Cycling in Dresden

By Augusto Mosqueda

During the week from 20-24th of March we had classes dedicated to mobility, infrastructure and transportation.

Luckily the weather improved and we were able to have a smooth ride. First, the safety instructions and set up of the bikes and accessories were given to the riders. The instructors, Thilo and Angela, explain to us the route and set up the group by following Thilo and Angela on the back for ensuring a group ride.
The route covered from CIPSEM towards the Großer Garten, Elbe River shoreline, Downtown, Postplatz, CIPSEM.
During the ride, there were some intermediate stops to further explain about the importance of cycling roads, statistics, coexistence with the other transportation methods and general information about speed limits and roads inside the city.
The overall experience of riding a bicycle in Dresden made us realize the alternatives of transportation and the importance of its infrastructure for coexistence with cars, buses, trams, trains, etc.

What keeps Dresden moving?

Excursion to DVB Mobil – Dresden

From the day we first landed in Dresden, we admired the transport system in this lovely city i.e. the trams and buses especially by the level of efficiency and time management! How does this system operate so well? We wondered. On 23 March 2017, we finally got the answers, through an excursion to the Dresdner VerkehrsBetriebe (DVB) Mobil, the public transport company in charge of transport services in Dresden. Winfried Oelmann the head of operations gave a presentation on the company operations, specifically on the history of the company, work environment, training opportunities, route network, ticketing system, infrastructure, social activities among other things. The overall presentation was quite enlightening.

Afterwards, we were taken to the control room which operates 24/7 and it is where all the action happens. We got to learn how the entire system is synchronized i.e. the route network, time & efficiency of the trams and buses. There is also a customer care hotline which operates fulltime to respond to any inquiries or emergencies. Basically, this section is the heart of the company!

Key lessons learnt: 

There was so much to learn from this excursion it would not be possible to exhaust it all in this article. However, in summary, the highlights were;

  • Efficiency: DVB is highly efficient, ensuring all trams and buses operate as scheduled and all the route networks are operational through the control center
  • Incentives: DVB offers incentives to companies, students and the general public through discounts on individual and group tickets hence encouraging people to use public transport. From the environmental perspective, the more people use public transport, the less vehicles on the road and therefore less carbon emissions ☺
  • Public relations: DVB has a strong social media presence and a customer service team to keep the public informed/updated and to respond to enquiries and/or emergencies.

Overall, it was a great experience and there is so much our countries can borrow from this system, which would go a long way in improving most of our public transport systems and most of all, restoring our faith in government-run systems. Many thanks to the entire DVB team that made this excursion a joy!

Text and photos by Joyce Kiruri, EM40 course participant from Kenya.

Sustainable transport action day

This year, the classes on sustainable transportation coincided nicely with a Sustainable Transportation Action Day at TU Dresden. A chance not to be missed.