BRUSSELS – “The IRU Smart Move awards recognise the hard work, commitment and innovation that is taking place in bus and coach mobility all over the world,” said Yves Mannaerts, IRU President of Passenger Transport. “I congratulate all the winners and their efforts to improve service quality for passengers and boost tourism.”
The awards were presented at the opening ceremony of Busworld, Europe’s largest bus and coach fair, by IRU President, Janusz Lacny.
Best city: Dresden
For the second time, Dresden in Germany has won the IRU Smart Move City Trophy for its continuously updated dynamic and flexible coach parking and guidance system. The international jury recognised the involvement of the local community and tourism coach operators in improving facilities for tourists and drivers.
Dresden’s consistent political support over more than a decade has made it a leading destination for coach tourism and a role model for other cities in developing tourism.
Best transit: Metrobus, Istanbul
Istanbul’s Metrobus has won the IRU Smart Move Bus Excellence Award for its model bus rapid transit system. Connecting most of Istanbul’s major metro and tram lines, the 50km route is used by 800,000 people every day.
The outstanding political commitment of Istanbul’s City Authority to launch and implement this ambitious project was commended by the jury. Istanbul authorities and Metrobus operator IETT are now helping other cities around the world on similar projects.
Best innovation: Digital Matatus, Nairobi
A special award for research & innovation has gone to the Digital Matatus Project in Nairobi, Kenya. Creating and implementing an innovative open data collaborative system, the project has significantly improved service quality for users of the matatus minibus taxi system in the Kenyan capital.
“We have made Nairobi’s semi-formal transit system the first in the world to be searchable on Google Maps,” said Sarah Williams from Digital Matatus. “The project has inspired other cities around the world that rely on this type of mini bus system; we aim to support them by encouraging open data collection processes and further innovation. “
Best tourism: Italy
Italian web and mobile portal parkyourbus.com has won the IRU Smart Move Coach Tourism Innovation Award. Commended by the jury for its highly innovative concept, the portal is especially designed for drivers, tour managers, travel agencies and tour operators to better plan group tours.
“We are particularly pleased that this year’s winner is a web-based tool,” said Oleg Kamberski, Head of IRU’s work on Passenger Transport & Taxis. “These innovations are fundamental for small and medium sized firms, who make up the bulk of the coach tourism sector.”
Photo caption: Dresden.