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Issue 3 2006

German efficiency

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / Wolfgang Tiefensee, German Federal Minister of Transport, building and Urban Affairs

Germany has a very efficient local public transport network, carrying around 27 million passengers every day. In purely mathematical terms, this is the equivalent of 19 million passenger car journeys. In some large towns and cities, buses, trams and trains account for over 50% of all passengers travelling to school and work. 86% of all households are within ten minutes’ walk of a local public transport stop, which means that we have impressive network coverage.

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RATP’s latest improvements

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / Patrick Vautier, Head of Marketing, RATP

RATP is the main public transport operator in the Ile de France region around Paris. RATP’s mission is to continually provide the 11 million inhabitants of the region with an ever improving service. In order to do this RATP has developed a policy of innovation, which it hopes will result in greater customer satisfaction.

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London’s Congestion Charge – three years on

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / Michèle Dix, Director of Congestion Charging, TfL

Congestion charging is a way of ensuring that those using valuable and congested road space make a financial contribution. It encourages the use of other modes of transport and is also intended to ensure that, for those who have to use the roads, journey times are quicker and more reliable.

In May this year Norman Y Mineta, the US Government’s Transportation Secretary, published a national strategy to look at ways to tackle congestion across the whole of the United States. In it he said that “congestion is one of the single largest threats to our economic prosperity and way of life.”

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Ticketing on the Czech railway

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / Michal Palán, System Specialist, Strategy and IT Department, Czech Railways

Czech Railways (Cveské dráhy, CD) is the national rail operator in the Czech Republic. It is one of the largest operators in Europe and, with over 60,000 employees, it is also one of the largest companies in the Czech Republic. Approximately 180 million passengers use CvD’s services every year. In order to do so, they need a ticket.
Ticket offices in railway stations

The majority of passengers purchase their tickets at the ticket offices in stations. CD operates approximately 2,700 stations and stops and about 1000 of these are equipped with ticket offices using the UNIPOK ticketing system. There are also information centres (called ‘CD centrum’) in the larger towns where the UNIPOK system is installed.

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RET is on the move

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / ET

Rotterdam Electric Tram, RET, is about to implement a number of changes. These changes will occur rapidly and involve not only the organisation itself but also its equipment and its partnerships with other transport companies. Pedro Peters, CEO of RET, explains all.

The first major change RET will implement is the introduction of a smart card on trams and buses in the Rotterdam transport area. The smart card is already in limited use on the Rotterdam metro. At the same time, RET is preparing itself for 2007, the year in which the current state-owned company will become a plc. Substantial investments are also being made in new vehicles and in the construction of the first large-scale light rail system in the Netherlands, RandstadRail, which is now well under way. Pedro Peters, general manager of the RET since 1 June 2005, therefore has every reason to be extremely proud of his company, although he acknowledged that there is a lot of work ahead.

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An overview of Siemens rolling stock

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / Dr. Gerhard Angermüller, Siemens AG, Transportation Systems, Head of Mass Transit division

Siemens Transportation Systems is a driving force behind new technologies to keep rail-based systems competitive. In this article the company presents its latest innovations across the tram, light rail, metro and driverless-systems sectors.

The world today is being shaped by the mega-trends of urbanisation and demographic change. The consequences are: increasing scarcity of natural resources; a regional shift in economic gravity; a growing need for environmental protection; increasing mobility; and growing demand for safety, security, healthcare and care for the elderly.

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What role for the European Union?

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / Stefan Tostmann, Brussels

Safe roads – the black sheep of the integrated approach?

Road safety policy is widely based on the ‘integrated approach’: we must act at the same time on vehicle safety, road user behaviour and the roads themselves to conduct successful road safety policies. The road safety policy devised at European level is also following this approach2.

Through stringent type approval legislation, our cars and trucks have become much safer in recent years. The European Commission is counting on further improving vehicle safety by proposing to equip not only new, but also existing trucks with mirrors reducing the blind spot to better protect cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Further actions concerning daytime running lights for all vehicles are in the pipeline3.

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Introducing the Solaris hybrid bus

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / Ms. Agnieszka Spizewska and Mr. Mateusz Figaszewski, PR Managers, Solaris Bus & Coach

Following the world-wide trend of searching for alternative sources of energy, Solaris Bus & Coach has added a new vehicle to its product range: the hybrid-drive Solaris Urbino. This innovative drive solution helps to significantly reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

The premiere of the hybrid is scheduled for September of this year at the Hanover IAA bus and coach show. The presentation of this prototype tops a month-long effort by our engineering bureau to present it in time. It goes without saying that developing a new product in such a short time would not have been possible without the support of our experienced partners, the companies Allison and Cummins.

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Lessons from the aviation Sector – post 10/8

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / Norman Shanks, Norman Shanks Associates International

On 10 August 2006, a plot intending to cause in-flight explosions on multiple aircraft leaving the UK to the US was foiled. Following this, it is reasonable to speculate on what the impact of such an attack might be on other modes of public transport. Lessons from the aviation sector could be used to protect public transport from such an attack or minimise the impact if such an event was attempted again.

Historically, governments and the aviation industry have responded to such attacks in a reactive manner. Only rarely do either group take a proactive approach. Why this should be is a case for a separate argument in itself. Suffice to say, the same reactive response is generally typical of all countries and of the majority of airports and airlines.

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Scheduling solutions

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / ET

Crew scheduling must not be overlooked, as its function is vital to the smooth running of any public transport operator’s services. Crew schedulers must ensure that not only are there enough personnel to man the services – but also that their staff are satisfied with the roster times they are given. Christian Shelton looks at some of the current products on the market that make this task easier.

For mid- to large transport operators crew scheduling can be particularly difficult due to the large number of staff. Not too long ago this tricky job was done manually. Fortunately, advances in IT now mean that there are a number of excellent computer software products available to help. These programmes have to be flexible, balanced and transparent. They must also be fully flexible so that they can react to unforeseen circumstances.

Designer transport

Issue 3 2006 / 27 September 2006 / ET

What will public transport in the future look like? The answer to this lies with the young transport designers coming into the industry.

In June this year a design exhibition called New Designers took place in London, UK. This annual exhibition showcases the work of graduate designers in all design disciplines from art colleges and universities across the UK. At this years show there were a number of striking public transport designs, which are presented below.

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