Shaping the Future of Mobility – Together

Interview with Johan

Who are you and what do you do at INIT?

My name is Johan Jetse van Ieperen (born in Rotterdam in ’65) and I’m the Rail Business Development Manager at INIT SE. At TU Delft, I first learned about the renowned Karlsruhe-Model (connecting the city’s tramway with a regional railway network) and my first job was to promote it. Having lived in Calgary, Busan, and Brussels, I now live with my wife in Jöhlingen and commute to work on the very first tram-train line!

"Shaping the Future of Mobility" - What does that mean to you?

Unfortunately, mobility is often mistaken for transport or even traffic. Shaping mobility serves the much higher goal of enabling fair access for everyone to achieve their personal activities. More options result in better mobility, and a more meaningful life potentially. The idea behind a “15 minute city” starts to take us in that direction. Mobility is intrinsically a good thing, transport is a choice, but traffic is inherently bad.   

Between the era of horse-drawn carriages and canal boats and the car and plane dominated world of today, there used to be all kinds of railways which even connected small towns together. The destruction of that dense rail network has almost resulted in mono-mobility for (not only) the regional and rural communities, providing an elite mobility to only those who can afford a car and who have a driver's license.

I hope to contribute to the revival of the railways as a respectable and efficient mode of transport as the backbone for medium distance travel.

#INITtogether - What does that mean for you?

Many great things are only achieved together, through hard work, cooperation, organization, perseverance and sacrifice. Foremost, “together” requires mutual respect - the hardest part. Accept peculiarities, deficiencies, vulnerabilities, and fears. Be fair, not egocentric. One strike and you are out is not expedient, but neither is beating around the bush. Respect eventually ceases if it is not reciprocated.

This is how I think working together at INIT should be, fundamentally. More generally: We are all in it together. We all fail or we all survive together. We should all respect the planet.

Everyone’s mobility package ought to include again the sustainable option of accessible & efficient rail networks.