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Advancing the knowledge and skills of the public transport sector in North America: 2023 highlights and beyond

    A milestone achievement!

    This year sees UITP’s first Regional Training Center in North America (NARTC). Alongside our partners NJ TRANSIT and the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT), the collaboration aims to meet the ever-increasing training needs of professionals working within the public transport sector. The inaugural year was nothing short of impressive, with each of the in-person UITP Academy training courses attracting full capacity crowds of 40-50 registrants. The success of the year builds momentum for a better, more sustainable and promising future for the NARTC, in bringing world-class training to the region and the continent.

    Establishment of the Regional Training Center

    As the global demand for sustainable urban mobility grows, UITP, alongside its North American members, has recognised the need to take a proactive role in enhancing the skills of the region’s public transport workforce. NJ TRANSIT, a global leader in sustainable public transport and a prominent UITP member, emerged as a strategic partner to establish the first Regional Training Center in North America.

    The formalisation of this partnership took place during a live broadcast ceremony on March 16, 2023, at Rutgers University, represented by the signatories to the Agreement including NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett, UITP Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani, and RutgersCAIT Director Dr. Ali Maher. This partnership underscores a commitment to invest in the growth and development of the public transportation workforce in North America, as well as creating valuable insights to drive innovation in the industry.

    I am very pleased at the great success of our recently launched North American Regional Training Center, formed in partnership with UITP and Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure & Transportation (CAIT)… This achievement is a testament to the effective collaboration with UITP and Rutgers CAIT, and I want to express our gratitude for their contributions.  We all are committed to enhancing the transit system in New Jersey and the rest of North America, and to fostering a skilled workforce to create a better future for our communities.”
    Kevin S. Corbett
    NJ TRANSIT President & CEO; and UITP Vice President for the United States of America

    The role of the UITP Academy

    At the heart of the UITP Academy’s mission is a comprehensive training calendar featuring both open and customised programmes for professionals in the public transport sector.

    These programmes transcend traditional classroom training, fostering an environment where participants can exchange ideas and share experiences with international experts from the UITP Academy, as well as other industry professionals. The training sessions also provide real-world learnings and valuable networking opportunities between the participants.

    The 2023 open calendar programme included essential training topics such as:

    • Public Transport Fundamentals
    • Electric Buses: Fleet & Infrastructure Planning, Operations and Maintenance
    • Rail Operations & Maintenance, and
    • Ticketing & Fare Management

    Additionally, a customised training for NJ TRANSIT leadership, titled ‘Public Transit Essentials for Executives,’ demonstrated a commitment to addressing the leadership needs of the organisation.

    The success of the training programmes was evident in the full-capacity attendance, with more than 150 participants across four three-day training sessions held at the Rutgers campus in New Jersey. The Executive Leaders training, tailored for NJ TRANSIT, attracted more than 30 professionals, showcasing the demand for advanced training at the executive level

    Trainers and experts

    The live in-person training sessions were enriched by the presence of more than 20 leading industry experts and trainers from both North America and Europe. This highly skilled and diverse group facilitated insightful discussions and shared experiences with participants, creating a dynamic learning environment.

    Learning and insights

    The feedback from participants highlighted several key learnings, emphasising the importance of gaining inspiration for transformative thinking and promoting positive change. Attendees valued the diverse perspectives offered by speakers and trainers from different environments and organisations, showcasing the variety of experiences and challenges faced in the industry.

    The establishment of new contacts, understanding the strategies of other transit authorities, and gaining insights into the evolving landscape of the public transport sector and across all transport modes, were also key takeaways.

    Participants expressed appreciation for the various training programmes’ ability to reduce and adopt new learnings, offering valuable insights into the experiences of other transit organisations. The training also provided a global perspective on various topics, comprehensive knowledge of processes and pitfalls, and exposure to new thinking to help meet day-to-day challenges, as well as more innovative thinking.

    Calendar for 2024

    As UITP Academy begins to unveil its 2024 Training Calendar, the programming for North America is looking promising. Confirmed programmes to date include:

    • March 25 – 29: Public Transport Fundamentals
    • June 18 – 20: Bus Operations and Excellence
    • October 9 – 11: Rail Operation & Maintenance

    Anticipating the sector’s dynamic needs, an additional one or two training courses are expected to be added in the second half of the year. Registration for all the confirmed training sessions will open in the early weeks of the new year.

    It is with a great sense of pride that the UITP Academy is bringing services to members in North America. The tailor-made programmes address key sector issues in the USA and Canada, resulting in knowledge and skills applicable to the local workforce. I will be the first to celebrate the many more achievements to come!”
    Lindsey Mancini
    Senior Director UITP; Events and Academy Services

    The partnership between UITP and NJ TRANSIT, and the establishment of the NARTC in 2023, marked a significant step towards advancing the knowledge and skills of the public transport sector in North America. The success of the inaugural year, with its fully subscribed training programmes and positive feedback, bodes well for the future.

    UITP Academy’s commitment to excellence in training and development positions is a vital resource for transport professionals seeking to navigate the challenges and embrace the opportunities in the ever-changing landscape of public transport. Given the exciting calendar for 2024, UITP Academy and its partners NJ TRANSIT and Rutgers CAIT via the NARTC are poised to make an enduring impact on the industry, fostering innovation and collaboration for years to come.

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