TfL was among the winners of the 2015 Global Public Transport Awards, which were announced at UITP’s World Congress in Milan last week


solaris_urbinoPolish bus builder Solaris received the design award for its new Urbino bus


The Global Public Transport Awards from UITP, the international association of public transport, acknowledge ambitious and innovative mobility projects that contribute towards meeting the sector goal of doubling the market share of public transport by 2025.

An international jury of public transport experts from very different countries and backgrounds evaluated the projects and narrowed the hundreds of applications from all around the world down to a shortlist of 25 finalists.

The seven winners were announced at UITP’s World Congress in Milan last week: 


Public transport strategy: FETRANSPOR (Rio de Janeiro)

Rio de Janeiro’s federation of passenger transport companies won the public transport strategy for reshaping mobility demand in Brazil’s second largest city with a BRT network within a short time period. The two BRT lines were completed by 2014, ahead of the country’s hosting of football’s World Cup. A further two lines will open by 2016, when the city hosts the Olympic Games. This 157km BRT network will help the city to meet the challenge of a growing economy and demographics in the years to come.

The judges in this category also wished to commend Transport for London producing the world’s first transport health action plan. This plan uses health evidence to change the organisation’s internal processes to deliver better outcomes for the customers and attract funding and support from the health sector.


Customer experience: Wiener Stadtwerke

Wiener Stadtwerke is Austria’s largest municipal infrastructure service provider. It won the customer experience award for its ‘Smile’ project, which aims to understand and satisfy customer needs in multi-modal transport. A new Smile platform was created, including an App, which integrates multiple mobility providers throughout Austria, including ÖBB (Austrian Railways), Wiener Linien (Vienna Public Transport), taxis, car-sharing, bike-sharing, a charging network for electric cars and many more. The technology gathers all relevant and available data for real-time information, booking, ticketing and payment in a single, convenient location, enabling the customer to make informed choices about their everyday mobility options.

Among the finalists in this category was the roll-out across the UK of Arriva’s premium Sapphire bus service, which aims to attract people who would not normally consider using the bus.


Operational and technical excellence: Transport for London, Barclaycard and Cubic

London was the first major city in the world to accept contactless payment cards on public transport and this project was the winner of the award operational and technical excellence. Since September 2014, contactless cards have been accepted for Pay-As-You-Go travel on all TfL and National Rail services in London. The operation has been smooth and the uptake strong – about 17% of PAYG journeys are already made using contactless cards and the upward trend continues. Over 100 million journeys have now been made using over four million different contactless cards. The judges considered the project to represent a “paradigm shift” in the sphere of ticketing.


Design: Solaris Bus and Coach

Polish bus builder Solaris received the design award for its new Urbino bus, which was unveiled in September 2014. The judges considered the vehicle’s “sharp, dynamic and futuristic” exterior style and its carefully designed interior details to be “remarkable”, enhancing the customer experience. The judges added that a clear design management process, with the customer at its heart, “remains rare in the sector”.


Mobility demand management: Land Transport Authority

Singapore’s LTA won the mobility demand award for ‘Travel Smart’, a comprehensive demand management programme that encourages commuters to switch their trips to off-peak periods, change to different modes of transport, and to reduce travel demand altogether. These complement supply-side measures to increase transport capacity.

Travel Smart Rewards uses “gamification” with cash prizes to offer commuters who travel on public transport in off-peak periods the chance to win monetary prizes. Meanwhile, free pre-peak travel is offered to encourage commuters to travel into the city earlier. Commuters who exit at designated city stations before 7:45am enjoy free journeys, or a 50% discount if they exit between 7:45 to 8:00am.

Additionally, the Travel Smart Network sees partner companies create supportive environments for flexi-travel for their employees to help shift the travel patterns.Almost 12% of employees at these pilot companies made the shift. Participating companies can benefit from a consultancy voucher (worth up to about £14,000) to work out a customised travel demand action plan for their own use. These companies can also claim a grant of up to about £75,000 a year for implementing measures such as organising pre-peak Travel Smart activities and installing infrastructure to encourage active travel.


Smart financing and business model: Kaysery Ulasim

The city of Kayseri in Turkey won the smart financing and business model award for its success in diversifying revenues and opening up to alternative sources of finance for public transport. Fines for traffic offences have provided of around £775,000 a year. Meanwhile, additional revenues have been obtained from the deployment and rental of 500km of fibre optics on its light rail network. This is expected to deliver new revenues of around £2.1m a year. Kayseri covered 13% of its costs with alternative funding methods in 2014, and this figure is expected to reach 20% this year.


Y4PT Youth Award: Transportes de Lisboa

Lisbon’s transport authority won the Youth for Public Transport award for its campaign to promote public transport on university campuses. Transportes de Lisboa reached young people by organising workshops and field activities, by awarding best innovative student projects for advancing urban mobility and by conducting opinion polls to get feedback on how they perceive and envision public transport.


This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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