More environmentally-friendly modes of transportation
Car lovers are a difficult lot to lure away from their favourite travelling companion. Cities and regions have to work with a number of tools to pry them away towards more environmentally-friendly modes of transportation.
“It’s only after much time and money lost that car lovers change their habits. They’re very reluctant,” said Eric Quiquet, vice president of Lille Metropolis and in charge of transport.
“My dream is that car users should at least shift from time to time to public transportation. Lille’s objective is to enlarge the offer of buses, trams and metro, and increase car sharing,” Eric Quiquet said. He hosted a Trendsetter/Civitas workshop in Lille on November 18 to take stock of some of the latest trends to make public transportation more attractive. The conference covered smart cards for ticketing, making it easier for passengers to change from one type of transportation to another, and integrating fares for tickets
when they do jumping from the train to the bus, for example.
“We have the technology now in our hands. Let’s use it and design good systems!” Eric Quiquet told the workshop.
But he also has a tall task ahead of himself. Like so many other regions in Europe, the use of private cars dominate. Only 8 percent of all trips in the Lille region are made by public transportation
and as much as 60 percent by car.
The vice president praised the conference and said he and his technicians had gotten many interesting ideas from cities that were more advanced in these three areas. A card for integrated fares for Lille is not far off in the future. Lille has already profited from its own trailblazing Trendsetter projects, such as converting one third of its bus fleet to biogas. By 2007, all 100 buses will use biogas that is processed from local household waste, Eric Quiquet said.
The experience from his area showed the importance of bringing together the different authorities – the city, the department, the region and others – to boost the decision-making process and create a coherent transport policy, he said. In Lille, it may have taken some time at the start, but the results make it worth the trouble.
At the end of the conference, Vice President Eric Quiquet turned to his colleagues in various public authorities with advice. “Between the life of the citizens, the users and the administration, there is sometimes a big gap. Now it is the responsibility of the appropriate authorities to speed up the introduction of good methods,” he concluded.