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A look back on our digital world tour and what's in store for 2021

18/12/2020
  • Future of Mobility
  • Summit

Staying connected

2020 has been a challenging year to say the least. Yet, the transport sector has heroically stepped up and shown the world that we can continue to travel safely.

We all have a role to play in keeping our cities moving: Public transport is an essential service we can rely on, especially during the tough times.

Learning from each other is key to ensuring safe and efficient public transport. UITP events have always been the ideal place to help you achieve this. While we recognise the need to meet in-person, we cannot put collaboration, sharing and innovation on hold!

This year UITP launched the Digital World Tour, with a series of digital and hybrid events taking place across the globe so that we could all continue to connect, discuss and plan for the future.

Where did the tour take us in 2020?

Our first stop was at the India Bus Seminar. Key national and international speakers shared their knowledge and experiences on various topics from COVID-19, to innovation, digitalisation, and artificial intelligence in bus operations, planning and designing for electric bus systems.

From there, we headed over to the UITP Latin America Week where rich discussions tackled the impacts of COVID-19, recovery plans and governance. The opportunity to connect online was a huge advantage for people to join from across the world, as more than 850 delegates from 38 countries attended and the exhibition was a sell-out!

Up next was the Asia-Pacific Conference where we reinvented urban mobility for the world of tomorrow! This two-day event allowed us to delve into topics such as autonomous, intelligent and connected public transport for the future, the challenges and opportunities for public transport revealed by the pandemic, green mobility, and much more.

A month later, we took a train over to the International Rail Forum for North America (IRFNA), an annual seminar for regional attendees to hear about the continued presence and importance of urban transport for society and with a virtual exhibition hall, enabling instant connectivity between industry suppliers and transport operators.

After just a very short break, we travelled to Europe for IT-TRANS in collaboration with Messe Karlsruhe. Here, 1,750 experts connected from 60 countries, with 250 participating companies and institutions. We hosted 29 Market Updates, 45 Virtual Roundtables, and hundreds of one-to-one meetings were arranged. The live virtual conference sessions addressed topics such as mobile ticketing, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous driving, on-demand and shared mobility, Mobility as a Service (MaaS), data management and intelligent traffic management.

Taking place at the same time, we had the Taxi and Ride-Hailing Conference across two days with 30 speakers and seven sessions. Taxi and new mobility players are very much integrated in the sustainable urban mobility sphere, and the pandemic has definitely evidenced their essential role.

Phew, what a year! Our digital world tour has been a hit, but it’s not over yet…

So, what’s coming up in 2021?

In February, it will be time for the India Rail Seminar. More information on this regional event will follow shortly.

On 29-31 March, the MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition (MTCE), jointly organised by Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, will showcase the developments in public transport on a global stage under the theme ‘Building the future of mobility’. This hybrid event means that speakers and attendees can attend in-person or virtually. Check out the programme

And of course, for our grande finale we have the defining event in public transport: the Global Public Transport Summit taking place in Melbourne, Australia, on 14-17 December. World-renowned for transport professionals, it is the place to share ideas, innovate and develop meaningful connections. We can all appreciate after this year that that we have taken things in life for granted: Our ability to move, to connect with others and to go about our daily lives. That’s what makes this event’s theme ‘Mobility for life’ so important. We look forward to seeing you there!

We all have a role to play in keeping our cities moving: Public transport is an essential service we can rely on, especially during the tough times.

Adapting to the changing needs

COVID-19 may have forced many global events online, but with more speakers, exhibitors and delegates coming together, we can only further enhance the experience and value for everyone. And the quality of discussion and variety of topics from high-level expert speakers at all our events is unquestionable.

We are grateful to everyone who has joined us on this journey.

While the future is still unclear, we will continue to adapt to the changing needs of the sector.

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