Governments all over the world are looking for sustainable ways to improve safety on their roads and environmental preservation while meeting all their citizens’ mobility needs with the least amount of time and money.
Buses and coaches are instrumental in effectively achieving these sustainable mobility objectives. Best practices and proven solutions, which are easy to implement, are at our fingertips.
Benefits from doubling bus and coach transport
Buses and coaches are an integral part of public transport and travel, and key elements in a sustainable transport system. The following calculations aim to give an outline of the potential benefits associated with doubling the use of buses and coaches in the EU, assuming that all new customers are attracted from private cars.
Smarter mobility and travel choices can be achieved by:
Properly informing oneself and others of the benefits of passenger transport by bus and coach;
Read through the various sections of the Smart Move website. You should also visit the IRU and Busworld websites or the websites of many Smart Move campaign Partners. Discover the best practices and implement them or make them known to those who can!
Using and promoting the use of buses and coaches;
Bus and coach-friendly legislation is needed to realise the full potential of buses and coaches. Authorities should establish and promote park-and-ride services and prominently display information on available services. Together with bus and coach operators, authorities might also develop marketing tools and incentive schemes to encourage greater use of buses and coaches.
Giving priority to buses and coaches;
Authorities should create special bus and coach lanes or give them priority at traffic lights in order to speed up services, as is already successfully the case in several cities. They should also ensure sufficient coach parking areas near city centres and tourist attractions with appropriate facilities and signage.
Fully integrating bus and coach services into collective public transport networks and ensuring fair fiscal treatment; Authorities should help promote and improve ticketing systems and interchange facilities to allow quick and convenient transfers between different modes of public transport. They should stimulate cooperation between the different transport modes. Authorities must also ensure equal fiscal treatment (excise duties, VAT, etc.) between all transport modes.
Providing funds for infrastructure improvements and better services;Authorities must invest in improved road infrastructure, including multimodal bus and coach terminals, to allow buses and coaches to optimise their services in conjunction with those of other transport modes for the benefit of the individual passenger and society as a whole. Authorities should support the contracting out of public transport to private bus and coach operators, as these often provide the most cost-efficient solutions.
Boosting public-private partnerships;
Bus operators are already reaping the benefits of their commitment to improve their fleets and services. Local authorities are also enjoying a return on their innovative approaches to transport strategy and planning. The net result is renewed consumer confidence exemplified by the modal shift to buses that is occurring in many countries, cities, towns and rural areas across the globe.
Incentivising and promoting bus & coach best policies and business cases to achieve Smart Move’s objectives
In line with the Smart Move’s objective of achieving sustainable mobility, various awards have been developed to recognise and promote at international level bus and coach companies with outstanding achievements as well as industry practices leading to a greater use of group tourism by coach and regular urban and interurban public transport by bus and coach.
The Bus Excellence Award rewards transport companies active in regular urban or inter-urban public transport by bus and coach. This Award aims to promote greater use of bus and coach in regular urban and inter-urban transport, through high quality and cost-effective innovative projects.
The City Trophy Award recognises and rewards municipal authorities that implement policies favouring group tourism by coach, and to encourage other cities to follow their example. Cities that invest in good facilities for coaches will reap economic rewards, while those that fail to do so will limit their income from tourism.
The Coach Tourism Innovation Award is given to transport companies active in group tourism by coach in any country, to recognise and promote industry practices leading to a greater use of group tourism by coach, through high quality and cost-effective innovative projects and services.