SmartBus - The future of public transport

  • Trainee: Marjolein Wintermans, Serena Dorrestijn and Ruud Zandbergen
  • Company: Strategic Area Smart Mobility TU/e
  • Company supervisor: Carlo van de Weijer and Mia Jelsma
  • TU/e supervisor: Lu Yuan



The goal of this project was to explore and further develop a public transport concept of the future (working title: the SmartBus). The concept consists of re-using train tracks as the foundation for adapted roads that electric busses will use and replace the trains in certain areas of the Netherlands. The main deliverable of this project was to develop and design a brochure that communicated this concept and also investigated and calculated the business case of this new concept. The challenge in this design case was to incorporate and collaborate with the stakeholders throughout the entire process from business case to concept development and design.


The team performed literature reviews in three main areas: sustainability, public transport opportunities and costs and users of public transport. These findings were captured in a Business Model Canvas that was used as a first source of input for the brochure. The team executed many brainstorms with and without stakeholders to further de-crystallize the concept.

To include input from the final user the team developed a questionnaire that was send out via different social media channels. The focus of this questionnaire lay with the pro’s and con’s of using public transport and it invited users to brainstorm about what they would like and need in public transport in the future. These findings were used in the further conceptualization of the SmartBus.

We collaborated extensively with the stakeholders in order to construct a valid business case and design the brochure in the most appealing and clear way as possible.


The main deliverable of this design case was the brochure. Unfortunately, we are not yet able to fully display the brochure on our website. However, in the pictures we have included some previews. The business case was fitting and supported the further investigation of new public transport concepts like the SmartBus. The team proposed design solutions to the client to further develop the concept. The team created the text and lay-out and collaborated with a stakeholder on the visuals.

This work was presented at the congress ‘dag van de rail’ on the 30th of july 2016 in Utrecht by Carlo van de Weijer, director of Smart Mobility at the TU/e. A follow up on this project is currently under consideration at the faculty of Smart Mobility.