In a session moderated by Sheila Watson (FIA Foundation) during the IX SuM4All Consortium Meeting, Francois Davenne, UIC Director Geneal, Octavi de la Varga (Metropolis), Maya Ben Dror (World Economic Forum) and Ida Schauman (MaaS Alliance) shared their views on opportunities emerging for the “New Normal”.
Francois Davenne noted that the spread of the virus was so rapid because we are so interconnected, and we should not lose this interconnectivity. Although people are afraid of using public transport, we need to reassure them that we will do everything in our power to ensure their safety. The aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis will be the occasion to build a new normal for the world of tomorrow. Railways have demonstrated their resilience and their capacity to deliver essential services even in these difficult circumstances. In a Joint Statement, UIC, UNIFE, and UITP strongly commit to giving a new sense of urgency to the delivery of this paradigm for the public transport ecosystem.
For Octavi de la Varga, all the debates we are having now were already there before the Covid crisis. We have just gone through a gigantic “live-learning experiment.” Decisions should involve different public administrations, as well as the private actors and the mix of formal and informal service providers. City leaders should reimagine the usage of space and think beyond the administrative border of the city they are managing.
Multimodality has really demonstrated to be the key for stimulus resilient commute and deliveries and the one thing would be to connect between rail, public transit with various flexible modes of commute like bike share, scooter, and other active digital mobility. “To enable multimodality and mobility as a service we need data-sharing, interoperability and fair market access”, said Ida Schauman,
For Maya Ben Dror, a partnership with financial institutions will have a huge role to play during this crisis period as well to rebuild confidence and steer funding towards what’s needed and not just for the recovery phase but rather towards a desired future that we all want to achieve. The public sector should make wise decisions looking not at the costs of recovery and of survival, but rather future costs on mobility system that is resilient to climate change.
“Pandemics have always shaped our cities” concluded Sheila Watson. All mobility solutions are under threat. More than ever, we should all unite around the same goals because we need sustainability and we want liveable cities.