The Stuttgart branch of PTV Transport Consult has moved to a new office. In an interview with branch manager Dr.-Ing. Hagen Schüller, we talked not only about the new premises, but also about exciting projects that his team is currently working on.
PTV has been present with an office in Stuttgart for 27 years. It has established itself successfully in the transportation sector and has progressively expanded its footprint. Traffic control technology was the first area of activity and is still a focal point of the planning and consulting services provided by PTV Transport Consult today. Planning of control centres of all kinds is now playing an important role in this field. The second area of activity covers safety and protection of infrastructure facilities, in particular risk assessment and dangerous goods analysis for road tunnels. The third and most recent topic area covers road infrastructure safety management, such as road safety concepts for cities.
Compass: You recently moved to a new office in Stuttgart, didn’t you?
Hagen Schüller: Yes, that’s right. In mid-January 2019, we moved to our new premises located centrally on Schwabstraße. There is also a suburban railway station (S-Bahn) next to our office, so we are lucky to have a very good transport infrastructure. But what is even more important is that we can offer our team an attractive and modern working environment. Now we are all on one floor and it has become much easier to exchange information, be it at one’s desk, in the hallway or at the coffee bar to discuss things over a coffee. So, we created an office space that makes people want to go to work.
Compass: How big is your team in Stuttgart?
Hagen Schüller: We are a team of 13 people, plus temporary staff and interns. And we want to grow further. Our current business situation is excellent, and we have advertised several vacant positions, e.g. in the field of road safety.
Compass: Sounds great! What projects are you currently working on in Stuttgart?
Hagen Schüller: We have just started to design the B10 traffic management system for the surrounding area of the new Rosenstein tunnel, which will run under the Wilhelma Park in Stuttgart. The traffic control technology and tunnel equipment teams will work closely together on this major project.
In collaboration with our colleagues from Berlin and Dresden and architects from Hamburg, we are also planning the control centre of the Police of the German Bundestag. Here we can benefit from our expertise in traffic control centre planning.
Another major project covers the construction supervision / site management during the conversion of the tunnel control centre in Hamburg. In the future, the tunnel control centre will monitor and control the Elbe Tunnel as well as several tunnels in Hamburg’s urban area and the new tunnels as part of the expansion of the A7 motorway between Hamburg and the state border with Schleswig-Holstein. Monitoring and control will cover six- and/or eight-lane cross-sections. Due to the complexity of the project, virtually all employees from the traffic control technology department will be involved in this project.
At the same time, we regularly conduct risk and dangerous goods analyses for these tunnels as part of our expert activities. In addition, we recently evaluated the course of a high-voltage line along a refinery on the A26 motorway in Hamburg as part of a hazard analysis.
Compass: And what projects are you currently working on in the field of road safety?
Hagen Schüller: Our activities in this field range from more local projects, such as safety audits for individual streets in Stuttgart, to national projects, such as the organisation of the future Federal Road Safety Programme for 2021-30, and major international projects. For example, we are currently involved in two new projects in Addis Ababa. The first project focuses on the ITS infrastructure – from the signal control system to the traffic control centre – which is to be completely redesigned for this growing city. Here we are involved in traffic management and road safety issues. The second project in Addis Ababa deals with Mercato, the largest open-air marketplace in Africa. As road safety auditors, we will assess the planned roads.
Compass: What is the Federal Road Safety Programme all about?
Hagen Schüller: The German Federal Highway Research Institute BASt has commissioned us to organise the new federal road safety programme for the coming decade. This will also include a discussion on an overarching strategy for improved road safety work in Germany. The project is headed by us and carried out in close collaboration with a consortium that brings together a wide range of experts such as traffic psychologists, accident doctors and traffic law experts. Vision Zero, which is part of the current coalition agreement, is another important concept that will be taken into account. The aim is to support the future road safety programme more broadly. Therefore, we will be in constant dialogue with all relevant representatives from the public sector at federal, state and local level, including industry and research institutions as well as associations.
Compass: How do road users actually benefit from your consulting services?
Hagen Schüller: We create the basis that enables road users to reach their destination on time, while ensuring that everyone on the road has a safe journey (catchword ‘traffic control technology’). This applies not only to motorised traffic, but also to pedestrians and cyclists. For example, in a pilot project commissioned by BASt and in cooperation with several cities, we are carrying out tests in order to identify the best position of the green arrow for cyclists.
Compass: What was or is the most important or exciting project that you were or are involved in as PTV transport expert?
Hagen Schüller: Since my heart beats for road safety, I’d say the Federal Road Safety Programme for the next decade. But I also enjoy working on interdisciplinary projects or projects in Africa, where we are currently active in Botswana, South Africa and Ethiopia.
Compass: What kind of transport project would you like to tackle in Stuttgart?
Hagen Schüller: A road safety concept, like the one we implemented in Munich, that aims at turning Vision Zero into reality.