The 9 transit trends that will move us in 2017

Michelle Hsu

This post originally appeared on Trapeze Group's blog


It’s been a crazy ride for the public transit industry in 2016. From the public’s increased use of TNCs, rapid adoption of transit apps, and a plethora of other new trends just around the corner, transit agencies have a lot on their plate. It’s then crucial to be proactive rather than reactive if the industry is to come out on top in this hyper-connected world.

Given that, we asked experts from various fields (academia, transit associations, venture capitalists – to name a few) to weigh in on what is the trend that you’ll have to watch out and prepare for in 2017. 


Human-Centered Designs will be here to Stay

“From a service planning and scheduling standpoint, instead of transit system service design reviews focusing on incremental change, transit systems will look at complete system redesign. The goal will be to find ways to better serve existing riders, attract new riders by providing more frequent service in heavily used corridors, expand service coverage to meet demographic changes, and find creative ways to serve less dense areas, which do not warrant regularly scheduled transit service. Since most agencies budgets are flat or decreasing, this effort needs to be achieved without increasing operating cost. This is a difficult task but can be achieved by using the data and technology available to most agencies, along with a vast public outreach effort.”

– Charlie Carson, Director of Planning and Scheduling, Connecticut Transit

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will Become the Norm

"I believe 2017 will be the year public transport adapts autonomous vehicle technology for its own use. We expect a sharp increase in pilot programmes offering public transport with autonomous vehicles. We will also see the intensification of efforts – including through the development of MaaS – to integrate the shared use of autonomous vehicles in the sustainable urban mobility system of the future."

– Sylvain Haon, Director Knowledge and Membership Services, Union Internationale des Transports Publics (UITP)

New and Unexpected Markets will Help Improve Ridership

"Public transit markets are becoming more volatile as Millennials move towards adulthood. New segments of users are emerging in public transit markets such as ‘captive by choice’ riders (individuals who can afford to purchase a vehicle but choose not to do so and use public transit). As new market segments emerge, so do new challenges for transit agencies, which must strategize to serve new user groups as well as  other previously identified groups such as captive riders (those with no choice but to use transit) and choice riders (those who have other options but chose transit). Ridership will increase in 2017 only in regions that can understand the dynamics of the new markets and provide tailored service that increase satisfaction and loyalty among all user groups. Agencies that fail to understand the needs and desires of new markets are expected to notice a decline in ridership."

– Ahmed El-Geneidy, Associate Professor, and Dea van Lierop, PhD Candidate, School of Urban Planning at McGill University 

Advanced Technologies will Reshape Public Transit

“With a new and ambitious 10-year transit funding plan in Canada, we will see an important shift in the way municipalities and transit agencies design and implement transformative transit and integrated urban mobility solutions. This long-range funding will require the sector to be innovative and forward-looking, leverage incremental and disruptive innovation, adapt quickly to the fast-changing environment, establish partnerships with new business models and mobility providers and steadily focus on customers in establishing priorities.”

– Patrick Leclerc, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)


To discover all of the predictions for 2017, CLICK HERE

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