Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition 2013 was the name of the congress arranged by the Singapore Land Transport Authority and UITP. The theme of the congress was People-Centered Mobility for Liveable Cities.
The phrasing is interesting. The attractiveness of public transports was discussed, by me and others. Speaking about People-Centered Mobility is a step in the direction upgrading the public transports to person transports for all sorts of people. It is also a step in the direction of increased adaptation to individuals. A lot of focus was spent on the “last mile”. Meaning that in most cities the transports are pretty good except for the first and the last mile of the travel.
I and Lim Jun Rong, my colleague based in Singapore, contributed with an article in the most recent issue of JOURNEYS (2013 September Special issued by LTA Academy in Singapore). We are addressing the challenge to raise the attractiveness and lower the cost simultaneously.
In our hybrid offer the up-side is less emissions of hazardous emissions, less greenhouse gases and less noise. The cost advantage is realized by fuel savings. In the parts of the world that have low fuel prices the incitement to save fuel is less and it is hence relatively seen more challenging to realize lower costs for the operator.
For this two approaches used:
1) Using the hybrid buses in routes where the saving is the highest. In the graph below we show the saving by the hour for more than 300 Volvo hybrid buses in Europe. It should be noted that even if the saving in % is higher at slower city operation the economy for applying hybrid technology is improved the most in routs with average speed up to 30 km per hour. With European fuel prices a reasonable fuel economy is achieved already in the slow city operation.
2) Selecting buses with high utilization. Since the cost saving is realized in liter per hour, long operating hours is favorable for more rapid pay back.
This effectively means that in each city with high ambitions for raising the attractiveness of the buses by making them cleaner and more silent an analysis can show which routes and which operation that gives the best economy. Often, it is not the route that I spontaneously would assume.