Commuters offered a glimpse into the future of Northern Ireland public transport

Commuters offered a glimpse into the future of Northern Ireland public transport
02
June, 2015
Commuters and transport providers can glimpse the future of ‘clean and green’ travel when a major European initiative rolls into Newry next month (11th June).
 
Organised by South West College, the event is the second stage the whistle-stop REPUTE (Renewable Public Transport Enterprise) tour that will kick off in Glasgow and continue on to destinations in France, Spain and Portugal.
 
Co-funded by INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme, the unique ‘conference on the move’ is part of an 18-month international project aimed at developing new ideas to improve public transport by lowering carbon emissions and costs.
 
REPUTE brings together some of the world’s best innovation and sustainability specialists including Jerry Sanders, CEO of skyTran – a NASA Space Act company – who will use the Newry event to share an update on a futuristic elevated transport system being developed in Tel Aviv with cutting-edge magnetic levitation technology.
 
The event will also offer an Indian perspective on strategies for developing greener public transport systems, insight on the latest hybrid buses and an overview of the Belfast Rapid Transit and Belfast on the Move programmes. Attendees will also hear about the innovative pilot projects which are being tested in Scotland and Portugal as part of the project.
 
Shirley Patterson, REPUTE Project Officer at South West College said:
“The transport sector is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Europe and that is on course to continue to rise at about 6% per year.  Sustainable public transport has significant implications for emission reduction but, as this project has shown there are also considerable gains to be made in terms of affordability and accessibility.
 
“The tour comes at an important time as policy makers consider how to best maximise limited budgets yet ensure public transport is delivered effectively, particularly outside of urban centres. Our research offers a single point of reference for the range of challenges in rural areas and weighs up the approaches and technologies that can make the greatest impact. The tour is about showing how ‘clean and green’ can also be efficient and affordable.”
 
Terry Waugh, Deputy Director, Action Renewables said:
“Although great work is already being carried out across Northern Ireland, we recognise that much remains to be done to enhance our reputation as a region that pioneers sustainable excellence.  We are punching above our weight when it comes to high quality innovation, but transport is an area where we can and must improve our performance.
 
“REPUTE brings forward a breadth of new options that have been successfully tried elsewhere and identifies solutions that can be tailored to make the biggest difference here. This is an ambitious project that brings together some of the world-leading specialists, advanced technologies and exciting ideas that will impact directly on our lives in forthcoming years.”
 
The REPUTE Tour takes place in Canal Court Hotel, Newry on Thursday 11th June and will include presentations from Terry Waugh, Action Renewables; Jerry Sanders, Skytran;  Rajnish Ahuja, Clean Air Asia  Asia; Prof. Denise Morrey, Oxford Brookes University; Robert Brayshaw, Wrightbus; and Ciaran De Burca, Dept of Regional Development.  
 
Attendance is free, but places are limited and delegates are asked to register in advance at: https://repute-newry.eventbrite.com