Public transportation: no development strategy on the horizon - 25/06/2039
This is the recurring public debate and unfortunately little progress has been made since!
Indeed, despite the many announcements over the years, traffic, traffic jams and the issue of public transportation has still not been resolved in Tahiti.
It is not for lack of diverse, original and innovative proposals: from the cable car to the maritime shuttles, the Uber, carpools and in recent years the autonomous cars, we’re no short of ideas!
So why always the same refrain, always the same difficulties?
If the development of all types of hybrid and electric cars has significantly reduced the energy bill, the time lost each day by Polynesians to get to work is still important.
If around 2019/2020 the government had tried to take advantage of the renewal of the gasoline fleet of the time to revive reflection, no concrete solution had been put in place and since then the curse of Polynesian traffic is continued.
Of course, the geography of our islands does not facilitate the implementation of facilitated solutions. Only the coastal strip is easily convertible.
Nevertheless, many solutions could be implemented.
Many public policy professionals regret that the government is satisfied by just copying / pasting solutions implemented elsewhere, particularly in countries where the geographical and social constraints are very different. Therefore the implementation is complicated, unsuitable and therefore quickly abandoned.
Thus, since the early 2000s, successive governments have focused on large format buses, which move with difficulty in the narrow streets of the city center. The lack of structuring of travel circuits (lack of fixed stops, impossibility of tables-hours due to traffic jams) has never allowed this option to take off.
The environmental awareness that took shape after the 2010s and which has greatly amplified over the years has allowed the development of some alternative solutions (car sharing in particular). But this does not represent a sufficient alternative.
In recent years, environmental protection associations have been campaigning for the implementation of public transport with priority traffic, relegating individual vehicles to associated roads. But the resistance of the population is strong.
The specialists interviewed, and in particular those appointed by the government recently, would move towards a smart mix between collective, multimodal and multi-energy solutions.
Is hope finally at the end of the tunnel? The recent returns of this mission launched by the government recently appears promising. But so many times have we been disappointed.
Only difference? This time, the government demanded the establishment of a multi-experience team: local and international experts not only integrating engineers but sociologists, specialists in traditional culture and urban planners. All must find a solution that: will generate new behaviors, respond to local social and geophysical constraints and fit into a long-term development plan.
Response in the coming weeks to hope, finally, that traffic jams are relegated to the trash of the past.
In the meantime, let us rejoice that the autonomous cars give us more time to exchange in family in our little shell on the move, the driver having more to remain concentrated on the road!