Improve Public Transportation Stations

Open Locker Network

6 Ways to Improve Public Transportation Stations in Your City

The pandemic has disrupted public transportation systems across the globe, including here in the UK. However, strong public transportation systems are essential for thriving cities and communities. By modernising transport networks, bridging last-mile gaps, and creating mobility on demand, we have the opportunity to make public transportation systems more functional, efficient, and safe for everyone.

Key Factors Shaping Public Transportation

The urgent need for public transportation improvements can be traced to three key transit system developments in recent years:

The Pandemic Effect

Public transportation ridership in the UK plummeted during the pandemic but has risen again to between 72-76%. According to, UK rail is at 72% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and the London tube is at 76%.1

Climate Change

Greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, including cars, account for a significant portion of the UK’s overall emissions, in fact, it’s one of the biggest sources of pollution. The UK has set an ambitious target of net-zero emissions by 2050, and improving public transportation is a critical component of achieving that goal. The Transport Decarbonisation Plan has set out 6 key commitments, including zero-emission buses and coaches, increasing cycling and walking and decarbonising railways.2

A New Work Model

The remote trend that started during the pandemic remains a preferred work model for employees – one that is decimating significant cities. Without daily workers, public transportation is down, office buildings are sitting empty, and small businesses such as coffee shops, restaurants, barbers, salad bars, and retailers are closing their doors. A hybrid work model with a few days in the office per week is helping some major cities adjust to a new normal.

Options for Improving Public Transportation

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for improving public transportation in the UK. Each region is different, requiring custom solutions to address commuters’ needs and meet budgetary requirements.

However, here are a few public transport system strategies that local councils can consider:

Increase Capacity on High-Traffic Routes/Lines

One of the contributing factors to taking a car versus public transportation is the time of the commute: public transit is invariably longer. Adding more buses or trains to high-traffic routes lowers the risk of overcrowding and ensures that the wait between arriving cars or buses is shorter.

Make Commuting Safer

Tied to the capacity issue is safety. The more frequently a train enters a train station or a bus makes a stop at a bus station, the safer a commuter feels. The presence of security officers also boosts feelings of security.

Improve the Commuter Experience

Sometimes the best way to make improvements to mass transit is to ask the ridership directly about what they need. Mayor Michelle Wu of Boston takes her city’s public transportation and elicits suggestions by talking to commuters; in this case, heated bus stops would help considerably.4 She also recently converted three bus lines in under-served communities by making them fare-free.

Create Multi-Modal Hubs

Leaders should consider creating multimodal hubs where people can conveniently transfer between buses, trains, bikes, scooters, and other modes of transportation. This thinking requires transportation departments to employ Mobility-On-Demand (MOD) and Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) models. MOD treats transport as a product, assigning distinct values to various modes of travel based on the journey’s cost, duration, wait times, number of transfers, convenience, and other factors. In this manner, commuters can rely on MOD information to select the quickest and most inexpensive route to their destination. MaaS solutions combine various transportation modes wrapped up with one fee.

Electrify Transportation

Bus routes and commuter rail lines operating on electricity reduce noise and air pollution. They also assist in meeting regulators’ goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Build Climate Change Resistant Infrastructure

Although slowing climate change is the ultimate goal, the need is now to build the public transportation infrastructure to withstand extreme weather events that areas of the UK are experiencing more frequently, such as heat waves, flooding and snow.

Benefits of Adding Parcel Lockers to Mobility Hubs

Augmenting mobility hubs to include parcel lockers can help municipalities provide additional services for their ridership while reducing traffic congestion, improving safety, decreasing package theft, and promoting sustainability:

Reduce Emissions and Congestion

To test the theory that electronic lockers boost efficiencies and decrease delivery truck congestion and pollution, Parcel Pending entered into a pilot project with the University of Washington and its Urban Freight Lab. The study results were remarkable – parcel lockers significantly reduced failed deliveries and slashed delivery truck parking time by a hefty 78%.3 There was also a significant reduction in dwell time (when a truck is parked in a loading zone), further reducing traffic and emissions.

Improve Community Safety

Although safety must balance perceptions vs. reality, a recent Parcel Pending by Quadient consumer survey revealed that 50% of residents feel parcel lockers would make their community safer.4

Decreases Package Theft

A series of Freedom of Information requests to Police Forces across the UK revealed that reported parcel theft has increased more than 500% in just 4 years.5 The Parcel Pending consumer survey results support the sentiment around this growing problem, with 35% of respondents reporting being more worried about package theft now than before the pandemic.6 In short, conveniently placed lockers can help create a safer environment for residents and workers by reducing package theft in neighbourhoods.

Promotes Sustainability

In a survey of 2000 UK adults, 72% were open to using smart, secure parcel lockers.7 Furthermore, they were also interested in trip-chaining – combining the task of parcel management with other activities such as shopping or commuting. Given the choice, consumers would replace 47 deliveries per year by trip-chaining, resulting in 1.4 billion miles saved by couriers.8

The public transportation issue is complicated, needing strong leadership, innovation, technology, and a willingness to accept the permanent shifts in consumer behaviour stemming from the pandemic. Working on solutions now will pave the way for a more robust foundation later.

Ready to deliver MORE for public transit riders in your area? Speak to a parcel management expert today about how hosting an open locker network location can support your city’s mobility goals.


  1. (2024). Domestic transport usage by mode. [online] Available at: [Accessed April 22, 2024].
  2. (2024). The UK’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan: Everything You Need to Know. [online] Available at: [Accessed April 22, 2024].
  3. The Urban Freight Lab. Final 50 Feet of the Urban Goods Delivery System: Common Carrier Locker Pilot Test at Seattle Municipal Tower (Final Report). The Final 50 Feet: Common Carrier Locker Pilot Test at Seattle Municipal Tower (Part of Task Order 2), 2019.
  4. Parcel Pending by Quadient. (2024). Managing Growing Parcel Deliveries Within Local Communities. [online] Available at:
  5. Parcel Pending by Quadient. (2024). Delivery to Disappearance: The Rise and Effects of Parcel Theft Across the UK. [online] Available at:
  6. Parcel Pending by Quadient. (2024).Parcel Pandemonium: Managing the Challenges of Growing E-Commerce. August 18, 2023.
  7. Edwards, Rebecca. Worst Metro Cities for Package Theft for 2023. November 15, 2023.
  8. Parcel Pending by Quadient. Parcel Pandemonium: Managing the Challenges of Growing E-Commerce. August 18, 2023.
  9. Parcel Pending by Quadient. Managing Growing Deliveries Within Local Communities [Infographic]. August 14, 2023.