Rotterdam school of Management, Erasmus University compact logo


This case looks at the challenges of Rotterdam Electric Tram (RET), a large public transportation company in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in transitioning its fully diesel-powered bus fleet to become 100% electric by 2030. After winning the bid for the 2019-2034 concession of bus transport in Rotterdam, RET had to deliver on its promise to make bus transportation more environmentally friendly. There were, of course, many challenges to this transition, ranging from infrastructure management to electricity supply, scheduling and pricing. RET had to first make a business case for investing in electric buses to demonstrate that the transition was not only feasible but also economically sustainable. In this case students will be introduced to the complexities of the decision-making, planning and operational processes in such a broad-scoped transition. The case is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) case series, developed by Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University. With a focus on SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), this case is also closely related to several other SDGs including SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). Video learning materials and other resources about these SDGs are available at <>.

Citation Note

Follow the 'handle' link to access the Case Study on RePub.

For EUR staff members: the Teaching Note is available on request, you can contact us at


1. Understanding the operational management challenges for a public transport company in transition; 2. Analysing the effects of different operational interventions to create a sustainable city; 3. Creating a business model that sustains both the future as a city as well as the company itself. 4. Understanding the different SDGs related to creating a sustainable city and how they are linked. 5. Understanding the concept of systemic change and evaluating where a business strategy or activity lies in the system of change.

Case Study