Urban mobility has a massive impact on both the quality of life and the environment in which urban dwellers live, work and play. As a result, administrators and planners around the world are concerned with enhancing urban mobility through a range of mass transit solutions. However, urban transportation projects are notoriously difficult to plan and execute, for the following reasons:
- Cost of funding: With constrained budgets and competing priorities, many city administrators and infrastructure developers are exploring innovative funding programs.
- Long lead times: Long lead times are required to develop many mass transit solutions such as metros or light rail projects, which can often take up to a decade before becoming fully operational. As a result solutions such as Bus Rapid Transit systems often provide a quick alternative.
- Multimodal transport: In the battle to reduce a city’s carbon footprint and to decrease congestion, ways must be found for commuters to interconnect with alternate and various forms of mass transportation that, together, can provide ‘door-to-door’ service for them.
- Smart grids: Innovation will impact the provision of electricity. Therefore, smart grids will become an important technology in the future. As we need to protect our electrical grid, governments must start thinking about how they will provide appropriate infrastructure to support these new technologies and how they might make these innovations available to high polluting sectors such as freight transport by truck and cargo shipping.