Exploring transport has been like getting a job at the bank with a science degree. You can start to appreciate the way you’ve been trained to think.
I’ve been documenting my thoughts over the past few weeks and wanted to share what is hopefully an insightful glimpse into the world of transport.
I can’t wait to come back to this post in a few months and either laugh or think “wow, she got a few things right!”
Transport is much more than big infrastructure and moving people around.
There are core components that build a transport system we’re all familiar with. Things like buses, trains, ferries, light rail, metro, roads, active transport, digital products, ticketing systems and freight services.
All over the world people are expecting quicker and more convenient ways to get around. The pressure on businesses to move goods with increasing speed mounts. Governments are racing to keep up with the latest technology and innovation.
In isolation, the core components of the transport system are interesting.
Together, they are exciting.
Transport and banking have more in common than you may realise.
I thought transport and banking would be worlds apart. In some ways they are and I’ll write more about that later.
I think though that the similarities are more interesting.
Historically, banking was siloed. As a customer with multiple products, you could have interactions with your bank that were completely different for each product. The systems and people didn’t speak to each other.
These days, the banks work extremely hard to treat you as the singular customer that you are. Of course, there are still exceptions but that’s to be expected if you’ve ever seen a core banking system!
The thing I always enjoyed about banking was constantly being challenged to think about the customer experience beyond my product.
For example, some of my customers were travelers. Opening an airline credit card was a very small part of their journey. They were navigating a much larger problem: planning, booking and taking their trip. The credit card with its rewards program and on board discounts were a bonus. We had to find ways to promote the credit card within that journey that were relevant and timely to the customer.
Transport customers are the same.
They are trying to plan, book and make trips within their unique world. Transport isn’t about getting from A to B. It’s about helping connect everything for customers so they can make end to end journeys with ease.
The content might be different but the product thinking remains the same. The customer is at the heart.
Transport is at the cutting edge of technology and innovation.
This is an industry that is ripe for innovation. We’ve already seen the success of rideshare and those annoying bikes that get dumped everywhere…
In response governments need to think about how they exist with these services.
Transport also involves payments. Customers are demanding different ways to pay for their journeys. ‘Ways to pay’ has been a recurring topic on this blog and it’s here to stay.
There are some big questions begging to be answered.
The most energising part about transport is working through big problems to improve the lives of Australians.
In what ways can we make transport inclusive for as many people as possible?
Can transport exist in harmony with the environment?
How do we make Sydney a better place to live and connect the city to regional areas?
Finally, when can we bring back the monorail? (The monorail was iconic. Change my mind.)
Amy, I have good memories of the Monorail. It was so easy to catch. No timetables, with I think Six trains circulating on a 3 to 4 kilometre track. The whole route took about 12 mins ad it was not interupted by other traffic.
I seem to remember the main criticism was it did not link up with other transport. This was true. I also believe as it crossed east west from Darling Harbour it did not cover North South from say Broadway to Circular Quay. This route then and now took forever on a bus or car.
The Monorail was a great way of circumventing traffic choke points. A great attraction. But clearly you get one shot at setting up the routes they need to be where the customer demands them.
The light rail to the Eastern Suburbs can only dream of the efficiencies of a Monorail. You wouldn’t have for n runners beating it to the city!
Greg, I have good memories of the monorail too. It was certainly a great tourist attraction for Sydney siders and foreigners alike! I also have great memories of the Gold Coast one 🤣
All fair points, I think you’re right, the strategy has moved well beyond monorail as a viable mode. I still like the idea of it. It’s the nostalgia.
Although my monorail comment was a joke, I think all of the other questions are legitimate problems waiting to be solved. This is of course from my own perspective and not representative of the government.
Haha! I need to give the light rail a spin when the city opens back up.