Consultants looking into water bus system for Köln

12 June 2020 2 min. read
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As Köln continues to become increasingly congested, the sprawling German metropolis is turning to a host of unique solutions. Professional services firms have been called in to conduct a feasibility survey on whether a new water bus service could be part of the city’s transport system.

According to navigation technology firm TomTom, Köln is the 195th most congested city in the world. On average, travellers spend an extra 13 minutes per 30 minute trip in the morning, and an additional 16 minutes in the evening due to the city’s crowded rush hour, or four days and 14 hours every year.

As the city continues to grow, it is deploying a number of different mechanisms to try and improve the capacity of its roads. At the start of the year, this saw the city open 10 mobility stations near key interchange points like train stations, where commuters are provided with a range of options for onward travel – a number which will soon grow to 40. Now, consultants are looking to add another aspect to this multifaceted approach, via the city’s river.

Consultants looking into water bus system for Köln

For the longest time, the famous Rhine has been perceived by planners as a natural barrier, preventing the expansion of its transport system to accommodate heightened levels of traffic. However, according to European professional services firm Rebel, a water bus system as seen in Rotterdam and Antwerp could ease traffic by running between Köln, Leverkusen and Wesseling.

Together with partners software firm PTV and transport group TTK, APPM Management Consultants and Rebel are currently analysing the traffic, technical sustainability and operational feasibility of a water bus system. The project aims to provide a basis for political decision-making and to highlight the conditions under which a water bus system can be used and the consequences of this in terms of transport and finance – as well as whether it can be powered exclusively by renewables.

Rebel has extensive experience with the introduction and operational issues of water buses. Among other things, the firm has carried out the economic analyses for the new water bus system in Antwerp, and is accompanying tenders for water passenger transport in Rotterdam, where Rebel is headquartered. APPM is another Dutch consultancy with a strong track record in the transport domain.