A New Look at Making Sustainable Transport Work for Everyone

There is a lot of talk about ‘what’ changes are needed to decarbonise transport, but far less attention is paid to ‘how’ the change is managed. Are we expecting too much of politicians? Who has the untapped capability to close the gap between transport policy and what happens in practice? In this new paper we argue that the business of transport must be better designed for implementing social and environmental policies.

Rather than viewing social and environmental value as external to transport business models, or as a cost to the economy, regulating transport differently using new performance metrics could create new value to grow the transport economy. The new business models can be developed incrementally alongside current transport business models allowing the transport economy to change as it grows away from its dependence on increased travel demand.

Sustainable approaches require complex trade-offs between economic, environmental and social factors that have proved to be too complex to resolve through national fiscal and regulatory mechanisms. A new approach is needed which frames transport markets differently so that the most complex issues are resolved at a simpler level than national policy. The new socially designed business models all require some form of regulation, ranging from additional environmental criteria in vehicle insurance requirements, to more widespread pricing of carbon emissions, allowing a better targeted approach to sustainable transport.

The new paper has been developed by transport system designer Derek Halden, market design expert Angus Macpherson, and logistics expert Professor Alan McKinnon.

Download the new paper and let us know what you think. The paper is designed to help move the conversation forward, and STSG will hold a seminar in the near future to discuss these issues. Please get in touch if you would like to be involved.

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