I joined Arcadis France in 2013, within the Urban and Rail Transportation Department. Talking with some French colleagues, I heard that Arcadis NL had participated in a European report (COST : Cooperation for Science and Technology) on Bus of High Level of Service. I thought it was a really great opportunity to share knowledge on Public Transport with our Dutch colleagues and decided to ask for a Quest to Robert-Jan Roos, who participated in the COST program. Three months later, I was in Amersfoort, to start an enriching week!
During the first three days of my Quest, I visited several public transport networks in The Netherlands. The first day, I visited with Robert-Jan the city of Almere, a new city, south-east of Amsterdam. This city is a good example of what we can do when we combine urbanism and efficient public transport and I recommend it for everyone who like urbanism. The following days, I visited the Zuidtangent (south of Amsterdam), Utrecht, Enschede (extreme east, on the German border), Ilpendam (north of Amsterdam)… many cities but fortunately, Dutch trains are quite efficient!
On Thursday, I was a little bit stressed : it was the day of my lecture! To a dozen of my Dutch colleagues I presented the French concept of BHLS and the new concept of the “light” BHLS. At the beginning, I was anxious to do a lecture in English, but in the end, everything went well.
On Friday, I met Bas Bollinger and we discussed the proposition value we could make for public transport (metro, tramway and bus). It was a really important part of my Quest, because it helped me to understand our strategy and how to work globally.
If you hesitate to do a Quest, just go for it! It is a unique experience and it will help you to feel part of a global company and to better understand our strategy. The Quest experience doesn’t last a week, it lasts all your Arcadian life. I still have contact with Dutch colleagues to elaborate the proposition value and I know I can contact them if I need help. If you are looking for a Quest, I suggest you to first think about your project (what do I want to learn/teach? What can I expect of the experience for my daily work?), then discuss with the people around you to see which OpCo/people you have to contact. Preparing a lecture was an important stage of my Quest, because it helped me to organize my ideas and see what can I expect from it.
Pierre Jamin, Arcadis France