A process approach to public transport design


W Veeneman

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe


In the Netherlands (V & W AND VROM, 1992) as elsewhere in the Western world (LEVƒFRE AND OFFNER, 1990) public transport is regarded to be a promising instrument to mitigate the adverse effects of rapidly growing mobility (BANISTER, 1994). This is especially considered valid for urban and metropolitan areas (BERECHMAN, 1993). Here public transport's advantages form a firm condition to keep modern city centres accessible. Public transport can cater for the very dense transport flows, on a relatively limited quantities of the scarce urban land. In addition, the environmental performance of public transport is considered to be higher than that of the car, in the fields of safety, emissions and the possibility to control noise. Despite governmental support, public transport has not been successful in its role of reducing car traffic yet (JENKINS, 1987). Scientist engaged in public transport have given different reasons for this phenomenon: spatial developments favour the car system (JANSEN, 1985) , the dilemma of individual benefits and social costs of transport (NIJKAMF, 1994), a public transport business showing little demand orientation (BERECHMAN, 1993), and the quality of the competing car (NIJKAMP AND PRIEMUS, 1994). Accordingly, they offer different solutions. Traditionally, transport engineers have developed conceptual models that combine spatial demand patterns with engineering characteristics of different public transport technologies (EGETER E.A., 1989) This resulted in suggestions on a co-ordinated hierarchical network of services, combining the strengths of different public transport techniques (VUTCHIC, 1981). This approach still has fervent supporters in the German language area of Europe. In addition, economists have targeted the fact that public transport providers have been inflexible and little susceptible to demand. They sought solutions in a redesign of the regulatory regime (BERECHMAN, 1993). Companies should be responsible for the product and should harvest the financial implications, both in positive as in a negative sense. This approach now finds its main advocates in the Anglo-Saxon parts of Europe. Other scientific fields have projected their theoretical frameworks on to the problems of public transport to provide different types of solutionsi But, the two mentioned above have to be regarded as the two most influential lines of thought in public transport policy making today. Throughout Europe they can be recoghised in attempts of various governments to restructure public transport (GREGOIR AND M.AUBOIS, 1994).


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.