The 59th UITP World Congress and Exhibition: The bet paid off! Beyond expectations

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Source:  www.reuters.com

The 59th World Congress and Exhibition of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) hosted by Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) closes its doors today.

UITPDespite some scepticism about the location choice and about the ambition to double the public transport market share worldwide by 2025, the event ends with results that surpassed expectations. The nine winners of the PTx2 awards are but a few examples of the community commitment to the UITP ambition.

The first UITP World Congress and Exhibition held in the MENA Region was attended by 2,000 delegatescoming from 80 countries. The exhibition (252 exhibitors from 37 countries30,000 m2) was visited by9,700 visitors. Many Ministers, elected officials, CEOs and high-level executives from authorities, industry and operators ware present.

Dubai and RTA demonstrated exceptional hospitality and commitment to the UITP audience. Delegates had the opportunity to experience the longest driverless metro line in the world built in one go, the dense bus system as well as the convenient taxi services. They were also informed about some important deadlines for the start of revenue-service of the green metro line by the end of the year and the opening of the Al Sufouh LRT line scheduled for 2014.

Mr. Mohammed Obaid Al Mulla, RTA Board Member, Chairperson of the Higher Organising Committee of the 59th UITP Congress and Mobility & City Transport Exhibition said

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge, first and foremost, the ongoing efforts of UITP, which consistently strives to encourage decision makers to turn decisions into tangible projects aimed at doubling the public transportation market share by 2025. This is the most salient goal of UITP, which is the platform for the exchange of best practices and setting standards for public transport across the world.”

The multiple environmental, social and economic benefits of PTx2 provided a supportive basis for the continuation of the UITP campaigning effort. This Congress and Exhibition confirmed the extremely high acceptance and commitment of the public transport community on all five continents to the target set by UITP.

Beyond the general consensus on the crucial necessity to boost public transport, the major concern was how to finance this ambition.

“To materialise PTx2 we will need a tremendous amount of money to provide enough capacity. But I am quite confident. Now we know what the future will be if we don’t achieve PTx2. The benefits of doing it and the money saved thanks to less congestion, energy savings, reduced health costs, etc.  should be invested in public transport,” said Alain Flausch, President of UITP.

“Here we saw visions, we saw strategy and we saw commitment,” said Hans Rat, Secretary General of UITP. “PTx2, PTx2. It is becoming karma.”

“What we need is balance between the two As, accessibility and affordability, and the three Is, integration, intermodality and interoperability,” said Brian Simpson, Member of the European Parliament and Chairman of the Transport Committee.

The PTx2 movement has started and the most ambitious initiatives and projects were rewarded from among the 155 applications received for the PTx2 Awards, which demonstrated this movement perfectly.

PTx2 Awards Winners 2011

Daring Ambitions Award: Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, United Arab Emirates

Finance Innovation Award: Compañia Uruguaya de Transportes Colectivos, Uruguay

Knowledge & Research Award: Centre of Excellence in Urban Transport, India

Political Commitment Award: Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Nigeria

Public Transport Advocacy Award: Canadian Urban Transit Association, Canada

Service Improvement Award: Azienda Trasporti Bergamo, Italy

Technology & Innovation Award: Vix Technology, France

Special Award: Svensk Kollektivtrafik, Sweden

Special Award: Land Transport Authority, Singapore

The bet in Dubai and for PTx2 paid off in 2011.

The next stop is Geneva, where the 60th UITP World Congress and Exhibition will be hosted by Transports Publics Genevois, tpg, from 26 to 30 May 2013, held in the Palexpo.