In this document, we have asked ourselves «what is needed to enable public transport, along with cycling and walking, to meet the growth in demand for personal transport in the region?» This is a timely question, as it is a political goal agreed upon at national level and regional and local level in Oslo and Akershus. All transport and planning actors share this goal, business organisations applaud it and the public probably thinks, «as long as I get to where I am going quickly and efficiently, I support it». And therein lies the key. We must be able to put conditions in place so that the residents of the future choose green mobility solutions because it gives them the best travel service.
But what is required, really? We have had a development in the last eight years where public transport has mostly met the growth in demand for motorised personal transport. Car traffic has levelled off, while the share of the population that cycle and walk has remained almost constant. We know that it will be difficult to continue the extraordinary growth that public transport has experienced. We know that significant investments must be made to ensure the necessary capacity in the transport systems. And we know too that it is necessary for more people to walk and cycle – both because it is sensible in and of itself, but also because it provides relief for public transport in the areas under most pressure. The green mobility service must be even more integrated, so that travellers experience it as a comprehensive service.
We know less about the role the car will play in the future, but have reason to believe that it should be seen more as a supplement rather than a competitor to public transport. In the future, fewer people will own a car, and ride sharing and car-sharing solutions will be more common. We also know that it is absolutely necessary to have a land use development that supports public transport, with a development of dense and vibrant cities and hubs. And just as important, we know that other measures must be implemented to weaken the competitiveness of the car where the car should not have an advantage. The private car cannot have a central place in the dense city. We must have a parking policy that reflects this and measures that regulate traffic towards Oslo and the cities in the region.
Ruter believes the growth target can be reached, and we have outlined our solutions for service development and our vision for the future. However, many public and private actors must collaborate if we are to succeed, and we must not least increase our ability to deliver. The most important projects must be realised quickly and efficiently. We will then have many satisfied travellers in the future as well, and a functional, sustainable and attractive capital region.