The ITF Awards honour exceptional achievements in three categories: the Transport Achievement Award, the Promising Transport Innovation Award, and the Young Researcher of the Year Award. The awards will be presented to winners at the 2016 Summit (18-20 May 2016, Leipzig, Germany) in the presence of transport ministers from around the world.
Transport Achievement Awards 2016
A project to establish a transnational data-exchange infrastructure to end breakdown of cross-border traffic has won the 2016 Transport Achievement Award in the freight category.
Project CROCODILE was launched in 2013 to establish a trans-national framework to collect and exchange data for putting into place concrete improvements for road users – such as dynamic traffic safety information or information on parking space availability for truck drivers. It is co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T programme
CROCODILE addresses congestion and traffic gridlocks in border areas of Central and Eastern Europe that are caused by coordination gaps among road operators in a region that comprises several small countries with different languages and has high levels of cross-border traffic from three main trans-European road transport corridors (Baltic-Adriatic, Rhine-Danube and Orient-Eastern Mediterranean).
The CROCODILE consortium consists of partners representing the entire value chain, from raw data to end user services. It involves national ministries and their agencies, road operators and service providers from 13 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia).
Within the project, partners agreed on a harmonised data exchange specification, installed sensors and cameras on thousands of kilometers of roads, upgraded truck parking facilities, improved traffic management centres, developed and improved several applications and, not least, brought together officials in a move to establish national access points for traffic data exchange. Completed at the end of 2015, CROCODILE 2 will continue and enlarge the activities.
The award jury saw in CROCODILE “a significant achievement in harmonisation of national ITS-related activities in the field of road transport” and praised the project for its “good results regarding institutional collaboration in a context posing significant challenges”
Martin Böhm of AustriaTech, the Austrian government agency that co-ordinated CROCODILE, said: “This award acknowledges that cooperation and harmonised information exchange is one key to improve the traffic situation in an area with several small countries with different transport network characteristics. We see Crocodile as a starting point and are convinced, that our way is leading towards a safer and more efficient road transport system.”
The city of Moscow has been awarded the 2016 Transport Achievement Award for its exemplary approach to improving traffic conditions in the Russian capital. The prize is awarded by the International Transport Forum (ITF), a Paris-based intergovernmental organisation and policy think tank with 57 member countries.
Following twenty years of almost uncontrolled development of urban traffic, the city of Moscow introduced a rigorous and comprehensive set of policies to address the gridlock on its streets. Over the past five years, these measures have reduced the number of cars in central Moscow by 25% and increased the average speed of traffic by 12%, despite 600 new cars being registered in the agglomeration each day.
In 2013, Moscow traffic was ranked as worst in the world by the TomTom Traffic Index. In the 2016 edition it has improved to fifth place in that index.
The ITF jury recognized the “impressive achievement in improving overall traffic in Moscow.” In particular, the jurors highlighted “the effectiveness of coherent, coordinated initiatives and policy actions that facilitated this remarkable change.”
Measures put into place in Moscow include:
Paid car parking: Paid parking was introduced in 2012 and since then has systematically expanded to areas with high car traffic. Within the framework of a policy designed to build civilized parking space, more than 67 000 paid parking spaces have been introduced since 2012, including 7 000 parking places for disabled people. Parking violations in Moscow fell by 65%. Paid parking has generated EUR 90 million in revenues over that period. These funds are used to improve the neighborhoods where fees are collected; residents decide how to allocate funds.
Development of public transport: Moscow’s city transport handles over 15 million passenger journeys per day. Since 2010, 34 kilometres of subway track were added, 18 new metro stations built and about 1 500 new subway cars purchased. Over the same period, the capital city’s fleet has been updated significantly. More than 5 000 new buses, 538 trolleybuses and 150 trams were added to service the routes. The route network has been optimised. Over 100 new routes have been created for surface transport, 230 kilometres of bus lanes built, over 5 000 stops renovated and 552 electronic information boards installed. 98% of the transit fleet servicing the routes is wheelchair-accessible.
Innovative ticketing: More than 50% of trips in Moscow use electronic travel cards called “Troika”, introduced in 2013. This has reduced queues at ticket windows by one third, drastically cut the number of ticket purchases from surface transport drivers, and saved c. EUR 15 million on the production of paper tickets. To stimulate the use of long-term passes, prices have been lowered for unlimited ride passes. An intermodal 90-minute ticket makes transfers easier, cheaper and more popular.
Governance reform in public transport: Contracts for above-ground transport are now awarded through open competitive tenders. Bidders must guarantee standards set by the Moscow city government, including comfortable buses, payment via city transit passes, unified schedules, and provide free transit for eligible passengers. Contracts for 211 city routes have been awarded to commercial operators, with operations scheduled to start in mid-2016.
Development of cycling: In 2015, 880 000 bike trips were made using the city’s shared bicycles, an eightfold increase over the previous year. 2 600 bicycles are available to city dwellers at 300 automatic bike stations. From 2011 to 2015, the total length of bike paths increased nearly hundredfold, from 2.3 kilometers to 216 kilometers. Legislation was changed to allow cyclists to use bus lanes and to take bicycles on surface transport for free. In 2016, by way of experiment, a sharing system of electric bicycles will be launched.
