Buses as ‘Green Arteries’: Passenger Information’s Role in a Brighter, Cleaner Future
“Where does the bus fit within the overall ecosystem of a sustainable city, and what role does it play in a greener future?”
This was one of the questions addressed by an expert panel during a fascinating Intelligent Transport webinar supported by a range of expert panellists.
Ian Wright from Transport Focus urged the audience to remember that people tend not to make decisions based on sustainability, pointing to a poor record of “banking future benefits”. Therefore, he argued, the task is to focus on packaging the bus offer as attractive: affordable, easy to use, friction-free, and with fast, reliable journey times.
Gordon Dickson from Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Warwick Goodall from PA Consulting expanded on this theme, describing the requirement to improve the overall bus experience by investing in infrastructure, including bus priority, facilities and stations.
Warwick also urged us to consider what can be learnt from the successful promotion of active travel through the pandemic, suggesting we project a strong message around the concept of bus routes as the green arteries of our towns and cities.
Finally, Warwick suggested that greater harnessing of data could help to drive ridership, pointing to the potential for ‘gamifying’ the impact of sustainable transport choices, and also for reporting on the social value of buses as a measure to justify business cases for further investment.
As this webinar so powerfully underlined, buses are vital to so many of our shared future aspirations for the country and indeed the planet. Buses are our “big people carriers”: the most efficient and sustainable means of delivering prosperity, connectivity and inclusivity.
By harnessing data and emerging technologies, and proactively communicating available options and the impact of travel choices, we can repackage the bus, empowering people to make green travel choices that work for themselves and their local and global community.