Too Little! Too Late!
A few weeks ago UITP, an organization that brings together public transport authorities around the world and other sustainable transport operators, released a manifesto with a four step plan to help save the planet from the climate crisis. It is not a bad manifesto, but it is too little, too late.
After 15 years of working with Swedish and international transport organisations (the last 2 years as CIO for Västtrafik, a swedish Public Transport Authority) I have realised one thing. Knowing what to do is usually easy. Understanding why it has not already been done and knowing how to make it happen, that is the hard thing.
The UITP manifesto includes good, but fairly obvious, steps for anyone who has been following the discussion around the future of mobility with open eyes. It is good that they have made this Climate Action Manifesto since it will probably facilitate discussions going forward. Discussions that should have been closed years ago. But the manifesto is like starting to talk about “mobile first” today when the successful companies moved on years ago and are now talking about “AI first”.
What they also should have included is why most public transport organisations around the world are seen as a hindrance to new mobility, rather than enablers. Why progress often happens despite the public transport authority and the city. And why, too often the regulators forbids new service providers instead of finding ways to benefit from them.
Then the manifesto could have done real good.
In a series over the coming weeks, I will give my view of what is needed, and try to look into the future.