Car sharing and taxi reform: Moscow’s first short-term car sharing system started operations in 2015. Today, it has a pool of 550 cars and more than 70 000 registered users who have taken over 220 000 trips since its inception. Taxis account for 260 000 daily rides in Moscow. Problems with unregulated cab services, including the use of potentially unsafe cabs, have been addressed through the issue of more than 60 000 official permits to cab drivers.
Environmental requirements for cargo vehicles: To improve the environmental situation and to reduce polluting emissions into the air, restrictions were imposed on truck transits through the city in 2013. Only trucks conforming to the emission standard Euro-3 or higher are allowed to enter Moscow’s downtown. More than 900 road cameras monitor truck traffic on a daily basis. These controls and other regulatory measures had helped reduce the air pollution level by 11% by 2015.
“For many years, Muscovites believed that traffic jams were simply the price to pay for living in a big city. This has changed”, said Sergey Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow. “Our achievements in fighting the traffic gridlock have been made possible by the efforts of an effective team of professionals who believe in the power to make substantive changes. This important international award encourages us to continue this work.”
Young Researcher of the Year Award 2016
Dr. Monir Moniruzzaman, a Bangladesh-born post-doctoral research associate at the University of Toronto, Canada, has been named “Young Researcher of the Year” 2016 by the International Transport Forum.
More walkable neighbourhoods are increasingly important, not least because of the growing number of seniors in many cities. Easily accessible local services allow older citizens in particular to fully participate in their community. Understanding what encourages walking is thus important for decision makers in cities.
Dr. Moniruzzaman’s winning paper identifies microscopic factors in our built environment that encourage seniors to walk. The study also points a way to making walkability audits easier and cheaper, providing policy makers, transport planners or city designers with a useful tool that can improve decision-making.
For his study, Dr. Moniruzzaman estimated the likely walking behaviour of seniors on the Island of Montreal (Quebec, Canada), based on a choice model. In a second step, he carried out a walkability audit for those street segments where travel-diary data showed seniors either walking more or walking less than predicted by the model. These audits checked whether the microscopic factors thought to influence walking behaviour were typically present or absent at these locations.
The results showed that walking is more prevalent on streets that have marked crosswalks, horizontal and vertical mixture in uses and low traffic volumes – and less prevalent on streets dominated by single residential homes or vacant land and with a lot of traffic. “This means a more walkable neighbourhood should be associated with highly connected and marked sidewalks, have mixture in land uses and a fewer traffic,” explains Dr. Moniruzzaman. “These neighbourhoods should also have four or more way intersections, as opposed to cul-de-sac or three-way intersections, pedestrian-oriented lighting and coffee shops as meeting places.”
José Viegas, Secretary-General of the ITF and member of the jury, praised the study: “This innovative work shows scientifically that some street environments are more attractive for elderly people, and thus facilitate their social inclusion. It is highly commendable for both the rigour of the analysis and the value of the results obtained.”
“Winning this award is a great encouragement for my work on creating a healthy neighbourhood where people will be more conducive to walking and less likely to drive,” said Dr. Moniruzzaman.
The Award carries a prize of EUR 5 000. It will be presented on 19 May during the 2016 Summit of transport ministers in Leipzig/Germany, in the presence of ministers from the 57 member countries of the ITF.
The Promising Transport Innovation Award recognises an innovation that has the potential to significantly improve the quality, performance, user experience, accessibility, sustainability or intermodality of the transport offer for the movement of people and/or goods across one or more of the transport modes or through the reduction or elimination of travel. This award is open to any organisation, business or individual from ITF member and observer countries.
KPIT Technologies, an India-based global technology firm is the 2016 winner of the “Promising Innovation in Transport Award” for developing a system that can convert new as well as existing diesel buses into full electric buses. KPIT’s smart electric bus technology is modular and thus highly versatile; making is possible to retrofit different vehicle types from mini buses to large 12-metre public transport buses.
India currently has more than 1.2 million buses in operation, with 50 000 being added every year. Most use diesel engines that contribute significantly to air pollution in Indian cities. Each diesel bus emits 48 tonnes of CO2 per year on average. Replacing 5 000 diesel buses in Indian cities with electric buses would reduce diesel consumption by 95 million litres and save 238 000 tonnes of CO2. These electric buses can also help encourage adoption of public transport, as the ride is smoother and more comfortable as compared to a diesel bus.
The first electric bus retrofitted by KPIT was unveiled by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2015. Two such retrofitted buses are currently operated by the Indian Ministry for Road Transport and Highways.
“Air pollution and traffic congestion are major issues for Indian cities today”, said José Viegas, Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum and chairman of the jury. “This technology could reduce pollution in India and beyond. It also has the potential to lower congestion by making public transport more attractive. Not least, it can cut carbon emissions and contribute to the global effort to limit climate change.”
Kishor Patil, Managing Director and CEO of KPIT said: “It is an honour to receive this recognition from a world renowned institution like the International Transport Forum. It encourages us to continue our efforts to create technologies that are environmentally friendly and cost effective. Our smart electric bus technology will enable green, intelligent and affordable public transportation.”