Ticket to Kyoto (T2K): Five public transport companies, one goal

Five major European public transport companies have united to reduce CO2 emissions through more environmentally friendly behaviour and changes in infrastructure. They want to set low CO2 emissions as the new standard for public transport providers.

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T2K is aiming to make public transport more sustainable thanks to innovative, energy efficient solutions. T2K is aiming to make public transport more sustainable thanks to innovative, energy efficient solutions.

Transport is the second biggest source of CO2 emissions in the European Union, accounting for 24 % of all emissions. Road transport is the main culprit, accounting for 70 % of all the transport emissions.

MoBiel (Bielefeld), RATP (Paris), RET (Rotterdam), STIB (Brussels) and TFGM (Manchester) have joined forces in a transnational initiative called 'Ticket to Kyoto' or T2K. Together, they are exchanging, innovating, and experimenting with practical solutions for reducing CO2 emissions from public transport. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the European objectives of the Kyoto Protocol in 2020.

Energy saving measures

Specifically, the five partners have already developed energy saving measures called ‘quick wins’ – that are easy to achieve in the short term without large investments. They have also been busy investing in infrastructure like energy recovery from tram and metro braking.

Together, the five companies have also been developing a long term strategy for CO2 and energy reduction by 2020. For longer term sustainability, they have been identifying effective solutions to improve policies and regulations. Finally, the consortium has been mobilising both the public and industry to take action through public campaigns.

Since 2010, more than 30 Ticket to Kyoto projects have been launched. Activities include ‘Energy Week’ awareness raising campaigns targeted at transport company employees, contests to reduce energy consumption in transport office buildings and eco-driving courses for bus, metro and tram drivers. Efforts have also been made to reduce unnecessary transport system lighting as well as installing energy efficient lighting solutions and control systems.

The long-term impact of T2K will be the reduction of CO2 emissions from public transport. Continued investments in new technologies and renewable energies will help the partners reach this goal. For example, it is predicted that STIB’s new cogeneration system will save up to 165 tons of CO2 each year.

In addition, the partners’ carbon balance and common CO2 indicators will help them build their own carbon strategy which will be integrated into each company’s management plan.

The coordination of five major public transport operators is unprecedented and has reduced the costs of planning by enlarging the number of possible suppliers, organising eventual joint tenders and identifying the conditions for optimal implementation.

Long term action

Up until now, many actions concerning CO2 reduction involved isolated and fragmented measures. T2K adopts a new strategy for CO2 emissions reduction, which encompasses any area of the company and results in a targeted plan for longer term action. This approach is directly replicable to other industries.

T2K not only tests pilots for energy saving measures, but insists on their mainstreaming into the normal activities of the companies involved. For example, RATP will replicate STIB’s cogeneration system on its network and STIB will extend its energy recovery from braking investment and apply it to its entire network.

The approach taken by the T2K partners demonstrates that it is commercially attractive to contribute to reducing the climate impact of urban transport, and the scheme serves as an effective showcase to other public transport operators.

Ticket to Kyoto contributes to making public transport more sustainable thanks to innovative, energy efficient solutions for infrastructure and long-term CO2 reduction strategies. Joining forces and experiences enable the partners to move faster and better.”

  • Patricia Remacle, CSR and Ticket to Kyoto Coordinator, STIB

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Ticket to Kyoto (T2K)” is EUR 12 012 291 with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 6 006 146 through the “INTERREG IV-B North West Europe” Operational Programme for European Territorial Cooperation for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date

03/02/2014