As the year draws to a close, we would like to take some time to look back at the major events that have taken place at UITP in 2014. We have selected some key moments focusing on the advances we have made and the most important events that have taken place in the public transport sector.
The year started off with a complete overhaul of UITP’s corporate look and logo in order to reflect our role as the only worldwide network bringing together all public transport stakeholders and our core aim of ‘advancing public transport’. We launched its very own social network, MyUITP, which allows UITP members to connect, share and learn. The new UITP website made it easier for public transport professionals to get in touch, share knowledge and make new contacts.
In 2014, each month was dedicated to a particular theme, and February was devoted to ticketing and IT in transport. Our biggest event of the month was the IT-Trans exhibition, where renowned organisations presented their cutting-edge products and services in Karlsruhe, Germany.
In March, UITP’s European department launched a brand new product: EU express, a monthly newsletter highlighting all of the changes and advances that are being made at the European level. The Youth for Public Transport (Y4PT) section promoted an initiative towards a healthy mobility lifestyle.
In April, UITP joined forces with the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) to strengthen women’s employment and to increase the share of female employees in urban public transport (who are particularly under-represented in leadership and technical positions).
May was an important month for the whole of the European Union as the elections for the European Parliament took a central role. After the election of President Jean-Claude Juncker, we were pleased to welcome Violeta Bulc as commissioner for transport.
In June, the EU released a report which outlined Europeans’ level of satisfaction with public transport. June was also a thrilling month because of the World Cup in Brazil. The football competition returned to its most successful country after 64 years, yet our greatest gratification came from the big and successful role that public transport played in the managing of big crowds and the significant increase in ridership due to the event. As many as one million foreign tourists descended towards Brazil for the World Cup and we were pleased to see how coping with these numbers once more illustrated the flexibility of our sector!
On the 15 of July this year a metro derailed in Moscow, causing the deadliest ever recorded accident in the Moscow Metro system. Alain Flausch, UITP Secretary General, stressed that: “Ensuring citizens around the world get to school or work safely every day is the number one priority for the public transport industry, although we realise that ‘100% safety’ does not exist. While such incidents put metro systems in the spotlight, we can take some solace from the fact that such events remain extremely rare.”
Alain Flausch was appointed to Ban Ki-Moon’s High-Level Advisory group on sustainable transport in August. The Advisory Group, established for a period of three years, will work with Governments, transport providers (aviation, marine, ferry, rail, road, and urban public transport), businesses, financial institutions, civil society and other stakeholders to promote sustainable transport systems and their integration into development strategies and policies, including in climate action.
Mr. Flausch took a firm stance on our responsibility, as a sector, towards reducing our impact on the planet at the summit in UN Climate Summit in New York in September. Pledges were made by UITP members to work towards real goals to reduce emissions, which were then presented at the Summit. September also saw the wrap-up of the Secur-ED project with a conference in Brussels, a project aimed at improving security conditions of urban transport, which began in April 2011.
At UITP we believe that everybody should get a voice. As such, in collaboration with our youth NGO Y4PT, we interviewed an array of youngsters from all over the world to know how they see the cities evolving in the future. Meanwhile, our African network focused on the importance of increasing the scope of public transport in the region, welcoming over 300 local and international participants in South Africa to its third congress and exhibition: Boosting Public Transport in Africa.
After what was clearly a busy year UITP would like to thank all of its members for their help and support in advancing public transport. We look forward to seeing you at our World Congress and Exhibition in Milan in June 2015 and we would like to remind you that although the Call for papers has ended the Call for focus sessions is still open!
Wishing you a Happy Holiday and a joyful New Year. Best wishes from all of us at UITP.