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Can mobility hubs change direction to sustainable journeys?

This WORKTECH Academy Briefing  looks at a new report from Arup and the Go Ahead Group which sets out a blueprint for better connections between sustainable modes of transport

As commuters around the world start to head back to the office this autumn, the issue of making journeys more sustainable is also returning to the agenda of business and government leaders.

Global engineering and consulting firm Arup has teamed up with one of the UK’s largest public transport operators, the Go-Ahead Group, to create a new strategy on integrating public transport with walking, cycling, micro mobility and digital services. The aim is to enable quick and easy connections between sustainable modes of transport.

The ‘Future Mobility Hubs’ report presents a flexible framework for a network of interchanges that can be adapted to suit different cities, suburbs and rural areas. Passengers waiting for a bus, for example, could benefit from solar-powered lighting and heating, cycle storage and hire, charging points, community gardens, art spaces and even coworking spaces.

‘Mobility hubs could unlock opportunities for low-carbon journeys as an alternative to cars…’

Mobility hubs could unlock opportunities for low-carbon journeys by better integrating different forms of transport, creating an attractive alternative to cars. Services tailored to each location would enhance existing infrastructure, such as bus stops, railways stations and park-and-ride facilities, with options ranging from cycle storage, e-bikes and EV (Electric Vehicle) charging to improved lighting, amenities and public realm.

The Arup-Go Ahead framework has been published against the background of UK Government efforts to improve bus services under the banner of ‘Bus Back Better’ – a national bus service strategy. Several of Go-Ahead Group’s operating companies have identified potential locations for mobility hubs in submissions to local authorities in the UK.

Go Ahead points out that while the on-board environment on buses has improved markedly with modern vehicles and better accessibility, more needs to be done to create a more comfortable environment to wait for a bus, or to change between modes of transport. The UK has set an ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2050, meaning that millions of people will need to switch from cars to public transport.

Richard de Cani, Arup’s global planning lead, comments on the new strategy: ‘This vision for mobility hubs sets out a high-quality framework to spark fundamental change – providing us with a sustainable alternative to shift our behaviour. Currently, transport options in our towns and cities can be fragmented. Mobility hubs could combine services to provide more integrated and convenient journey choices, while reducing the carbon impact and helping us achieve our net-zero ambitions.’

Read the full report, Future Mobility Solutions: Supporting the transition to sustainable journeys, here.

Arriving next: Chicago conference

Sustainable transport and commuting will be one of the key subjects on the agenda of WORKTECH Chicago, a free-to-attend virtual conference, which takes place on 12-13 October 2021.

Samuel Kling Fellow and Director, Global Cities Research, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, will be speaking on the role of the city in the new world of work, examining the current challenges and opportunities for global cities and addressing key considerations for future urban environments such as shifting demands, accessibility, sustainability, transportation, suburban networks and more.

Preview the WORKTECH Chicago agenda here. Register your place here.

In our WORKTECH Wednesday Briefings, we reach out to our 10,000-plus Academy members, WORKTECH attendees, speakers, partners and sponsors while WORKTECH’s professional conference series continues through our virtual platforms. This edition is posted 6 Octiber 2021.
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