Perspective - Public Transport: What moves the sector?

Scarcity of resources and demographic change are determining the future of public transport as shown by the industry survey "Perspective – Public Transport" initiated by PTV Group. The recent publication of the White Paper illustrates which topics are moving the public transport sector and how the stakeholders are dealing with them. PTV Group, provider of software and consulting services for traffic and transport logistics, has now released the new study which can be downloaded free of charge at

Globalisation, liberalisation, scarcity of resources or demographic change – what moves the sector? This was the issue addressed by PTV Group in the study in the last quarter of 2012, involving transport operators, associations as well as consulting and engineering offices. Around 300 participants from around the world took part in the survey. The majority (81 per cent) states fewer resources and climate change as the largest industry driver. Moreover, 80 per cent believe that demographic change is a strong driver.

The four different groups evaluate both topics differently. For example, transport operators and consulting and engineering offices place major emphasis on "Green Concepts": Over half of those surveyed (72 per cent) are working on more efficient vehicle utilisation. Optimised schedules came in second place (61 per cent). The use of environmentally friendly vehicles, such as solar buses or hybrid vehicles, came in third place (58 per cent).

Burning issue of population ageing

Transport associations and authorities in particular see the need for action on demographic change. Half of the transport associations state that it is a strong driver; for transport authorities it is as much as 67 per cent. "For example, due to our ageing society, school transport will drop off, which in many regions has a decisive influence on the public transport offerings," says Dr.-Ing. Peter Mott, Director Business Development at PTV Group. This traffic represents an important source of revenue for transport operators and associations. They will therefore be forced to develop new, sustainable concepts, mastering the challenges of demographic change.

"With the increasing flexibility of offerings thanks to alternative forms of operation as well as demand-responsive operation, there are a variety of ideas in the air," according to Mott. "As a provider of transport planning software, it is exciting for us to see which ideas will prevail and how software-supported planning will contribute to design." According to "Perspective – Public Transport" a good quarter of those surveyed have already complemented their offering with alternative service forms, such as dial-a-ride transport services, and around one in ten is already offering demand-responsive operations such as on request by pressing a button at the bus stop or stopping on request. One in five is planning to implement the latter in the next five years. The most popular software used for public transport planning is PTV Visum.

A powerful tool for public transport planning

PTV Visum is the worldwide leading software for demand-driven and service-oriented public transport network and supply planning. This comprehensive tool offers detailed planning and analysis functions, easy-to-interpret graphs and reports that cover all strategic processes across public transport planning. Its interfaces to geographic information systems (GIS) and the option of importing data from different sources, such as automatic passenger counting, vehicle tracking and ticketing systems or MS Office, ensure consistent data management and allow for valid scenario calculations without any loss of information. Its 600 customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are currently using PTV Visum for the spatial and temporal planning of their public transport offerings.


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