Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series
#23– Public Transport: New Operating Norms – August 13, 2020
Floris Bakermans, Management Consultant Smart Mobility and MAAS, AT Osborne
Prof. Chris Nash, Research Professor, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, public transportation systems around the world are facing challenges unlike any others during recent history. As city dwellers and commuters have been forced to transition to working from home, transport operators have seen an incredible collapse in ridership. While some cities are easing into reopening, others have essential journeys rules, whereby riders are restricted to what types of trips they can take. Those who have been able to reopen may need to reinforce stricter rules if clusters of cases re-emerge.
Professor Chris Nash reflected from his experience that public transport recovers quickly from crisis and people returned rapidly to their common behavior. However, Covid-19 is a crisis with no precedent and the situation shows that the alternatives to travel can be attractive. Floris highlighted that the Netherlands was already moving into structurally changing their transport and mobility system before, and Covid-19 accelerated these changes. Basic system like buses and trains should be available but it is time to think about more flexible on-demand systems, built on greater adoption of data.
Watch full session here: