What an exciting week for the bus industry! The UITP-Busworld International Bus Conference brought together the brightest minds in the industry, sharing experiences and solutions, as well as introducing innovative concepts and launching new projects. Our minds are satiated with knowledge and new ideas, and our wallets sit full of business cards from all the new and interesting people we've met from around the world at this successful event.
To wrap up the week, we sat down with our keynote speaker, Alok Jain, Managing Director of Trans-Consult Asia Ltd., for a final Q&A.
Q: What did you think of the UITP-Busworld Conference? Was it exactly what you expected?
The UITP Busworld Conference was a great opportunity to meet old friends of the industry and make new ones. The conference also gave an excellent opportunity to catch up on all the good work that is happening around the world towards the resurgence of clean and connected public transport. It certainly exceeded my expectations.
Q: What message do you hope that the audience in attendance – and those who heard of your speech afterwards – take from it?
A very simple one. The future belongs to public transport. It’s the smart choice. So, ditch that car and get on a bus!
The future belongs to public transport. It’s the smart choice. So, ditch that car and get on a bus!
Q: Some speculate that the bus can sometimes be overlooked in the modes of public transport. Were you surprised at the interest in this year’s event? We were sold out with a record level of participation.
Buses are never overlooked in the modes of public transport but they have possibly been underplayed in the past. The response to this congregation was unbelievable. The message was clear. The buses are not only getting smarter but sexier.
Q: Your speech gained a great deal of positive reaction both in the room and on our news & social media channels – how important are conferences such as UITP-Busworld to ‘spread the word’ of sectors such as the bus industry?
I am delighted to see the positive reception to my speech. Such conferences are great places to meet for like-minded people and deliver an assurance to the world that the world of public transport is in good hands. Such congregations allow open discourse, exchange of ideas and thereby enrich the knowledge base for the industry.
Q: The advancement of the e-bus was certainly one of the most important discussions being held during the conference. What does Europe need to do to follow China in growing this massively important field?
First and foremost, be bold. No innovation in the world has been flawless and neither would the transition to e-bus. China has achieved the transition by taking a big risk about a decade ago and today it leads the world.
Q: How important is an association such as UITP – dedicated to advancing public transport – during this time in the transport sector?
UITP is the thread that weaves the public transport of the world together. Today, any operator or authority around the world can join the organisation and take a leap in its knowledge base through participation in UITP trainings, conferences and committees. UITP provides the thought leadership and a unified voice to public transport practitioners.
UITP is the thread that weaves the public transport of the world together.
Q: And finally on a lighter note, what was your favourite moment of the Conference?
My two-day presence in the conference probably finished in 6 hours. It was that engaging. The most fun part were the after-hour parties at the exhibition where everybody put their guards down and joined the fun with a wee bit of music and dance. Whoever said world of public transport was boring?!
Disappointed that you missed the biggest international bus conference of the year? Check out our daily blogs for each day of the conference and feel like you were really there!