Transport experts have warned the world has not only a massive shortfall in the capacity of existing transport infrastructure, but also a massive shortage of people trained to carry out its maintenance and upkeep.
Recode’s Max Hill interviewed experts to understand how the world really is lacking the people and skills required to ensure the world’s transport systems operate in a safe, efficient and sustainable way.
“The capacity of infrastructure is already at a record low, the transport sector has not recovered from the Great Recession, and the world still needs a major investment in public transport,” said Andrew Rowntree, head of strategy at global transport consultancy EY.
The experts also pointed to a need to rethink the role of roads, rail and water.
They point to a study of the US, Europe and the UK, published last year, which found there were 2.5 million road deaths in 2020, compared to around 6 million deaths in the US in the same year.
This is despite the fact the US has over 100 times more road deaths per person than the UK.
According to the EY study, if we are serious about reducing road deaths, we should build roads, not build roads.
But the lack of transport training is not only an issue for the US.
In China, the worlds largest economy, there are around 730 million people who have no formal training in transportation, the same figure as the UK and Germany combined.
With this kind of under-resourced population, the lack in transport expertise is also an issue in India.
As the report points out, the “high proportion of young people without a formal training has a direct impact on the future performance of transportation infrastructure and public transport systems, with the greatest impact occurring when it is an older generation that is already in need of training”.
The experts point to China, where a shortage of infrastructure training is an ongoing problem.
For instance, while China is the world s largest economy and has the second-highest number of urban train users in the world, the countrys road network has been slow to catch up with demand.
That has led to significant overcrowding on the roads and congestion, which has led the Chinese government to create a system of train stations where train passengers can get help and information.
It also means that, while there is a large number of people with a formal education in China, there is no training in the country to train those with less.
In India, India is one of the world countries with the largest number of unregistered vehicles, and with an estimated 4.4 million registered vehicles in India alone, the shortage of transport infrastructure training in India is a major concern.
India has about 2.3 million vehicles registered but only about 400,000 of those are train drivers.
Despite the government’s efforts to get train drivers to train more, the number of train drivers in India has remained stuck at around 300,000.
There is also a shortage in public transportation training in China and India, with a shortage even in some of the countries poorest regions.
A lack of train services in Singapore, a country that has an estimated 1.2 million train users, is another reason for the shortage in train service.
While there is an increase in train services across the world due to the expansion of train and bus services in China in the past few years, India has not had an increase of train service in years.
So, as the experts point out, while we are not going to solve the problem of transport by adding trains, we do need to build the infrastructure that will allow for better trains.
And, as for the UK: there are a large proportion of people without training in transport in the UK but this can be addressed with a combination of a number of initiatives.
First, there need to be an increase to the minimum age for driving, and that is set to increase from 18 in 2021 to 25 in 2030.
Secondly, the Government has also committed to investing an additional £200 million in a new high speed train project.
Thirdly, the government has set a target of doubling the number and quality of train routes in the next five years.
Fourthly, there needs to be a change in how the government manages train services.
Fifthly, and finally, there should be a new, coordinated strategy for train management in the future.
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