On the Environmental and Social Sustainability of Technological Innovations in Urban Bus Transport: The EU Case

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Logistics in urban areas are currently suffering a radical transformation due to increasing population concentration and the massive use of cars as the preferred transport mode. These issues have resulted in higher pollution levels in urban environments and traffic congestion, impacting the world globally. Facilitating the use of sustainable transport modes is widely regarded as a necessity to cope with these adverse effects on citizens’ life quality. Hence, some regions, such as the European Union, are encouraging bus transport firms to make their business models more environmentally and socially sustainable. The aim of this research is thus to explore how technological innovations adopted by urban bus companies can improve cities’ sustainability. With this in mind, a combined Importance Performance Analysis (IPA)–Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method was applied. In this way, their environmental and social sustainability effects were separately represented through hierarchical structures. Subsequently, the importance and performance ratings of technological innovations in each sustainability dimension were estimated, and thus two IPA grids were generated. These grids support managers in the establishment of more effective action plans to improve logistics sustainability in cities. The findings also provide guidance to governments on the technological innovations that should be promoted in future urban mobility plans.
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Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1413
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