In today’s age of increasing urbanization and heightened environmental awareness, the need for a sustainable transportation system has become more crucial than ever before. A framework for building a sustainable mobility system outlines key principles and strategies for creating an efficient, eco-friendly, and equitable transportation ecosystem, addressing today’s pressing challenges.
Sustainable Public Transport Framework
An efficient public transportation system plays a crucial role in achieving our environmental, social, and economic objectives. The lifeline of connectivity is a vital link for people, connecting them to employment, education, leisure, and most importantly, to their loved ones.
The Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) underwent a comprehensive review in 2021, highlighting the following key areas of interest.
- Decarbonization of the public transport bus fleet
- Roles and relationships in the public transport sector
- The labor market in the public transport bus sector
- Services exempt or excluded from PTOM
- On-demand public transport services
In August 2022, Cabinet agreed to replace PTOM with the Sustainable Public Transport Framework (SPTF).
The new objective of the SPTF focuses on prioritizing mode-shift, ensuring fair and equitable treatment of employees, and enhancing environment and health outcomes.
The new framework aims to transform working in public transport into an appealing career choice, offering competitive wages and improved welfare for its workforce.
The SPTF’s new objectives are as follows:
- Public transport encourages shifting from private vehicles by being integrated, reliable, frequent, accessible, affordable, and safe.
- Ensuring that the employment and engagement of the public transport workforce is conducted with fairness and equity is crucial. Ensuring sustainable labor market and high-quality public transport services.
- Public transportation services that are well-utilized can significantly minimize the environmental and health effects caused by land transportation. Reduce reliance on cars, promote zero-emission technology.
- The provision of services not only supports value for money and efficiency, but also helps achieve the first three objectives of public transport investment.
After the implementation of the reforms, the SPTF will be carried out by means of future planning and delivery of services.
Sustainable Mobility Definitions
Sustainable mobility encompasses more than simply emissions reduction. The transport sector holds tremendous potential for enhancing the quality of life and economic opportunities for billions of individuals. In addition to satisfying current needs, the sector must also be prepared to meet the future expectations of upcoming generations. This is the very essence of sustainable development.
A sustainable transportation system is the one that “enabling individuals, businesses, and society to safely fulfil their fundamental access and development requirements while prioritizing human and ecosystem well-being, and fostering fairness for present and future generations,” according to the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport.
According to the United Nations, “Sustainable transport entails the development of services and infrastructure that facilitate the movement of people and goods. Its main objective is to support economic and social progress for present and future generations. Ensuring safety, affordability, accessibility, efficiency, and resilience are key priorities, while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions and minimizing environmental impact.”
To achieve global sustainability goals, it is crucial to embrace a multitude of cutting-edge mobility trends, such as shared mobility. By doing so, we can provide affordable and sustainable transportation solutions for individuals across the world.
Framework for Evaluating Sustainable Transport
The implementation of the SPTF will lead to the following crucial reforms and this would help in evaluating the sustainable transport system:
- Setting new goals for public transport services in the Land Transport Management Act 2003.
- Public transport authorities can operate their own services, including owning buses, employing drivers, and running the services.
- Services must be procured, contracted, and delivered in a manner that guarantees transparency regarding all aspects of service delivery.
- Allowing various ownership arrangements for assets, including the direct ownership of assets by public transport authorities.
- Promote enhanced collaboration among regional councils and territorial authorities when developing regional public transport plans.
- Revisions are being made to the framework governing exempt services, encompassing commercial and inter-regional public transport services.
- The SPTF should include on-demand public transport services
In conclusion, sustainable public transport framework people would adopt eco-friendly transportation, with equitable access, and optimized infrastructure to build a sustainable mobility system leading to a cleaner, more efficient, and inclusive future.