Future transport evolutions discussed at UIC’s 85th general assembly
The worldwide railway association UIC recently held its 85th General Assembly in Paris. José Viegas, Secretary General of the International Transport Forum (ITF, OECD), addressed in a keynote speech the main challenges and responses for the transport system and railways.
In his speech, José Viegas presented how the current and future evolutions, in terms of demographics, climate change and globalisation, will influence the future of transport systems across the world. Key enablers will include connectivity, autonomous vehicles (across all modes), sharing vehicles, cleaner vehicles. Some important trends for the future are: focus on access rather than mobility, necessary coordination with land-use (in particular in urban areas), mobility as a service, release of “blocked” capital through ride-sharing (cars in particular).
As far as railways are concerned, José Viegas said “in spite of interesting progress and some commercial successes, by not being radical enough in the pursuit of new concepts and opportunities over the last 20 years, rail has lost a good part of its previous advantages in emissions, safety, efficiency”….and “Sustainable development requires reinvigorating the railways, in parallel with the evolution experienced by the road” and he concluded “Radical innovation in service patterns and production models is urgently needed to realise railway’s potential for sustainable development and ITF is available and willing to participate in this endeavour”.
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