International Rail Conference and SITCE speakers share their thoughts: Roger Vahnberg of Västtrafik AB

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As we approach the UITP International Rail Conference and SITCE (Singapore, 9-11 July 2018) our programme, panel sessions and list of speakers and participants is rapidly taking shape.

Over the next few weeks we will be sitting down with several of our Congress speakers and panellists to get their thoughts on the event, public transport in the region and the industry going forward.

Up next is Roger Vahnberg, Senior Vice President of Västtrafik AB in Gothenburg, Sweden and UITP Vice President as Chairperson of the Organising Authorities Assembly.

Roger, you are Senior Vice President of Västtrafik AB, can you tell our readers more about your role and the company? 

Västtrafik is the public transport authority in west Sweden. We are responsible for all public transport in the region and in all our cities.  That includes buses, trams, train, ferries as well as demand responsive service. Our most important goal is to double the ridership to 2025 and so far we are ahead of schedule with 328 million trips per year. I’m responsible for all our operations as well traffic and infrastructure development.

This year’s UITP International Rail Conference is combined with SITCE for the first time in Asia and will be based around the theme 'People at the Heart of Digital Railways', putting the customer at the centre of a modern railway system. How important do you think this theme is for public transport right now?

In order to get higher market shares our customer should be the centre and heart of our focus: a customer-centric organisation combined with high level of service.  With digitalisation we can make trips in public transport more individual. Mass transit combined with MaaS can make this possible. 

Asia is in many ways leading with their focus on public transport.

You are due to chair the Parallel Session: “Mobility as a Service (MaaS): New grail? Fad? Paradigm shift?”  Where you and the panel will discuss how can traditional urban rail mesh in the web of intertwined relations and continue to guarantee freedom of mobility. What do you hope those in attendance will learn from the session? 

I hope they get insights about how MaaS and big data can help them develop their business. MaaS and autonomous vehicles together with new business models will definitely change public transport. In order to make this shift sustainable we have to change the way we think. 

You are responsible for all operations including, trains, trams, buses and ferries as well as traffic and infrastructure development for Västtrafik. What do you think of the public transport sector in Asia right now?

A lot of things are happening in Asia. Many cities are making large investments in public transport, like here in Singapore. Asia is in many way leading the way with focus on public transport. Cities have realised that public transport has to be the backbone in mobility.

And finally, you also represent Västtrafik in UITP and as the Chairperson of the Organising Authorities Assembly you are a Vice President of the association. With such close connections to UITP, are you pleased to see our next Global Public Transport Summit coming to Stockholm in June 2019?  

I’m very pleased. The Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm will be a great opportunity for everybody in the sector to gain more knowledge, networking as well as an opportunity to learn more about the Swedish and Nordic public transport market.


Thank you, Roger, for your time and see you in Singapore!

Don't forget to register for the International Rail Conference and SITCE (9-11 July, Singapore) here!

Stay tuned to our newsroom over the coming weeks for more in our Q&A Series from our event speakers! Catch up on the previous Q&A here!


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