The International Transport Forum’s annual summit is currently taking place in Leipzig, where UITP is present to talk about public transport’s vital role in making cities attractive for business and tourism and the complementary role it can play in providing better access in regional areas in conjunction with emerging IT and community-based developments.
Good public transport supports cities. How? Access to the workforce (see a recent Guardian article on how bad public transport locks lower income people out of jobs) and access to a customer base is obviously good for business.
Other welcome effects are increased labour productivity, improved communication, lower infrastructure costs, and increased interaction with similar businesses. In terms of tourism, business travellers are particularly keen on good transport links - and leisure tourists spend more when they can access more.
Read Alain Flausch's article on public transport's contribution to the global economy, published on the ITF website in the run up to the event.
The session “Supporting business and tourism in cities”, hosted by UITP and the World Bank, discussed access and its economic effects and took place this on Wednesday morning (the Forum can be streamed live here on the ITF website) and will be followed on Friday by a session on regional transport titled “Taking Trade and Tourism beyond Urban Centres” where Mr. Flausch is expected to tell the Forum about how developments in IT and community based platforms are combining with public transport to provide solutions to the high-cost low-demand problem of providing access in remote or outer-urban areas.
Public transport could be a key enabler of the development of multi-polar metropolitan regions, Mr. Flausch is expected to tell the Forum. Some leading examples of this include the establishment of “Transport for the North” for the organisation of mobility among UK Northern city regions and the development of Randstad Rail in the Netherlands and Grand Paris Express in the Ile de France region. UITP is looking into these issues through the work of the SmaRT platform dedicated to small and medium sized cities and Regional Transport.
UITP will also be present in the open ministerial meeting today where Mr. Flausch will present UITP’s climate commitments and its role in the COP21 process. Ban Ki Moon issued a video address to the ITF yesterday calling on the transport sector to act on climate change.
The International Transport Forum at the OECD is an intergovernmental organisation with 54 member countries. The theme of this year’s Summit of the International Transport Forum is Transport, Trade and Tourism. It will take place in Leipzig, Germany from 27-29 May 2015. Participants include ministers and political decision-makers from the ITF’s 54 member countries and many invited countries.