Future public transports of the Netherlands

Wednesday the 9th of July, I visited a seminar arranged by the environmental adviser group Inno-V. It was hosted by Tjeerd Postma.


The seminar took place in the charming building “in de Waag”


“Provincie” representatives of Gelderland, Overijssel, Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland as well as Governmental representatives of V&W contributed to the discussions and gave feedback on major future concerns:


Which priority is best from an environmental standpoint, clean new but expensive technology or more buses of state of the art products? Or, can biogas be justified compared to clean diesel technology? When will hydrogen technology become competitive? Will hybrids become competitive in price and in environmental performance? And, much more questions.


Tjerd started out by giving a well initiated broad holistic view on energy and society with emphasis on future demands and the changing demand from society in relation to the historical development. The role of the recent trends of oil price, global distribution of energy use and the political implications were swiftly described.


I then presented the implications for the public transport sector and in particular for buses, infra structure and future fuels.


We discussed the impact of the European Greenpaper on public transports that has resulted in the proposed Energy directive, Public Procurement directive of and of the of Euro VI emission legislation.


The public transport authorities of the Netherlands struggles with similar problems as other concerned countries. The relatively densely populated regions offers good possibilities for public transports, when given the right priority. There was in intensive dialogue and the time passed fast.


As for the conclusions the local conditions matters. In general highest priority is to support right mean of transports. Mostly the bus gives the best environmental performance, when compared to train, tram and metro. For the buses it is important to use the right bus for the traffic conditions. For commuting high capacity buses have superior environmental performance. The feeder lines and inner city buses will soon benefit from highly efficient hybrid buses. We are looking forward at a most interesting development. Presently the best “all round” bus for the Netherlands is the Low Entry 8700 with the 7 litre engine, as commented a couple of days ago.


About volvobuses

Adjunct Professor of Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology. Lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, with my wife and three daughters born in 1991, 1994 and 1997. Is a passionate runner.
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