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The UITP Turkey National Conference was held from 26-28 May, in partnership with Optibus.
An annual event, this three-day conference gives our Turkish members the opportunity to share knowledge, connect and tackle challenges facing the sector.
The digital conference welcomed all public transport stakeholders across the sector: Public transport authorities and operators, service providers, businesses, policy makers, scientific institutes and industry organisations.
Kicking off the first session, the theme of optimisation for efficient public transport services was discussed, especially in light of the new normal since the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A key topic for the sector, the speakers gave insights into reducing the costs of transport for operators and providers, and increasing the number of passengers using public transport. Ejder Ormancı, Strategy Consultant from Optibus Turkey, touched upon the change and transformation of infrastructure and the importance of technology, while highlighting the need to tackle issues with people-centred approaches.
Prof Dr Ela Babalık clarified the importance of environmental optimisation and the necessity of aligning the sector’s priorities with those set out by our climate goals.
Leading nicely into the second day of the conference, the theme clean and energy efficient vehicles in sustainable urban transport was covered by Dr Göktuğ Kara, the European Commission’s Transport Policy and Climate Change Sector Manager.
Closely followed by the sector in recent years, sustainable urban mobility plans were discussed in detail in relation to the EU’s sustainable transport policies. Dr Yıldırım, Deputy Secretary General at the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, discussed how public transport vehicles can be made more environmentally friendly, and how the sector can be transformed for a better future.
In the last part of the conference, the future of urban transport after the COVID-19 pandemic was covered by Kaan YILDIZGÖZ, UITP’s Senior Director in Membership, Marketing and Services, in collaboration with the CEO’s of Turkey’s largest public transport operators.
The speakers included Özgür Soy, CEO of Metro İstanbul; Sönmez Alev, CEO of İzmir Metro; Erhan Bey, CEO of ESHOT; Mehmet Kürşat Capar, CEO of Burulaş; and Feyzullah Gündoğdu, CEO of Kayseri Transportation Company and Chairman of UITP’s Informal Transport Working Group. Together, they discussed the challenges, best practices and solutions that will shape the future of urban transport after the pandemic.
It was clear from this pivotal session that a change in perception was needed from the sector. COVID-19 and new players entering the transport sector are two key factors which are changing customer behaviour and habits. A coordinated approach to regulation is needed to ensure sustainable mobility prevails.
Communicating and sharing experiences is crucial. The impact of the pandemic and other challenges we face today has provided a new understanding in constructing a liveable future. Public transport will become more important that ever before.
Thanks to the wealth of knowledge from all the speakers, each session was insightful and engaging. We look forward to next year’s event!
Keep updated with UITP’s activities in Turkey
Check out the dedicated regional page