Thessaloniki residents don’t hesitate to dream big and have developed a sense of humour when it comes to their city’s public transport, based on their responses to a crowdsourcing platform (http://thess.ciptec.eu) asking them share their ideas for improving their daily commute. The platform forms part of a campaign called “Bus and Thess…share your idea for more innovative public transport in Thessaloniki” and has so far attracted 540 users who have submitted 131 ideas, Thessaloniki University Polytechnic School Prof. Aristotelis Naniopoulos told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Thursday.
These range from the purely fantastical to the downright practical while some smack of science fiction, such as the idea of replacing terrestrial transport with “flying ships” that pick up their passengers from elevated stations. More down to earth suggestions include night-time transport services, ticket machines that give change or express buses to carry commuters from the city centre to areas outside the city. Others are more whimsical, such as buses with free WiFi that play jazz and classical music, boat taxis in the bay or an app that lets passengers inform a bus driver they are running to catch a bus so that he or she might wait for them.
The initiative is finanaced by the EU research project Collective Innovation for Public Transport in European Cities (CIPTEC) and aims to improve city transport systems, making public transport more attractive and thus indirectly reducing traffic congestion and improving the urban environment for all, using ideas that come from all.
Naniopoulos, who coordinates the CIPTEC project, said that the site had 3,500 visitors and that 924 registered users had rated one or more of the ideas listed within. “Participation is quite satisfactory, as was determined at a meeting of the partners in the programme in Brussels,” he noted. CIPTEC currently involves the collaboration of 12 entites in seven European countries.
“There are some truly interesting ideas. We prefer those that have a relatively low cost and are relatively simple to implement,” he said, urging the public to continue submitting proposals until the end of March, when the campaign ends. All the ideas will then be assessed and the best will win prizes accompanied by gifts, such as a tablet, free travel cards and others.