Ahead of Earth Day on 22 April, Tom Quay, CEO of national public transport app provider Passenger, shares his thoughts on the role of public transport in helping to tackle climate change. His comments come as Passenger is set to begin storing journey plans, with the intention of using aggregated data to represent total CO2 savings made by people choosing to travel by bus over private cars.
“Awareness raising initiatives like Earth Day are now more important than ever before, as climate change continues to be a serious global issue. I strongly believe that we should be embracing shared ownership and resources to reduce our carbon footprint, and public transport forms a vital part of this movement.
“We saw the beginning of positive changes to the environment when the first lockdown began, as Cabinet Office data showed motor traffic dropped by 73% compared to pre-outbreak levels.
“However, such gains were short-lived as the Centre for Cities thinktank reported that when restrictions lifted, 80% of British towns and cities had contamination levels either the same or worse than before the pandemic.
“Although temporary, the initial period of traffic reduction allowed us to see what small changes we could be making to help the environment, such as opting for a different means of transport besides using our cars.
“COVID-19 has unfortunately caused an increased fear of shared resources, which is why it is vital for all those within the transport industry to work together to restore a feeling of confidence and safety back into people’s lives.
“At Passenger, we have multiple products which help bus operators of all sizes create a safe environment for travellers, including our Premium app and website solution designed for larger operators, and our recently launched myTrip app for smaller operators.
“Both allow digital ticketing, live bus location tracking and technology in place to help travellers understand seating capacity levels. We now have over 3.5 million users across all our products, and have helped 65 operators across the country inspire more people to use public transport as a first choice travelling option.
“Such initiatives bring real meaning to the term ‘sharing is caring’. I look forward to enhancing our product offering further to not only benefit travellers and operators, but also contribute towards the UK’s efforts to build back greener through public transport promotion.”