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Free Public Transport-Could It Work in Dublin?

With 114 free public transport systems in operation globally, most in European cities, how viable would it be to examine for Dublin? The first fare-free public transport system was set up in a suburb of Los Angeles in 1962. In Italy, Bologna experimented with free transport in the 1970s, when it was ruled by the Communist party.

By 2000, there were 27 free public systems in the world. That increased to 60 in 2010, 99 in 2017 and 114 today, the majority in Europe, says Wojciech Keblowski, an expert on free public transport at the Free University Brussels.

So does this mean free public transport is the wave of the future? The answer depends on the size and sociology of the city, and the existing network. Free transport has been a resounding success in, among others, Tallinn, Estonia, and Dunkirk, northern France. James Wickham, a retired professor in sociology at Trinity College Dublin and author of Gridlock: Dublin’s Transport Crisis and the Future of the City, says the question is largely irrelevant to the Irish capital. “The big issue in Dublin is not to get people on to existing public transport, but to create a lot more public transport,” he said.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo raised the possibility of a full free-fare public system last March, when she was under fire for bungling changes to the city’s Vélib bicycle system. Hidalgo’s deputies spent nine months drawing up a report that concluded free transport would not work for the French capital.

Paris could not accommodate a projected increase in public transport use, from 36 per cent to 48 per cent of all journeys, if the already saturated system was offered free of charge, the report said. Car traffic would have decreased only marginally, simulations showed.

Public transport in Paris and the surrounding Ile-de-France region costs €10.1 billion annually. An exceptionally high percentage, 27.1 per cent, is financed by fares. In Dunkirk, which went fare free last September, only 10 per cent of costs were paid by users.
Hidalgo has adopted 23 public transport measures that will cost the city €5 million annually.

The most publicised will provide free transport for children under the age of 11. Contrary to what one might think, the main benefits of free public transport are sociological, not environmental.

Helping the underprivileged is the most powerful argument in its favour. “Use among vulnerable groups – the unemployed, the elderly and youths who do not have a middle-class income – increases dramatically when fares are abolished,” Keblowski says. “The city becomes much more available to them. They can look for jobs and take advantage of cultural activities and institutions. That argument is especially present in the French context.”

In Aubagne, a suburb of Marseille where Keblowski conducted his research, “there is a clear danger of ghettoisation, of locking people in neighbourhoods from which it is difficult to escape. In such cities, free public transport is a social policy that redistributes access to the city . . . The challenge is to be socially sensitive to the effect of policies, so we don’t end up with cities that are green and environmentally friendly, but essentially middle-class enclaves surrounded by the working class living in car-oriented suburbs.”

With the Irish capital continuing to sprawl in size and scale, there would be plenty of evidence suggesting similar sociological benefits that free public transport could bring, but with the rising prevalence of private transport operators, those operating public routes would resist any such moves fiercely as profit margins continue to dwindle on many routes. However, the succes

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Cork Port & Developing Ireland’s Most Advanced Container Terminal

Writing recently for the industry leading news site, The Maritime Executive , Brendan Keating, CEO of the Port of Cork wrote about challenges and opportunities of developing Ireland’s most advanced container terminal.

“Since the global financial crisis trade growth has been cautious, and he last thing that container lines need to add to that list is concern about the competence of the port they’re visiting. Dwell times, unproductive terminals and waiting around for trucks before handling are all issues that we have the technology and the know-how to resolve.

Unfortunately, they’re still an accepted cost of doing business at too many terminals,” Mr Keating wrote. He added that the lack of visibility in relation to costs and delays comes at a substantial expense.

“The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated in 2018 that each second of time lost costs shipping lines €1 ($1.15), and multiplied globally, that quickly
becomes millions of wasted Euros each day. Not only carriers are affected though.

Inefficient supply chains incur unnecessary costs for everyone and serve as a major brake on economic growth.” He wrote that delivering major port project requires a wide-ranging consideration of supply and demand, local and regional competition and hinterland transport infrastructure.

“During the  planning phase for the Port of Cork Container Terminal we undertook years of research. It led to many insights. The most successful ports were the ones that understood the way that market dynamics have evolved and how customer needs had changed, and invested in the people, technology, and facilities required,” he added.

The Cork Container Terminal will be a state-of-the-art transhipment hub that’s capitalizing on eight successive years of throughput growth in Irish ports, and a GDP growth rate that the E.U. estimated was more than 5.5 percent in 2018. The Port of Cork’s €80 million ($92 million) investment will see the construction of a 360-meter quay with 13-meter depth alongside and will have a capacity of 330,000 TEUs per year.

By providing the fastest and most seamless port logistics in Ireland, it will not only be an international gateway for trade, but also a key element in boosting local and regional economic growth when it becomes operational in 2020.

“When ports prosper, they add to the wealth of nations. They’re the crucial interface between land and sea, and by marrying the natural advantages of our deep-water port with the latest technologies, the Cork Container Terminal will future-proof Ireland’s international connectivity and its commercial success,” Mr Keating concluded.

You can read the original article here .

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New University To Conduct Transport Based Brexit Research Project

Technical University Dublin (TU Dublin), Ireland’s first technological university, has compiled a multi-disciplinary applied research team to begin working on a project to assess potential post-Brexit implications for the logistics and transportation sector.

The work of the project research team, recently announced in marine journal Afloat , will also access the impact on movements of goods between Ireland, the other EU Member States, or the United Kingdom.

The project has received funding from the European Union and the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) and is implemented in co-operation with the European Commission’s Structural Reforms Support Service (SRSS). Using scenario-mapping, the project aims to assist in the development of contingency plans to address the changing environment.

Representatives of the Department and the Commission visited TU Dublin and met with Professor David Fitzpatrick, President and with the project team. Thanking them for their support in securing the funding, Declan Allen, Assistant Head, School of Management, said “This is a very exciting and timely project. My colleagues and I look forward to collaborating with key industry stakeholders. Using a range of data analytics and simulations to explore various scenarios, we aim to build an understanding of both the threats and the opportunities that may face the sector.”

The project team is drawn from the 3S Group (Smart Sustainable Solution for Complex Systems), based in the College of Business, TU Dublin. This unit has considerable experience in applying simulation models and technologies in wide-ranging contexts. Dr Amr Mahfouz, the Project Manager and the leader of Supply Chain Management Team in 3S Group, will lead the scientific team.

Photo caption: Aidan Flynn General Manager FTA Ireland; Declan Assist Head, School of Management; Dr Katrina Lawlor Dean, College of Business; Professor David Fitzpatrick, President TU Dublin; Edward Tersmette, policy officer, European Commission, Secretariat General, Structural Reforms Support Service (SRSS); Martin Diskin, Road Transport and Freight Policy Division, DTTAS; Dr Deirdre McQuillan, Head of Research, College of Business; Dr Amr Mahfouz , Lecturer and Project Manager, School of Management; Paul O’Reilly Head, School of Management Photo: TU Dublin

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New CILT Skillnet Courses Spring 2019 Brochure

CILT Skillnet is delighted to announce the NEW Brochure for courses has been launched.

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