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Day 3: highlights of the day

We’re coming to you live from Stockholm where the biggest and brightest thought-leaders and professionals in the public transport sector have gathered together once again for the UITP Global Public Transport Summit!

With almost 100 sessions and over 2,500 potential business contacts to meet, it would be impossible to see it all. That’s why, over the next few days, we will be wrapping up the end of each day of our Summit with our top 10 highlights so that you don’t miss a thing!

If you’re onsite here in Stockholm, don’t forget to pick up your copy of the UITP Summit Daily News, brought to you by Cities Today, to complement these key highlights.

Tuesday, Day 3 – 10 highlights from a day of high-level meetings, new project launches, and our biggest session of the Congress!

1. CEO Breakfast

Leading public transport figures from 24 countries gathered yesterday at the CEO breakfast. “We should remember our common purpose: to make our cities move”, said Mike Brown, MVO-Commissioner, Transport for London (TfL), to set the tone of this meeting he jointly hosted with UITP Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani. The group discussed, among other topics, the difficulties of effectively capturing value to finance public transport infrastructure and applying these in different contexts. They also agreed to tackle together the challenge of the climate crisis and gender diversity. The group aims to release a post-Summit statement, so stay tuned on in the coming weeks to read more on this!


2. The Stockholm way

Where else would we start the Congress on the UITP Summit Nordic Day than with the Host Session titled ‘The Stockholm way’? With speakers from our local host SL and their collaborators, MTR Nordic AB and Keolis Sverige, this session delivered a complete overview of the public transport system in Stockholm, how it works and the culture that drives it forward. With Congress delegates piling in to learn from the fantastic example of sustainable urban mobility that Stockholm models, the speakers made it clear that the key to their success was “a mutual trust” in each other for a strong collaboration.


3. Going beyond the limits of metro automation  

Looking at the existing “gaps between the metro industry and the ongoing trends in automation and digitalisation”, Ramon Malla, Director of Strategic Projects at TMB (Barcelona) and moderator of this session, invited a panel of experts from the industry, the public sector and the academia to discuss how these gaps can best be bridged. Public transport professionals in the audience also contributed to this fruitful exchange by taking part in an interactive live-poll, the results of which indicated that the biggest barrier to automation in the metro sector is the difficulty for us humans to adapt to new competences.


4. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) on the Exhibition

More proof that MaaS is the talk of the town were the busy Expo Sessions ‘From travel planning to MaaS: delivering door to door mobility services’ and ‘Enabling Mobility as a Service’. During the sessions, exhibitors showcased their latest MaaS solutions which – although all unique – all strive towards making the lives of travellers easier, healthier and more flexible. Finally, from data analytics and open standards to the integration of all services, MaaS has no more secrets for the participants of today’s fully-booked innovation guided tour. Have a look at the tour guide and take a stroll down the exhibition hall for more insights!


5. BRT report launch

How can cities integrate Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems? This seemingly simple question has a rather complicated answer, as we saw today during the launch event of the UITP Report ‘Transforming Cities with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Systems: how to Integrate BRT?’. Produced in collaboration with the Volvo Research and Education Foundations (VREF) and BRT+ Centre of Excellence (CoE), the report centres around the notion that there isn’t one magic formula to integrate BRT systems into the public transport network, but that implementation practice heavily depends on local conditions. Adding to that, UITP K&I Senior Director, Umberto Guida, said during the launch: “With innovations such as clean propulsion, automation and connectivity having a transformative effect on BRT operations, we see great opportunities for transforming the system and improving operational conditions within the same BRT line.” The report will be available soon, in four languages (English, French, Spanish, and Chinese).


6. Artificial Intelligence and smart technology solutions

“Why should public transport care about AI?” asked Annabelle Huet, European Expert on Legal Affairs of UITP, at the opening of her presentation at this session. Organised by InformNorden, the ‘AI and smart technology’ session provided various answers to this question. From performance optimisation based on users’ travel patterns, to predictive traffic control, the possibilities of cutting costs and increasing environmental efficiency are quite persuasive. Read more about AI in public transport in our UITP Report!  


7. Launch of a new UITP National Association Platform

National associations of public transport from 20 countries across four continents met for the first time at the UITP Summit. Their mission: strengthen the cooperation between local actors and UITP in areas such as data, information sharing or advocacy. This meeting laid the foundation of a new ‘National Associations Platform’ that will soon emerge at UITP, and meet on a yearly basis on the occasion of the General Assembly.


8. Perspective and priorities for EU policy on urban transport 

“There are few business sectors that participate as much as public transport in protecting our global environment”, stated Nicolas Blain, Chair UITP Europe Division and Head of the International relations and European affairs Unit of the RATP Group during his opening statement. A few days after the European elections and weeks before the nomination of a new College of EU Commissioners, this session gave public transport industry representatives the opportunity to exchange with Herald Ruijters, Director – Investment, Innovative & Sustainable Transport of DG MOVE (European Commission). “We need a stable long-term framework with all forces involved. Sustainable transport will determine the future of our economy and needs to be on top of the agenda”, concluded Herald, endorsing the priorities set out by UITP in its Mobility on Top Manifesto.


9. Launch of new clean bus initiative

Another exciting bus happening on the ground here in Stockholm was the launch of APOLLO-EU, the UITP-led consortium that will manage a new platform under the European Clean Bus Deployment Initiative of the European Commission (EC). The launch welcomed Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of UITP and Herald Ruijters, Director Investment, Innovative and Sustainable Transport of the EC’s DG MOVE. Ruijters said: “We need to share best practice knowledge, we need to know how you procure, and we need to know what type of facilities are available. We should strive towards inclusiveness in clean bus deployment, where also the smaller companies and cities can use the knowledge that is available.” That is exactly what APOLLO-EU is about: bringing together European transport authorities and operators to boost and support the exchange of knowledge and expertise on clean bus deployment.


10. Redefining public transport

Cities around the world are growing at an alarming rate. For the public transport sector, answering this population challenge means keeping people moving, as efficiently and sustainably as possible. To do so, we must ask ourselves, first and foremost: what is best for the people we serve? This is essentially what inspired BBC StoryWorks in the production of a mini-documentary series filmed with our members, which in turn, inspired the title of this key plenary session ‘Redefining public transport’. “We have a simple, but provocative vision of a world that is free of traffic jams”, said Nat Parker, Chief Executive Officer, REACH NOW (formerly, moovel North America). Read our full article on this session here!