The Future of Collective Passenger Transport by Road

Worldwide buses and coaches have played a major role in passenger transport for more than a 100 years. However, recently the industry has been faced with some important headwinds. Among them are the competition from low-cost airlines in the tourism sector and the impact of traffic congestion on commercial speed in the public transport sector. Also in the future the industry will have to face some important challenges if it wants to keep playing a vital role in society.

During the seminar a number of these future challenges were discussed. First we looked at the short-term future with two case studies of new markets that can be conquered for bus and coach. In the mid-term, we looked at what to expect from regulatory changes such as road pricing and further steps in liberalization. Finally, we discussed if and how self-driving vehicles will impact the long-term future of the sector. We ended the seminar with a debate among representatives of some of the major political parties in Belgium.

The entire conference programme and the conference leaflet can be found beneath. By clicking on the presentation names, the hand-outs can be downloaded.

Conference Programme



13:40 THE SHORT-TERM FUTURE: (Re)conquering markets for bus and coach

14:20 THE MID-TERM FUTURE: Liberalisation and road pricing


15:40 THE LONG-TERM FUTURE: The impact of self-driving vehicles

16:20 CLOSING DEBATE: What role for government in the future of the sector?

  • An Poot (CD&V), Bjorn Rzoska (Groen!), David Geerts (SP.A), Lode Vereeck (Open VLD), Julien Vandeburie (Ecolo), Bruno Caria (CDH), Marc Cools (MR).
  • Moderator: Prof. dr. Frank Witlox (Ghent University, BIVEC-GIBET chairman)