The Transport Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting is the world’s largest conference on transportation.k/k It gathers more than 13.000 participants from all over the world in Washington, D.C. . The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the European Commission, Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) organised a joint session “Sharing innovative, tested practices in sustainable urban mobility in EU and US cities”. Participants from EU and US cities, regions, public transport providers, public sector organisations, research organisations and companies exchanged insights of their projects and policies. Robert Missen, Head of Unit in DG MOVE and Martin Knopp, Associate Administrator for FHWA Office of Operations opened the exchange session.
The EU Horizon2020 projects EMPOWER, FLOW, TRACE, CoEXIST and ELIPTIC were invited to share their experiences. Michael Glotz-Richter, working at the City of Bremen and representing the ELIPTIC project coordination, emphasised the approach of sustainable urban transport – going beyond electric cars. As a political output of ELIPTIC, Michael presented the ‘factor 100’ initiative, showing that the electrification of one urban bus has impacts that can be achieved with as many as 100 electric cars, but not receiving similar attention and funding. He presented the use of the ELIPTIC insights for the German political ‘factor 100’ initiative. This initiative put pressure on the national government to start a €100 million annual funding programme for electric buses which will allow the procurement of about 400 – 500 e-buses per year in German cities from 2018 onwards.
From the US, the cities of San Francisco, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C. presented their approaches. It became very obvious that despite some different starting points, the objectives and strategies of American and European cities have many similarities – making a transatlantic exchange very fruitful and inspiring.