Ivo Cré - Articles and news items
Issue 6 2013 • 16 December 2013 • Ivo Cre, Senior Project Manager, Polis and TIDE Coordinator, Tamas Matrai, Project Manager, BKK Centre for Budapest Transport and Marcin Wolek, TIDE Public Transport Activities Leader, University of Gdansk
The Transport Innovation Deployment for Europe project – also known as TIDE1 – looks at 15 innovative measures that can change European cities. Innovation is not only technological: smart policies and institutional reform can create the perfect environment for urban transport improvements. Public transport organisation is one of the areas TIDE focuses on and the BKK Centre for Budapest Transport is TIDE’s ideal partner to prove that changing the management structures can help to manage the change.
TIDE is funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission and runs from October 2012 until September 2015. The project aims to foster a more favourable climate for cities and regions to integrate innovations in their urban mobility policies. This should lead to increased acceptance and take-up of new urban transport solutions and technologies. TIDE will help cities and regions to address common challenges in a collaborative and integrated way.
Innovative ideas usually start in one or a few places before they reach wider coverage. TIDE will help cities and regions across Europe to shorten the path towards the implementation of innovative measures by showing that it is not necessary to re-invent the wheel but much more effective to exchange on innovation and transfer successful solutions from one European region to another. TIDE thus offers a cost-efficient way of spreading innovation throughout Europe.
Issue 3 2011 • 22 June 2011 • Ivo Cré, Project Manager, Polis
The number of cities in Europe that are implementing urban road user charging schemes is growing very modestly. The EU is planning the preparation of the policy framework for urban road user charging. At the same time, a new debate emerges in Brussels, and in EU member states: what is the future funding actually needed to maintain, and improve urban transport systems in view of European targets and ambitions? In this discussion, the self-financing potential of transport investments is crucial and Urban Road User Charging (URUC) is coming into view as a financing tool. But can urban tolling serve that purpose, when it is initially designed to curb congestion?
The current state of play of urban road user charging in the EU
Economic theory states that as the cost of transport is better internalised, use of infrastructures will become more efficient. Goods and people will stop moving, or will move at different times of the day, when infrastructure is less scarce. The money collected from internalisation should ideally go to financing solutions that in the future help to avoid external costs (such as new infrastructure, or better adapted infrastructure, new transport options, such as public transport, or cleaner vehicles). For a while, urban tolling was a very hot topic in Europe.
The famous riddle where nine dots have to be connected by straight lines without lifting your pen taught the world to “think outside the box”. Over the last five years, urban road charging has moved from the zoo of exotic transport management measures, to the heart of the public debate on the future of urban transport.
Urban charging is a key topic in the EU’s Green Paper on urban transport and is likely to be mentioned in the derived action plan. The number of cities and regions investigating road pricing is growing. Urban pricing is moving inside the box. This is good news – if some very fundamental issues are taken into account.