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International Road Transport

Smart awards: Promoting excellence in bus and coach transport

The International Road Transport (IRU) launched its call for candidates for the IRU City Trophy 2011, the IRU Bus Excellence Award 2011 and the new IRU Coach Tourism Innovation Award 2011 for best public or private business and policy practices that further sustainable mobility by bus and coach in the framework of the global Smart Move campaign.

Vice President of the IRU and President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council (CTP), Graham Smith, said, “Bus and coach companies are instrumental in ensuring the sustainable mobility of people by being at the forefront of innovation in key areas, such as services and partnerships with other transport modes or industries. With these three awards, we aim at gathering and spreading excellence amongst our sector and policy decision makers at all levels to meet the increasing demand for sustainable passenger transport, while making bus and coach services more user-friendly as an incentive for the public to use them.”

The IRU City Trophy 2011 acknowledges and rewards municipal authorities that implement proactive policies favouring sustainable group tourism by coach. The main selection criteria for successful candidate cities include a coherent city strategy integrating high-quality group tourism with other interests; consultation with all stakeholders; instructions and signage aimed at coach drivers, also in foreign languages; provision of quality facilities for waiting drivers and passengers; and efficient communications to gain local residents’ understanding and support.

The IRU Bus Excellence Award 2011 (formerly Eurochallenge Award) promotes high quality and cost-effective innovative projects implemented by any public or private bus/coach company, allowing for a greater use of regular urban and interurban public transport by bus and coach through improved attractiveness, such as: network or service improvements; creation of innovative new lines/services; integrated ticketing systems; implementation of quality, safety and/or security schemes; and implementation of customer care programmes, including for disabled and mobility impaired people, etc.

The IRU Coach Tourism Innovation Award 2011 is a brand new award aiming to recognise and promote best industry practices leading to a greater use of group tourism by coach. Open to any private transport company worldwide whose main business is coach tourism, projects submitted should include company initiatives aimed at improving the image and attractiveness of coach tourism and in particular the creation of innovative new services, including on board services; successful information and marketing campaigns; the implementation of customers service quality schemes; the implementation of environment and safety care programmes; etc.

Applications to these IRU Awards are reviewed by an international jury composed of transport policy-makers, leading tourism and travel business representatives, international organisations, city councils and coach transport professionals.

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