Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Things never get boring at PTV Transport Consult (TC). The independent consulting firm within PTV Group deals with a wide range of topics such as Mobility 4.0, air pollution control, commercial traffic and road safety. Matias Ruiz Lorbacher joined the company about a year ago and is in charge of international projects. We met for an interview.
Compass: Matias, in August you’ll have been with PTV for a year now. How would you sum up your first 12 months? Do you like working here?
Matias Ruiz Lorbacher: Yeah (laughs), definitely. It didn’t take me long to feel at home here. The people are open and friendly. And I am a big fan of PTV Roulette! So I quickly got to know colleagues from the entire PTV Group and made some new friends.
Compass: What did you do before working for PTV Transport Consult?
Matias Ruiz Lorbacher: I actually come from the research sector. I studied geography in Berlin and subsequently lectured at the Free University of Berlin. For a long time, I had very little to do with mobility until I took part in an Asian research project on traffic optimization. That’s when I got hooked on the subject and on project management.
Compass: And that’s what brought you to PTV Transport Consult?
Matias Ruiz Lorbacher: Yes, I still wanted to work conceptually, but my interest had shifted from scientific context to a more practical approach. And that’s exactly what I’m doing at TC now. My job is about identifying problems and finding solutions – and it’s much more pragmatic than in science. I was also particularly interested in working internationally.
Compass: That sounds like your expectations of the job have been met.
Matias Ruiz Lorbacher: My job really is a lot of fun. It offers a lot of variety as well, as there are no standard processes. We are a relatively small company in the international arena, but we engage in an active exchange of experience with other colleagues. And I like the fact that we often work with local partners and consulting offices abroad.
Compass: Tell us about your current projects.
Matias Ruiz Lorbacher: At the moment, I’m working on two exciting projects. One is in Croatia, where we are developing regional transport plans for passenger and freight transport. The objective is to find out how the regions intend to position themselves over the next ten years. What does their infrastructure have to look like to handle the expected traffic volume smoothly? In Limassol, Cyprus, we are working on a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, a strategic plan that is meant to set the course for the future in mobility.
Compass: That makes sense, especially in times when people’s mobility behaviour is changing…
Matias Ruiz Lorbacher: Definitely. Cities need to think about their future. Mobility in Limassol is still mainly focussed on cars, with only two percent of its citizens using public transport. Do you really want to encourage people to use cars there? Or do you want them to use public transport, bikes or a mix of the two? And what about the new forms of mobility such as car sharing and car pooling or mobility as a service? Of course, topics such as air pollution monitoring and noise also play an important role. Cities need to provide the right framework conditions, so they’re still worth living in in the future. It’s exciting to be part of a consulting team that delivers the concepts and solutions that help them do that.
Compass: One final question, Matias, how do you get to work every day?
Matias Ruiz Lorbacher: I currently take the tram, since I still live in Berlin and have a Bahncard100. But from September on, I’ll be riding my bike to work. I’m looking forward to that!