As a pensioner, I still want to be able to get around everywhere, when it suits me. Driving a car is no longer an option, so I’m dependent on public transport. It has to be reasonably priced, secure and adapted for us older folks.
I don’t want to risk getting hit by a car while I’m walking at my slow pace. The sidewalks also need to kept clear of snow, ice, gravel and leaves so that I don’t fall and hurt myself. At the same time, I don’t want to feel that I am in the way of everyone else who is in more of a hurry.
I hope that a solution can be found. Preferably during my lifetime.
An accessible system benefits everyone
Infrastructure that is accessible to different users is not only one of the UN’s Global Goals, but also a central transport policy objective in Sweden. An accessible system benefits everyone. Together with physical accessibility, utilization of the systems must also be affordable so that no one is excluded for economic reasons. Accessible public transport also reduces the escalating costs for paratransit service.
Infrastructure should not create barriers
Infrastructure lasts for a long time. For that reason, it needs to be designed not only to meet demands in terms of accessibility, traffic safety and mobility, but also in a way that doesn’t create barriers, whether physical or social. Wide roads with heavy traffic and high speeds create disruptive noise and unattractive environments. With integrated transport that takes the needs and conditions of unprotected users into account, it’s possible to create inviting and accessible environments where the different modes of traffic work in symbiosis with each other. This can only be accomplished through sustainable and conscious urban planning and development. To a very high degree, urban development is influenced by technological developments and trends in society that aren’t always easy to predict.
Intelligent transport at our service
In order to have public transport that is tailored to the individual’s needs, it must become smarter. Intelligent driverless public transport can pick you up and take you where you want. Without the human factor, the vehicles are more reliable and safer in traffic, but to achieve this the entire traffic system must be intelligent and based on real time information. Intelligent vehicles run on renewable fuels and minimize emissions and noise. It is also crucial that these vehicles are produced in a sustainable way so that the entire chain from production to distribution and waste doesn’t impact the environment.
New mobility for more users
Today’s starting and destination points for public transport exclude many user groups, such as the elderly, the disabled, children and people living outside the population centres. Intelligent public transport is closer to the starting and destination points and provides new mobility for more users. This can lead to increased social inclusion, with a greater sense of meaning and belonging. When the opportunities to move outside the home increase, so does our well-being. And it is also well known that active modes of transport benefit our health. But in order for people to want, and be able, to use these active modes, the operation and maintenance of paths for walking and biking must be prioritized.
Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
UN Global Goal - 9.1