It’s been a massive year for the bus industry with technology seemingly moving faster than we do, writes Randall Johnston
The 2017 Bus Industry Confederation Annual Conference in Hobart was well attended and saw a huge number of speakers give presentations mostly based around the concept of Mobility as a Service ( MaaS).
MaaS puts users at the core of transport services, offering them tailor- made mobility solutions based on their individual needs.
This whole concept seems a world apart from what bus operators have traditionally done, which is to identify one set route that will be of use to the majority of people.
Twenty years ago, bus operators would have struggled to identify where demand for services are without doing some serious homework, but with the availability of so much information online that’s no longer the case. Moreover, they would not have had the technology to respond to this demand, even had they known it existed.
The paradigm has now shifted and, as Transit Systems Group CEO Clint Feuerdherdt pointed out in his presentation in Hobart, our cities are growing but public transport patronage is not necessarily growing with them.
“If our cities are growing, why is our patronage falling? I think it’s because some of our services are not in the right place,” he says.
“If we want to remain relevant, then I think we need to see ourselves as ‘ buses as a service’.
“The number one thing there is to provide a service that the customer tells you they want, not what you think they want.”
You can read more about the BIC conference on page 20.
This leads perfectly well into Ricky French’s article on Transit Systems and the developments the company is putting into on- demand services ( p26).
While December is often a time to reflect, the futuristic theme continues with a North American Daimler subsidiary introducing its first battery- powered school bus for series production in the USA ( p42), and Scania’s new coach sweeping a European fuel consumption test with a similar model set to be launched in Australia in the third quarter of 2018 ( p43).
There’s also a lot going on in December locally and abroad.
Tokyo- based operator Hato Bus has positioned itself as the pre- eminent force in on- road public transport in the sprawling city ( p30).
The I-Bus is uniquely built on the Isuzu truck drivetrain and chassis; Technical Writer Paul Aldridge takes it for a spin ( p36).
Don’t forget to flick to the engine bay of this mag (the rear) to check out the latest Australian bus and coach delivery information to see where the money is going as we reach the end of 2017. Enjoy the Christmas break!
“The number one thing there is to provide a service that the customer tells you they want”