Arriva Group has today published an insights report which explores the trends associated with the use of public transport following the pandemic and the opportunities for public transport operators to work together with passenger transport authorities to meet changing passenger needs in the future.
The Insights Paper follows independent research commissioned by Arriva and explores the future of public transport and how operators can work alongside governments and transport authorities to re-imagine transport services and grow patronage and address societal challenges like urbanisation and climate change.
Amongst the topics discussed within the Insights Report, Arriva highlights: -
- How suburban public transport networks might need to evolve to cater for those who previously commuted into city centres but are now spending more time in their local areas.
- How flexible ticketing solutions will make commuting and public transport more attractive.
- The importance of continued communication around Covid safety measures and the need for governments and transport authorities to support the sector with campaigns to bring passengers back to public transport.
- How to integrate active travel with micro-mobility solutions such as e-scooters and traditional public transport modes.
- How technology could hold the key to better journey planning, allowing passengers to make informed decisions about which modes of travel to use and at what times.
- How to facilitate the use of multiple modes of transport, including active travel.
- The development of MaaS (mobility as a service) digital solutions which allow passengers to plan, book and pay for multiple modes of transport with multiple operators within a single country or region.
Mike Cooper, Arriva Group CEO said: - “Listening is a vital part of any service industry and in the wake of pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we have our finger on the pulse. Our sector has a choice – we can sit and hope for things to return to ‘normal’ – or we can respond to the evolved needs of passengers, build a better and more sustainable future for our communities and act as strategic partners to our transport authorities”.
As people adopt hybrid working patterns, Arriva concludes that people will spend more leisure time in their local area, closer to home. This means the traditional after work drink might now be enjoyed in local areas, instead of city centres. DRT (demand responsive travel), could provide a vital solution, complementing public transport in areas where there is need for connectivity but with more limited demand.
Public Transport was one of the recognised ‘essential’ services safeguarded during the pandemic, but it’s well documented that passenger numbers fell dramatically in the early stages. As restrictions lift in European countries and life returns to a ‘new normal’, it’s essential that public transport services reflect the changing needs of passengers. By doing so, it attracts more users and helps address some of big societal challenges such as urbanisation, congestion, decarbonisation and climate change, while stimulating economic growth and access to jobs.