Sustainable and intelligent mobility moving forward in cities
It is one of the big challenges that cities face today. One of the priorities of governments and companies is to manage a mobility which is foreseen to be day after day more sustainable and intelligent. That’s why teamwork is essential in this field.
A total of 1,548 million people used public transportation in the Community of Madrid last year, according to the data facilitated by the Regional Consortium of Transportation. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, there were 18.9 million trips on work days in 2018, according to the Survey of Mobility on Work Days. Big cities are growing really fast as well as the needs of transportation of their citizens.
A reality forced to take into account is the increasingly concern about our environment and the consequences of our actions towards it and our health. As the European Commission states, air pollution damages both the health and the environment, causing a “high economic impact, reducing life expectancy and productivity”.
This situation has forced the local governments around the world to take steps and place the urban mobility management in an increasingly important space in their agendas. In this way, the Council of London charges for some time a tax for circulating through a wide area in the midtown. New York promotes the use of bicycles with new bicycle lanes and Madrid has just modified Madrid Central to fulfill the requirements of Europe related to emission rules.
What is the role of public transportation?
Public transportation deserves special attention. Because cars, at least as we understand them, little by little have less space in the centers of cities. And for this reason, the way the citizens travel is changing. Along with public transportation, rental bicycles, scooters and electric vehicles also live together in the cities, and everything indicates that this tendency will grow.
This new urban ecosystem motivated by the increasing population and the concern about the environment, highlights again the importance of collaboration between governments and companies aimed at updating the systems of transportation by making them more accessible, efficient and sustainable. For example, the initiative carried out by the Regional Consortium of Transportation of Community of Madrid to facilitate for citizens the digital payment of travels. Banco Santander will be in charge of this task though Santander España Merchant Services, the subsidiary of the bank that manages the electronic payments of the entity.
In this way, and thanks to the payment gateway of Santander, citizens will be able to recharge all the public transportation cards of the Consortium by digital means, as well as using the payment by card in the user attention offices when acquiring their public transportation passes. A measure in line with the tendency of not carrying cash. According to Rubén Justel, General Director of Santander España Merchant Services, “This advance improves the daily life of citizens, as they will be able in the next months to avoid carrying cash and manage the payment of their travels by using new technologies”.
Beyond its collaboration with other bodies and companies, Banco Santander has launched its own initiatives on sustainable mobility
Along with other initiatives, it helps travelers and tourists to simplify the travel and avoid carrying cash, such as the payment by card in the EMT (Municipal Company of Transports of Madrid) or the bicycles of BiciMad.
The goal of the pilot project started by Mastercard, in collaboration with the EMT, Banco Santander and the startup Saffe, is to facilitate the travel of citizens by an efficient and sustainable way. The project is about implementing the biometric payment in buses of the capital, a pioneering initiative in Europe. In this way, during the next months, a users’ group will be able to gain access through facial recognition. To do so, the participants only have to download the app of the EMT in which they will have a photograph taken to be identified and validated by a recognition camera, once the user gets on the bus.
After this pilot program, in the case of the project will be successful among users and their safety and reliability in the payments are guaranteed, among other aspects, the people responsible of the project will value its possible expansion to other lines.
Recently, Santander Consumer Finance has signed an agreement with the BEI to offer SMEs and midcaps 1,000 million euros aimed at renewing their fleets of transportation with more efficient and respectful vehicles for the environment, including their acquisition by leasing.
Banco Santander, one step beyond in its commitment to the environment
Beyond its collaboration with other bodies and companies, Banco Santander has launched its own initiatives on sustainable mobility, which is another example of its commitment to the environment and the fight against climate change. In this way, it launched a pilot service of electric carsharing for its employees in Madrid though Bansacar, the car rental company of the entity.
With this system, it intends to facilitate the mobility of employees, helping them reduce the maintenance costs or insurance of the vehicle, as well as reduce the C02 emissions. These non-contaminating cars count on a maintenance service included, full comprehensive insurance, roadside assistance and weekly car washing. Everything aimed at involving the employees in the policies launched by the company to achieve a higher energy efficiency, on the basis of its Plan of energy efficiency and sustainability for the period 2019-2021.