As urban areas become increasingly crowded, the sustainability of our public transport networks is now firmly in the spotlight. Every day, cities around the world are working hard to innovate and design new eco-conscious public transport initiatives that make our journeys more efficient and less invasive on the wider environment.
The cogs of our cities need to keep on turning to fuel their respective economies, but the following cities have worked hard to devise new ways of operating public transport networks with sustainability at their core.
Did you know, Adelaide is operating the world’s first solar electric bus? The “Tindo” bus network, named after the aboriginal phrase for the word “sun”, is revolutionising the way the people of Adelaide negotiate their way around their city. As the buses are powered totally by solar energy, they are free for locals to ride too. The vehicles are designed with efficient batteries and charging times; and with no fumes generated into the city’s atmosphere whatsoever, it’s a significant boon for Adelaide’s public transport system.
For travellers that are super-conscious about the environmental impact of their journeys, you’ll be fascinated to read about Vienna’s new WienMobil app. While many cities now offer apps with real-time travel updates, the WienMobil app is an altogether different proposition. It allows users to find the eco-friendliest route for travellers going from A to B across the Austrian capital. Travel options include car-sharing, taxis and even tandem bike sharing!
If you’ve ever wondered where the concept of driverless vehicles was first developed, look no further than the city of Lille in northern France. Since 1983, Lille has been operating its driverless VAL public transport network. Although around a billion passengers travel throughout Europe on driverless vehicles today, this efficiency wouldn’t have been possible without the vision and innovation of Lille’s Metro system.
La Paz, Bolivia
The Bolivian capital of La Paz sits almost three miles above sea level. It’s the city with the highest altitude on the planet. The city suffered greatly from traffic congestion. Getting from one side of the city to the other was a huge struggle. The solution? Transport people above the city, of course. La Paz has unveiled its unique cable car network, Mi Teleferico. It cuts the time of commuting from one side of the city to the other down by around an hour, offers expansive views of the Andes, and is the world’s most comprehensive and tallest aerial cable car urban transit system.
In 2017, Hong Kong was voted the world’s number-one city for sustainable public transport. Its network handles 90% of all daily journeys across the city each day. The data, recorded by Statista, sees Hong Kong inch just ahead of Zurich and Paris in terms of the quality of its sustainable mobility.