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The future of transport

We are all well aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a lot of changes in the way we go about our everyday lives – and transit is definitely at the top of the list of changes. Monthly transit rides recorded a low of 156.6 million rides in the month of April 2020, which is a dramatic 81.3% lower in comparison to the 835.2 million rides taken just a year back. While transit utilization has escalated since April 2020, ridership numbers are still low in contrast to pre-pandemic levels. What if we deploy protective measures and contactless technologies? Can transit then bounce back from the slump that it’s been experiencing? 

The international smart-ticketing market is forecasted to expand from $7.2 billion in 2020 to $16.2 billion in half-a-decade from now, which demonstrates a growth percentage of 14.5%. This is owing the sophisticated technologies within the smart-ticketing systems, the expansion in the smart transportation market, and the advent of contactless payments amongst other factors. Case in point: Monroe Transit is utilizing a contactless fare collection system and could serve as a forerunner for other urban centres. 

On top of the growth of contactless payments, we will also witness a surge in sustainable transit solutions. As a matter of fact, we are already starting to witness the shift to zero emission in our urban centres. 

Let’s delve into a few instances. Global Electric Transport Worldwide is furnishing zero emission mobility solutions for cities with brand new zero-emission mini-buses which were implemented in the cities of Manila and Davao, Philippines, during the end of the previous year. This organization’s focus is to grow in this region, Malaysia, and other regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America within the year. It indicates emergent, developing nations have the best low cost, low risk, yet high impact solution to assist in bringing back their blue skies while resolving their traffic concerns. 

There are avenues to initiate such initiatives internationally. In the United States, Biden and his administration have put forth the idea of shifting U.S.A.’s transit systems buses and school buses to battery-electric zero-emission systems. 

Unluckily, federal regulations could stick a wrench in Biden’s efforts, in the opinion of BYD (Build Your Dream), an electric vehicle enterprise. A legal provision instated by Congress in 2019 that aimed to target anti-competitive practices in the freight railcar production industry will complicate Biden’s emission goals to substitute 50,000 heavy-duty diesel transit buses throughout the country, in the opinion of BYD. It indicates with this provision, communities and transit entities throughout the U.S.A. will not be able to obtain the battery-electric buses they desire. 

Definitely, our transit systems need alterations, as we move on to the next level of cities. Technologies will definitely be a focal point of these efforts. 

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