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Dare to invest in innovative transportation on water

25 April 2016

Water transports must be included when the infrastructure is being planned and built in Gothenburg. Travel by ferry should not just be limited to amusement rides during the holidays and time off, but should be an option to get to work. That was the message from Lighthouse director Åsa Burman, who spoke at the Swedish Maritime Day in Gothenburg.

- The river traffic (Älvtrafiken) is an important part of public transport, but is today not included in the core network and does not require the same advance planning, according to a vision for urban transport in Gothenburg, Mölndal and Partille, which is out for consultation. I say the opposite. We must dare to invest in innovative transportation on water! We have great opportunities to transport people across instead of round, Åsa Burman says.

Gothenburg has been successful with innovative solutions such as electric buses and natural gas as fuel when there have been problems with too much pollution from the buses. Åsa Burman said that it is possible to test the same on the ships.

- What if we have the river as an arena for testing new technologies, new fuels, new ways to transport ourselves? My big question is, how do we make sure, shipping is a part of the planning of infrastructure and public transport, and our whole society forward, said Åsa Burman.

Another issue Åsa Burman mentioned was: What is the maintenance cost of the water?

- Volumes in Gothenburg harbor does not decrease but it is larger vessels today. There are challenges with a maritime integration for it to go smoothly, said Åsa Burman.

Today 200,000 road vehicles per day passes over the river to the island of Hisingen, about 240 trains and 250 ferries. And a cable car is planned.

- Where is it crowded? It’s not crowded on the water. We ought to be able to see if we can utilize water more? said Åsa Burman.

Elin Kristensson who is commercial manager at Northern Energy Services believe that Sweden should become a maritime nation internationally, to increase competition both towards neighboring countries and the continent.

- We work according to the vision that we will always do our best, then others will think that we are the best, said Elin Kristensson.

Text and photo: Katarina Wignell

Swedish Maritime Day was arranged by the Maritime Cluster of West Sweden. The Maritime Cluster is working for sustainable development in the maritime industry.

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