Public transport systems should aim to provide continuous connectivity, according to a new study from communications infrastructure specialist BAI Communications.
Digitally connected public transport creates city-wide networks that enable greater efficiency, safer commuter experiences and broader smart city applications, the company argued.
In fact, in a survey of over 2,500 rail commuters in five global cities, 83% said that innovative transport systems are a feature of a smart city and almost half (45%) believe that a city can’t be considered world-class unless it has good digital connectivity.
“Every day tens of millions of people worldwide use public transport; this critical infrastructure is the backbone of cities and more than ever citizens are expecting digital innovations that improve their commute,” commented James Woodhams, chief strategy officer at BAI Communications. “Digital connectivity is changing our ideas of what makes a city ‘world-class’ and regardless of where they are in the world, people want to live in a city that allows them to work and live better, and technology is emerging as a key enabler to help citizens reach this aspiration.”
Respondents stated that with connected transport networks they could use their travel time to complete work, allowing them to spend less time in the office (56%). Almost half also said that better connectivity could offer the potential for career improvement (46%) and that they would be open to location and housing changes (45%).
“Imagine the commute experience of a citizen choosing to live in the outer suburbs but still working in the city,” Woodhams said. “On any given day, they can stream a video tutorial on the morning commute while downloading a presentation. Then, they can leave the office early to take a conference call on the train so they’re home for dinner, arriving relaxed and happy; this is all made possible with a connected public transport network.
“As we look to improve services and create modern, data-driven cities that enrich the lives of citizens, seamless digital connectivity is the foundation needed to achieve this goal.“