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Power List 2012: Innovators & Pioneers

07 February 2012

Across the transport sector there are certain individuals whose activity stands out either as beyond the significance of their own specific role within an organisation, or are simply introducing new ideas from an inventive technological or entrepreneurial standpoint.

In an era of rapid change to the way transport services are managed, marketed and paid for it is not surprising that a group of such people feature amongst our power list.

Elaine Rosscraig  Stagecoach Head of Customer Insight, has won an industry wide reputation, and a number of awards, for her original thinking about how her company designs and delivers local services and connects with its customers.

In another innovative role within Stagecoach, Bryony Chamberlain has helped roll out the group’s Megabus concept, first working with Coach USA on the initial services and now returning to that role after a spell in the Stagecoach UK?operations.

Meanwhile the development of new kinds of rail service through open access arrangements has been the forte of Ian Yeowart – Managing Director Alliance Rail, now with the heavyweight backing of shareholder Arriva/DB. He has lodged applications with the ORR to run dozens of services on the West and East Coast mainline in an integrated model. It could potentially transform open access companies from niche players to mainstream investors.

Another serial innovator in transport services is Stelios Haji-Iaonnau – Chairman EasyGroup who has not just revolutionised low-cost European air services and the ground links to them, but is now working on new approaches to communal car ownership and sharing, and doubtless other new transport products too.

In a similar way the efforts of Ben Whittaker, founder and chief executive of Masabi have helped revolutionise the way in which rail tickets are purchased and used via mobile phones. His system is now in use by half the train operating companies.

It is probable that Thomas Drexler, recently recuited by travel and transaction technology provider Amadeus from DeutscheBahn, will have a similar impact. He was responsible at the German rail giant for spearheading its new NFC Touch Point system.

Waiting in the wings to perhaps be equally  significant innovators are companies with the technologies to mediate the relationships between transport providers and their customers in new ways. Key individuals may include

Chris Cooper - Travel & Transport Sector Architect IBM,  Max Croot - M2M Business Development Manager Vodafone Global Enterprise and  Mike Cowen transport sector chief at Mastercard Paypass.

Other drivers of new technologies that are changing the face of passenger transport include Dr. Mike Mekhiche BAE Systems director of programmes for power and energy management, who has pioneered the further development of hybrid systems for bus and rail vehicles, and Alexander Eriksson – Chief Executive Nomad Digital, whose company has led the installation of wi-fi capability onboard vehicles.


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