Public transport : next industry to be disrupted by technology in Australasia

Digital disruption

The public transport system will be the next industry to be disrupted by technology in Australasia, according to new research from operator and global integrator of mobility Transdev.

Qualitative market research conducted across five countries – the United States, Canada, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand – asked key public transport decision makers about the trends, challenges and opportunities shaping the sector for the next three years.

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    René Lalande of Transdev Australasia, said “The 2018 Transdev Multi-Country Barometer Survey makes it very clear – the future is not about focusing on a single mode of public transport, it is all about giving people the freedom to move whenever and however they choose.” 

    “With a focus on improving the customer experience, the survey respondents – all policy experts and leaders in public transport – are pointing towards exciting new disruptions including using big data more effectively; the rise of ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS); and autonomous shuttles in specific locations,” René Lalande said. 

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    “The number one issue identified in Australasia is the ability to meet the growing demand for public transport in our increasingly congested cities. Data science and the ability to analyse the preferences and usage of customers will be a key driver in improving customer service and meeting this demand, according to 77 per cent of survey respondents.”

    “Interest by key decision makers in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is quite low in Australasia at only 48 per cent (compared to 72 per cent in Sweden and 74 per cent in the USA), but we expect that to change rapidly over the next few years.”

    MaaS is defined as a single place (usually through an app or website) to plan, book and pay for mobility, combining public transport, car-pooling, ride-sharing, bike-sharing and other services.”

    MaaS is a game-changer for mobility in Australasia and strong partnerships between Transdev, other providers and the public sector will be crucial to harness the potential of MaaS to transform transport in this region

    René Lalande, Transdev Chief Executive Officer

    “We are also seeing a real interest in both autonomous shuttles or vehicles and the concept of on-demand services particularly to complete the first and last-mile of customers journeys.”

    Overseas research shows that needing to walk more than 800 metres to the nearest public transport stop reduces trips by around 90 per cent. First and last-mile solutions plug this gap with transport on demand solutions, that may include options like shuttles, ride-sharing services or bike-share opportunities.

    One of the solutions to plugging that first and last-mile gap may well be autonomous shuttles or vehicles (AVs), with 61 per cent of respondents interested in testing the option in specific locations. A further 53 per cent would like to see AVs tested in closed environments like hospitals, universities and closed communities.
    Autonomous vehicles run a particular, short route in a defined geographic area and are often electric vehicles that run off a smart-grid. They are ideal for short trips and in closed communities like university campuses, hospitals, business parks and closed communities.

    “Finally, we’re seeing increasing interest in Australasia to integrate options not traditionally thought of as public transport, including ride-sharing, car-pooling and bike-sharing modes. In 2011 there was little interest in this sort of integrated transport, but this year interest has shot up to 16 per cent and we expect that to increase exponentially in the coming years.”

    “Our experience overseas shows MaaS, autonomous vehicles and using big data more effectively will simplify and enhance the customer experience, promoting further use of public transport. Transdev is at the forefront of this mobility revolution, with global expertise driving innovation in Australasia,” René Lalande said.

    About Transdev Australasia

    • As an operator and global integrator of mobility, Transdev gives people the freedom to move wherever and however they choose.
    • Transdev is proud to move 11 million people around the world every day thanks to efficient, easy to use and environmentally-friendly transportation services that connect people and communities.
    • Locally, Transdev is the largest provider of multi-modal public transport, operating services across Australia and New Zealand since 1998.
    • Our team of 5,800 employees move 150 million people a year across our seven modes – heavy rail, light rail, bus, coach, ferry, on demand and soon autonomous shuttles – in Armidale, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Auckland and Wellington.
    • Our approach is rooted in long-term partnerships with businesses and public authorities, and in the relentless pursuit of the safest and most innovative mobility solutions.
    • At Transdev, we are Journey Makers. We believe public transport plays an important part in how a city comes to life. Our day-today work influences our families, friends and future generations where they live, work and play.
    • As Journey Makers, our role is to exceed the expectations of the communities we serve and to contribute to liveability and the sustainable development of our cities.
    • We are a team of people serving people, and mobility is what we do.
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