moBiel GmbH - Articles and news items
Issue 1 2011 • 25 February 2011 • GMPTE (Manchester), moBiel (Bielefeld), RATP (Paris), RET (Rotterdam) and STIB (Brussels)
Five European public transport companies have joined forces in a four-year project against climate change. With concrete energy saving measures they aim to introduce the principle of low CO2 emissions as the new standard for public transport companies. The name of the project: Ticket to Kyoto (T2K).
Ticket to Kyoto is a good example of pan- European cooperation in the public transport sector. The five partners work together constructively to exchange high level ideas, realise quick wins and draw-up long-term strategies from which all parties can benefit. Even though there are huge differences between the five public transport companies, synergy is the magic word. Half of the budget is provided by a grant from the INTERREG IVB NWE. The mixture of experiences, local cultures and day-to-day challenges enriches the outcome for the total project and for each partner individually.
For four years, Bielefeld – a city in the Northeast of the Federal State of North-Rhine-Westphalia with a population of approximately 325,000, has topped the category of ‘Overall Customer Satisfaction’ on the annual German public transport survey ‘ÖPNV-Kundenbarometer’. Its strong customer focus is what moBiel, the city’s public transport operator, considers its strongest asset. As the stimulator of Bielefeld’s infrastructure, moBiel banks on expansion – ‘life in the city, it’s where we are’.
Bielefeld, like over a hundred other cities in Germany, introduced its first electric tram line at the turn of the century. Initially, it comprised of 12 railcars and eight tram trailers operating on a 9.2km rail track in 30 minute intervals. Bielefeld’s citizens were enthusiastic about the new means of public transport. Within the year, the tram fleet comprised of 21 railcars with 11 tram trailers and their frequency, at times, stepped up to 7.5 minutes. The tramline remained a fixture of public life in Bielefeld, even after World War II. In the late 1960s, many German cities ripped out their rail tracks and switched to bus-based public transport. However, Bielefeld’s public transport operator, then still a division of the public utility Stadtwerke Bielefeld, not only stuck with its trams so popular with its citizens, but set out to expand the rail system – even after the first prognoses predicted the seemingly anachronistic trams would soon disappear.