Bus sector mulls impact of future mobility

Facing increasing congestion and driver shortages, there is change afoot for the bus sector. By Freddie Holmes

Alongside automation and electrification, future mobility also aims to reduce private vehicle use. Individual cars are major contributors to traffic congestion, tailpipe emissions and worsening safety levels. The current hierarchy that places the passenger car at the top of the food chain is being challenged, with the role of public transit and micromobility coming into closer focus.

In the UK, government officials are investigating how public transportation can be re-shaped to increase ridership. An ongoing inquiry into buses has raised concerns around the funding, strategy and delivery of services in towns and cities across the country. In a livestreamed discussion in March 2022, a parliament committee quizzed two industry experts about what can be done to shake up the status quo. Bus rapid transit (BRT), autonomous vehicles (AVs) and new road layouts all came under the microscope, with the aim of making buses more reliable, convenient and affordable.

Daimler demonstrates its expertise with Bus Rapid Transit in Japan
With its ability to cut out traffic, bus rapid transit is often described as "light rail on wheels"

Bus versus rail

A key concern was that buses are often forced to sit in heavy traffic and contend with slow-moving bicycles. By contrast, rail

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