How to change local public transport in the post Covid era?

How to change local public transport in the post Covid era?

State of the art, scenarios and reflections in the deepening of Marco Foti on local public transport

The health emergency, which emerged from the pandemic, has put all workers in the sector in front of the need to redesign the future of our movements with new paradigms, new strategies with respect to a different mobility request that will have to adapt to different organizational models compared to those offered today.

The offer of Local Public Transport is reduced by two thirds (in the best cases, by 50%), the times of access to services and work activities are differentiated. An epochal change in travel habits is underway.

In this climate of change, it is essential to aim for a vision of sustainable recovery. Among the various advanced solutions to relaunch the transport sector, these concern Local Public Transport.

To date, it is still not possible to know in detail the travel needs, therefore the hypothesized mobility solutions may not be suitable to meet the demand for mobility or limit the use of the private car as a means of travel.

From these premises it is necessary to "re-start" and think about the near future of mobility in urban areas, also on the basis of the "Guidelines" of MIT, issued in April 2020 for information to users and the organizational methods for containment. the spread of covid-19.

Among the points, the Ministry of Transport recommends LPT companies to adopt the regulatory protocol for contrasting and limiting the spread of the virus in the workplace in the transport and logistics sector. On board the buses, MIT recommends purchasing, where possible, tickets in electronic format, online or through the app, and increasing the frequency of the vehicles in the hours considered to be high in passenger flow, always maintaining social distancing.

The current situation confronts us with a new choice in the design of public transport services according to specific mobility needs, needs that have changed significantly in the last period. The need therefore arises to update the public service in order to grasp the complexity and articulation of the phenomena in urban, sub and extra urban areas.

Therefore, it is necessary to define forms of public transport complementary to the traditional ones and based on the logic of flexibility in the choice of routes, in the sequence of stops, in times (times and frequencies), in the size of the travel demand.

Today more than ever, on-call transport services, flexible services in the area and over time, are the answer to the needs expressed in full respect of social distancing. These are special services, a sort of extended collective taxi, implemented to satisfy users' movements. It is a way to replace the local public transport service in these conditions so it is strictly necessary to monitor the demand for mobility on board the buses. The run is performed only when needed and at the expected time, avoiding unnecessary waiting for the user and therefore in full compliance with the indications given in the safety protocols.

The on-call service is an operational solution from which you can greatly benefit: the user books a ride with the app, web, telephone. The company organizes the service according to the booked mobility demand, saving on the management of the service. The information on the application can be shared with the passengers, waiting in the shelters of the stops or of the terminus.

Overall, the on-call service could constitute an information system that allows you to quota ascents and descents, enforcing the capacity limit decided by the authorities and avoiding the overcrowding of local public transport.

An idea that could contribute to compliance with the rules on social distancing, which, however, cannot be separated from the civic sense and collaboration of the citizen.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Mon, 08 Jun 2020 06:55:59 +0000.