Busworld and Busworld Foundation are looking back at a very successful Busworld Academy last week. Busworld Academy Director Jan Deman: “ We had high-level seminars with high-quality speakers and a high attendance, what more could we wish for?”
The first day of Busworld is traditionally a very busy day, and it wasn’t different for the Busworld Academy. Busworld's knowledge platform kicked off with 2 very interesting seminars.
Together with NGVA Europe, Busworld Academy organized a seminar about Gmobility. In this seminar we discussed the current European situation of CNG and LNG fueling infrastructure and how fast renewable gas is reaching our vehicles, as well as the future of Gmobility, investigating the enabling regulations needed as well as how best to remove existing market barriers.
From this seminar we can conclude that Gmobility with supporting gas fueling infrastructure is ready to deliver an affordable and concrete way to move people and to transport freight sustainably. And that it can be a catalyst for the EU’s 2050 decarbonization goal.
Another interesting topic touched on this first day of Busworld was ‘Automation’. The objective of this seminar in collaboration with the Belgian Institute for Road Safety VIAS was to explain and discuss the regulation and juridical aspects that are involved in the automation of buses and coaches. Conclusions referred to technology being ahead -but not 100% ready yet- of the legal framework to introduce autonomous buses in public traffic. However each Belgian PTA is involved in several tests. The implementation of autonomous shuttles and buses on private areas, such as hospitals or university campuses however is taking place as we speak.
On Saturday Busworld Academy, in collaboration with the American Bus Association, organized an informative session on the import regulations in North America and the wrongly feared ‘Buy America’ regulation.
With 900 affiliated companies (approximately 2000 vehicles), ABA represents about 60% of the coach companies. They organize a yearly travel fair, but not a vehicle fair like Busworld. That’s why ABA and Busworld are the ideal partners to organize a bus and coach show in North America as well.
With only a handful of America based OEM’s, there is still a lot of room for newcomers in the US, especially when it comes to suppliers.
A detailed explanation of the ‘Buy America’ regulations quickly made clear that interested parties should not fear importation into the US. The import restrictions only apply to city and transit buses that are financed (partially or entirely) with federal public money, while regional or urban concessions are not affected. Furthermore, school buses and coaches are not subject to this restriction. Neither is software. Exemptions can also be made for parts or systems that are not available in the US, or that are lacking in quality and for orders below US$ 150,000.
Monday was a very successful day for the exhibition with about 10.000 visitors, and this also became very clear in the Busworld Academy seminar on Mobility as a Service in collaboration with ITS.be, ICB and HOGENT.
We discussed the way buses and coaches fit into the multimodal mobility chain, and the role they can play in the on-demand public transport in Flanders and what opportunities lie in the data generated by MaaS-platforms. Conclusion is clear : the integration of bus- and coach services in the MaaS-concept is absolutely necessary for the survival of the companies involved
And last but not least, Busworld Academy and UITP worked together on the ‘International Bus Conference’ that took place on the final 3 days of Busworld Europe.
Aficionados and experts of everything bus could indulge themselves in sessions with leading international experts, see the newest market trends and developments, and discover the latest on bus projects.
Before the conference officially kicked off on Tuesday, visitors could start their conference right via various activities that highlighted research and innovation in the bus sector.
Certainly one of the biggest highlights on the research font was the kick-off meeting of the new Clean Bus Europe Platform (CBEP), within the frame of the European Commission’s Clean Bus Deployment Initiative. This new platform will provide the knowledge and technical support for more than 50 cities across Europe to boost the uptake of clean bus technologies.
And there was a lot more to explore! In the Immersion Experience, enthusiasts were welcomed at the UITP booth to listen to interesting talks about some of UITP’s most innovative bus projects and were welcomed afterwards on guided tours through the Busworld Europe exhibition for practical demonstrations from the biggest industry players.
On Tuesday afternoon the official opening of the International Bus Conference took place. It was a not to be missed event with speeches from Mohamed Mezghani (Secretary General UITP), Redgy Deschacht (President Busworld) and Elke Van Den Brandt (Minister of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Mobility, Public Works and Road Safety). To top off this interesting opening session there were 2 interesting panel discussions, one on Clean Bus and Energy Transformation and one on Innovation and Bus, with business leaders and bus operators. We ended the day with a wonderful networking reception.
The next and final day was filled with numerous parallel sessions amongst others about: electric and new energy buses, hydrogen buses, bus operations, innovations, maintenance, tendering, etc
We can conclude that the collaboration with UITP was, yet again, very successful and fruitful for both parties.
All Busworld Academy presentations are available on https://www.busworldacademy.org/presentations (UITP presentations are only available to registered attendees on the UITP My Library platform)
All pictures are available here.