Innovating for a pandemic resilient public transport system

What would a pandemic resilient public transport system look like for the UK, and what steps can the public transport ecosystem take to get there by 2030?

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the United Kingdom’s (UK) public transport system. As the industry starts to consider its priorities for transport post-COVID-19, learnings made during the present pandemic must be embedded into longer-term plans.

In January 2022, market leaders and experts came together to envisage what pandemic resilience looks like for the UK’s future public transport system. Using that vision as a guiding light, ecosystem stakeholders then identified what innovations can help the industry reach the vision and how industry and government can work together to make the innovation process easier.

The future vision presented in this report constitutes one small step towards a more joined-up and integrated approach to pandemic resilience for the UK’s public transport system. The vision of a 2030 pandemic resilient UK public transport system was co-created with 39 market leaders and experts, while another 31 innovators and experts helped us identify innovation and intervention areas.

In this report, we have summarised the outputs of that work, including:

• The six fundamental elements of the future vision

• How the current transport system fares in terms of pandemic resilience

• Key barriers hindering progress

• ‘Softer’ interventions to tackle the obstacles that are standing in the way of greater pandemic resilience

• Areas where innovation may help bring us closer to the vision

We recommend that the learnings made during the Innovating for a Pandemic Resilient Public Transport project feed into the design and development of a testbed where public transport innovators can test and trial promising new solutions. More broadly, we hope this work will contribute to ongoing discussions about how the UK’s public transport system can develop greater resilience to future pandemics.

Innovating for a pandemic resilient public transport system
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