The UITP Photo Contest, which came to its conclusion at the Global Public Transport Summit in Montreal, celebrated innovation in the sector and embodied the Summit’s theme of ‘Lead the TRANSITion’. We sat down with each winner to discuss their photograph and pick their brain about the future of mobility…
Interview with the Silver Winner: Taïb Chabbi
Taïb Chabbi is no stranger to public transport. In fact, the 48-year-old Belgian is probably more familiar with the inner-workings of the public transport system than most, having worked as a metro driver in Brussels for the past 12 years. Mr Chabbi’s unique perspective won him second-place, with his photograph of Brussels’ Schuman station.
The photograph highlights the multi-modal potential of public transport, with commuters waiting for the STIB metro while the SNCB train races overhead. A self-professed autodidact, Mr Chabbi uses various lenses with his smartphone, and also has extensive experience in the darkroom.
What is innovative in your photo?
Schuman is a truly multimodal station. It has been recently renovated, and is eco-friendly with its LED lights and open-air design. It also features a number of new skylights that let the sun in and illuminate the station.
How does Schuman station impact the Brussels’ public transport system?
Brussels is a city in constant evolution. As the city is constantly modernising, STIB wants to modernise its metro stations too. The most important thing about the Schuman renovation was to reduce the environmental impact and offer better services to its ever-growing number of customers.
What do you think are the benefits of the newly renovated station for passengers? What’s in it for them?
I think the multi-modality of the station is more efficient for passengers. The open space allows passengers to easily change between metro and train, which considerably reduces their journey time. The station is also very well-lit, which adds to a feeling of security and comfort.
Tell us about your vision of the future of public transport.
As a metro driver, I can tell you that the impact of public transport on the city will continue to increase. I think more stations will be renovated like Schuman, with more modern trains and better connections; increased speed and continuous network extensions. I also believe that in the future all ticketing will be done on smartphones. Public transport must expand to accommodate the growing population of cities!
Discover the portrait of Alex de Jong, VDL (Bronze Winner) and stay tuned: interview with Laura Mareovich (Gold Winner) to be published in the upcoming days...