Following a unanimous vote by UITP members at the General Assembly in Montréal (May 2017), Mr Pere Calvet was sworn in as the Association’s President.
And what a year it has been…this week the President celebrates his one year anniversary, and in order to celebrate this achievement we sat down with the man of the hour.
To celebrate the anniversary we discussed his busy schedule since being voted in to the role; his thoughts on our UITP events, including the MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition (Dubai, 23-25 April) where he played an important part in the proceedings and the UITP International Rail Conference and SITCE Congress & Exhibition (Singapore, 9-11 July), the Global Public Transport Summit 2019 (Stockholm, 9-12 June) and the current state of play for public transport across the world.
But before we jump in…do you know all about our President?
President Calvet is a trained civil engineer, with more than 30 years’ experience in various sectors of public transport – including both metropolitan and suburban railway systems.
Since 2011, Pere Calvet has been the General Manager of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) in Spain, and has been involved with the modernisation of the Catalonian suburban rail network, as well as playing an integral role in the launch of Barcelona’s ‘Line 9’ metro project, one of Europe’s most significant automated metro initiatives.
So without further ado, over to the President…
Mr Calvet, you are one year in to your term, making May your first anniversary as UITP President. Is the role turning out to be everything you imagined?
It’s a great honour to serve as UITP’s President. When I took over the role from Mr. Masaki Ogata (UITP President, 2015-2017) I knew that our industry was entering a new era of great change. This is change driven by huge social and technological developments. I understood that an association such as UITP would play a major part in the advancements our sector would witness – and as I expected public transport has continued to develop in this past year. Digitalisation is proving to be a large part of the discussion on the sector’s future and we’re seeing great and exciting changes take place with the ongoing technology around electric buses and more. For the final year of my Presidency, I look forward to continuing to advocate for the very best access to public transport, advancing urban mobility and working with UITP to lead the call for our cities to be the most liveable and sustainable for modern society.
For the final year of my Presidency, I look forward to continuing to advocate for the very best access to public transport
You travel across the world to speak at and attend events in your role as our association’s President, are you learning new things about each region as you go?
I like to think that I learn something about each part of the world that I visit. It’s always a pleasure to meet members when I visit our regional bases. I’ve had an active role within UITP for the past 20 years (the President has held a variety of different roles within our association such as Chairman of fixed installation subcommittee, Chairman of the Metropolitan Railways Division and most recently, our Vice-President) and it’s always great to see how international the association is. We are member-led and those 1500 members come from 96 different countries, it’s quite an achievement. It’s always a pleasure to see as many of them face-to-face as I can when I attend events as UITP’s President. You can see the differences in the developments each member is making in every part of the world where UITP has a presence. What do they all have in common? Every single one is working to advance sustainable mobility and therefore advance public transport. It’s an honour to witness these developments on behalf of UITP.
You attended the MENA Congress and will attend the International Rail Conference and SITCE this year on behalf of UITP. How important are our events to highlight public transport developments in these regions?
As UITP is an international association, hosting our events – often with some of our members in these regions – is an integral part of our worldwide aim to bring together all public transport stakeholders and all sustainable transport modes. Our events provide a platform for leading industry figures to come together and present developments, share ideas and try to come up with solutions to take the sector forward. It’s great to meet with like-minded colleagues but to also use these events to come up with solutions for urban mobility together. The MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition (Dubai, 23-25 April) was held in partnership with RTA, our member in the region, and this year saw another successful edition take place. I enjoyed taking part in the proceedings, from our Y4PT Global Hackathon, to participating in the opening ceremony with His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Dubai is making great inroads in the mobility sector and I think the world is watching these developments with great interest. The International Rail Conference and SITCE (Singapore, 9-11 July) will also be an interesting event. Our local partners are LTA and I think 'People at the Heart of Digital Railways' is a wonderful theme – it combines the hot-button topic of digitalisation and keeping the customer, the people of our cities, at the core of these developments.
I like to think that I learn something about each part of the world that I visit. It’s always a pleasure to meet members when I visit our regional bases.
UITP is already preparing for our next Global Public Transport Summit (Stockholm, 9-12 June) What are your thoughts about Stockholm 2019?
I’m sure that the next edition will be bigger and better than ever before. I look forward to the Summit as it’s the largest event of its kind in the public transport industry and where everyone with a vested interest in the future direction of our sector will gather. That is how important UITP’s pillar event is. The Summit is always very well attended as our Congress is of great interest to the sector and our Exhibition is a great platform for so many of our members to exhibit their brilliant work. I look forward to working as UITP President this year and I’m sure the 2019 Summit in Stockholm will be an event to remember!
Thank you to the President from all at UITP for his time!
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Don't forget to register for the International Rail Conference and SITCE 2018 from 9-11 July in Singapore, under the theme 'People at the heart of digital railways'! Register now!