Public Transport Sector Will Overcome The COVID-19 Crisis

Newsletter 8, October 2020

Public Transport Sector Will Overcome The COVID-19 Crisis, Disembarking the train in the new normal

Dear ,

Welcome to Modasti’s eighth newsletter. You are receiving this newsletter as you have either recently subscribed to it, or we had met or communicated at some point over the last few years. If you prefer not to receive this newsletter in future, simply unsubscribe by clicking on the link in the footer.

The future of public transport

A hobbled world economy and much lower ridership levels, these are two common challenges urban public transport systems have had to deal with at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Very bleak financial pictures emerged from cities that are heavily dependent on commuter streams since working from home will be dominant for many corporates well into the next year (London is a good example where the national government’s call to avoid public transport in the midst of the first wave had made things even worse).

Cities that started to rebuild trust among their public transport passengers at an early phase and those that are in the process of diversifying their services (with a focus on new target groups) are doing better. In Vienna and Oslo for example, ridership has already returned to 70-80% (based on 2019 ridership levels) since July of this year. Cities like Brussels, Istanbul and a few others are currently in the 50-70% range and had seen a weekly increase in passengers until recently (source: UITP’s COVID-19 Knowledge Hub; accessible only to members). Although many cities find themselves at the beginning of a second wave of infections right now, these kinds of numbers could suggest a substantial financial recovery in 2021.

At Modasti Consulting, we are convinced that public transport authorities and operators can overcome the COVID-19 crisis. With the right policies in place, demand for travel will return and financial revenues can be restored to acceptable levels.

Please take a look at our recent publications to get an idea of our expertise and strategic approach:

  • Integrated Risk Management: What can it do for you? (article in UITP’s Funding and Financing newsletter, July 2020, based on this presentation);

Modasti’s activities in the Middle East

Modasti’s main consultant, Arjen Jaarsma, has been involved in a Public Transport Study for Sakakah (Saudi Arabia) over the last year. He is part of a multidisciplinary team that is currently involved in the finalization of the last phase of this project: the development of a draft Contract of Operations for the selected public transport system. Recently, he was also involved in a short assignment in relation to the public transport plan developed as part of a Regional Spatial Strategy in Oman.

Both project references for Saudi Arabia and Oman can be found here.

Depending on the lift of travel restrictions, Arjen plans to go to Riyadh, Doha and Dubai (for the rescheduled UITP MENA Congress & Exhibition) in February and March next year.

Modasti’s activities in Europe

It has been a very European year for Modasti thus far. Due to the pandemic, we have been carrying out our project activities from our base in the Netherlands since March. Modasti’s associate consultant, Petra van den Boorn, has developed further insights about Risk Management for Public Transport Authorities and Operators. She will unveil them in Modasti’s next newsletter.

Modasti was present at the Transport Innovation Online Summit 2020 and the European Commission’s Urban Mobility Days 2020 (also organized as a digital event). We hope to meet you in person at the international conference IT-TRANS in Karlsruhe this coming December!

Arjen Jaarsma Public Transport Expert
+31 6 235 88 096
Modasti Consulting

Modasti Consulting B.V.

Hofvijver 177, 5223 MC ’s-Hertogenbosch

the Netherlands