated the book to the millions of workers in the public transport sector who have worked throughout the pandemic as our ‘guardians of mobility’. How important was it for you to assign the dedication to them?
It was very important. And an easy choice for me.
As soon as the crisis began, UITP placed a large focus on our essential workers who have kept our cities moving. Public transport has been greatly impacted by everything that has happened, as have many sectors of course, and I have spent many years meeting and working alongside these key workers. In my own little way, by dedicating the book to them, I hope it shows how appreciative I am of their ongoing hard work and resilience. This book is a testament to my passion for public transport – a passion that is heightened further by that same passion I see in those who work tirelessly to keep our cities moving, each and every day.
Wise words indeed!
Thanks to Kaan for his time and efforts on advancing public transport.
To reflect life during the pandemic, Kaan’s book was launched virtually in Turkey, you can read more on that here.
'Taxis in the era of coronavirus' (first available in Turkish) can be downloaded here!
Are you familiar with Kaan’s first taxi book? 'Taxis in the Era of Digitalisation' – catch up now!