Innovation flow

Why should you be innovative?

Cities suffer most from congestion, poor air quality and noise exposure. In the urban context, a mixed strategy involving land use planning, pricing schemes, efficient Public Transport services and infrastructure for non-motorised modes and charging/refuelling of clean vehicles is needed to reduce congestion and emissions. An efficient framework for both Public Transport users and stakeholders, whereby innovation is a strategic essence, can play a crucial role in provoking a modal shift in favour of Public Transport. 

Experience shows that great companies that failed to innovate have collapsed. There are various obstacles to consider along the path towards innovation, such as physical (e.g. outdated equipment/technology), psychological, and strategic ones (e.g. failing to see future market dynamics). The Public Transport sector is characterised by a lack of business orientation, low motivation for innovation, as well as poor intra- and inter-sectoral dialogue.  This raises a pressing need for a cultural transition in the sector, promoting its re-orientation towards a more open, user-centred and innovative approach. To make breakthroughs, Public Transport providers and experts need to become more ‘disruptive’ in their thinking, introducing innovation not only as a means to address the needs of current customers, but also as a vehicle to reduce non-use of Public Transport.

Public Transport has a mountain of challenges to overcome in order to play an even more decisive role in combating congestion. A shift towards a more user-centred marketing approach can be beneficial, but Public Transport has to move beyond an outdated recipe of “conventional marketing for transport suppliers” in order to unlock the potential of innovation.

Shifting towards a marketing orientation means that top priority is given to the creation and maintenance of superior customer value, while the interests of the other key stakeholders are also considered.

If Public Transport becomes innovative and efficient, then...

  • service quality in Public Transport will be increased
  • new customers will be attracted
  • current users’ satisfaction will be increased, and as a consequence...
    • the Public Transport market share will be increased
    • congestion and environmental impacts will be reduced
    • peoples’ quality of life will be improved.

How can Public Transport stakeholders introduce innovation in their processes and make Public Transport more innovative and attractive to everyone?

This is precisely the concern that is addressed in the handbook you are reading, entitled “Toolbox for Public Transport Innovation”!

The CIPTEC “Toolbox for Public Transport innovation” aims to empower Public Transport stakeholders to adopt a more favourable approach towards innovation in the Public Transport sector. It attempts to capture the generated knowledge and provide strategy advice on innovation introduction to Public Transport stakeholders.

The CIPTEC Toolbox is delivered under three different versions:

  • Full version report (see relevant deliverable D5.1)
  • Booklet version report (the current document)
  • On-line digital tool (visit:

The target audiences of the CIPTEC Toolbox are:

  • Public Transport stakeholders, such as Public Transport Operators and Authorities
  • Policy makers & Decision makers
  • Transport experts, planners & researchers
  • Citizens/End-users Associations

Two levels (types) of content have been defined for the Toolbox:

  • General purpose content: open and suitable for all target audiences/groups.
  • Targeted content: specifically addressed to Public Transport Authorities/Operators and Decision Makers, as they mainly refer to the selection, design and implementation of innovative concepts and solutions in Public Transport.

The Toolbox supports Public Transport stakeholders, providing them insights on how:

  • to instil and increase the marketing orientation of Public Transport actors,
  • to change their culture to adopt a more collaborative approach
  • to fuel their motivation for innovation
  • to co-create value with their customers instead of relying on costly increases in Public Transport capacity
  • to enhance the interaction between Public Transport organizations, citizens and service users, and also between other stakeholders from within or across the Public Transport sector.

Adopt the CIPTEC approach towards innovation in Public Transport!

Which steps, methods and approaches should you follow when you decide to make Public Transport in your area more innovative?

Empower yourself to adopt a more favourable approach towards innovation in the Public Transport sector!

The “Innovation Flow” proposed by CIPTEC maps the toolbox and provides a graphical representation of the process that you can follow in order to introduce innovative concepts and solutions to stimulate innovation in Public Transport.

The activities in the ‘vertical’ columns indicate the steps that you should take to plan a structured strategy for the promotion, adoption and implementation of innovation.

The activities in the ‘horizontal’ bars represent actions that could be either applied as stand-alone steps towards the final aim of innovation promotion, or implemented in order to serve the targets of the ‘vertical’ actions. The activities in the horizontal bar form a grid together with the activities in the vertical columns, which flows from left to right.

The ‘Innovation Flow’ adopts an integrated approach and favours its realisation in a variety of applied areas and topics, such as: (i) marketing, (ii) consumer behaviour, (iii) innovation and (iv) evaluation.

How does it work?

  • The understanding of the existing situation of Public Transport demand and supply related to your area is quite crucial in order to identify the needs that new concepts and solutions should cover.
  • After having analysed trends and needs, you will be able to set your organisation’s objectives and select the most suitable innovative concepts and solutions for your specific case.
  • These concepts that can be selected will be either the result of a top-down approach from the CIPTEC “Toolbox for Public Transport Innovation”, or will be developed by the crowd through the implementation of collective intelligence processes by adopting a bottom-up approach (as it was done also in the frame of CIPTEC).
  • The top-down and bottom-up approaches to investigate needs, identify gaps and define potential solutions can be complementary to one another, overcoming the inherent limitations of each approach when used in isolation.
  • The Toolbox also puts forward a certain amount of supporting evaluation and decision taking supporting methods.
  • All or some of the above actions should be implemented in order to model and manage your “Innovation Strategy Plan” to successfully introduce innovation in Public Transport.

Bear in mind that the sets of steps proposed are indicative and you can select the most suitable for your case and form the appropriate mixture of methods and approaches, by skipping some or putting more emphasis on others.

All the above proposed actions are analysed in more detail in the next pages, while more information can be found in the CIPTEC Deliverables available on the CIPTEC website: