By Pekka Möttö, Kyyti Group CEO
Greta Thunberg encapsulated one of the modern world’s most complex issues into three words: How dare you!
There is nothing unclear nor apologetic. It is the young generation’s message for us in power today. How dare we refuse to take action? How dare we not listen? How dare we underrate them? This is not a question, this is a challenge.
Our field of responsibility is transportation and it is now under our watch. Some countries have done a better job than others, but all in all we have a lot of work ahead of us. Did you know that in the EU, transportation is the only industrial sector which increased it’s CO2 emissions between 1990 and 2016? Now you do, if you believe the European Environment Agency’s statistics. Traditional manufacturing has dropped its emissions to half and even the energy sector by 20%. We increased ours by 25%. How dare we!
Car manufacturers are doing a great job reducing the emissions, I give credit to them for that. What are we doing in public transit sector? We should impact the root cause of the challenge – the need to use your own car. This is imperative not only for environmental sustainability, but also for livability. Are we doing our utmost?
The concept of MaaS, Mobility as a Service, is widely recognised as a solution to upgrade public transit by utilising modern technologies. A lot of good development is happening, and I am confident that at some point in the future the word will become flesh. Is that point close enough considering the urgent nature of the challenge? Well…
An everyday reality in public transit is the magnitude of responsibility and complexity of the system. Add to this the conflicting commercial interests of stakeholders and you get an equation which is not easy to solve. I am not aware of any public transit decision maker who would not see the potential benefits of MaaS, but I am aware of many who have seen the writing on the wall, but hesitate to take action.
The need for change is inescapable, but the status quo provides safety. Many decision makers are put into an unfair position. They are like unwilling members of the Flat Earth Society. They are aware of developments and trends around them and secretly willing to take action, but at the same time bounded by reality. If you are such a person, think of Greta’s words. With love and compassion: How dare you!
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