International Rail Conference and SITCE speakers share their thoughts: Patrique Campal-Lindahl of Transdev

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As we conclude the 2018 UITP International Rail Conference and SITCE (Singapore, 9-11 July) our programme, panel sessions, speakers and participants have proven to be as outstanding as we predicted!

Over the past few weeks we have sat down with several of our Congress speakers and panellists to get their thoughts on the event, public transport in the region and the industry going forward…and we’re not quite finished with them yet.

Up next is Patrique Campal-Lindahl, Internal Culture & International Coordination Manager, Group Communication Department of Transdev Group, Paris, France and Chairperson of the UITP Marketing Commission.

Patrique, you are Internal Culture & International Coordination Manager at Transdev Group in Paris. Can you tell us more about your role and what it entails? 

Company culture is one of the key levers we have in the continuous quest to maintain organisational viability and effectiveness. While strategy offers a formal logic for the company’s goals and assembles people around them. Culture on the other hand expresses goals through values and beliefs and guides the company through shared assumptions and group norms. My responsibility is, together with Human Resources and Strategy, to lay the foundation to a shared culture across the 20 countries in which we operate, and to create a common sense of belonging throughout the 82,000 men and women in our group. Concretely this means developing group-wide communication, activities, campaigns, events that encourage collaboration and sharing across modal divides and geographical borders.

This year’s UITP International Rail Conference is combined with SITCE for the first time in Asia and will be based around the theme 'People at the Heart of Digital Railways', putting the customer at the centre of a modern railway system. How important do you think this theme is for public transport right now?

The theme is more important than ever; the digital transformation is rapidly changing how customers and employees want to engage and interact with companies. It is a rapid transformation that is taking place and we must be on the forefront if we are going to be able to answer to the mobility needs of today and tomorrow. It is extremely important that in this process we do not forget our internal customers, our colleagues on the frontline who interact with our external customers on a daily basis. In the end, with all the advanced technology available, there is still need for the human touch.

You chaired the Parallel Session: “Customer Service 2.0, 3.0 or 4.0…what matters is excellence!” where you and the panel discussed the customer service practice – web, mobile app, social media - of digitalisation in rail. Can you talk about the session?

The session provided attendees with insights into what three major transit providers in Asia are doing to ensure service excellence while addressing the customer experience. MTR from Hong Kong, East Japan Railway Company, and SMRT in Singapore gave different angles as to how to address Customer Experience in the digital era. I hope the audience were looking forward to an open and frank discussion, not just about the successes and victories, but also about the struggles and challenges that they faced along the way. I certainly was!

Transdev is one of the world’s leaders in mobility, with extensive experience in all modes of transit. In Europe, it’s estimated that you provide more than 5.7 billion passenger trips every year on national, regional and suburban railways. What do you think is next for the rail sector in Asia?

As we all know Asia is seeing rapid growth and urbanization, and directly linked with that is of course the need to develop reliable and effective transportation services. Rail is a very viable option to meet the demands of regional commutes as well as long distance travel. Yes these projects are complex, and there are many technical and economic challenges, but the interest and the will is there from all industry actors, public and private, to ensure that we adequately respond to the needs of tomorrow.

In the end, with all the advanced technology available, there is still need for the human touch.

And finally, autonomous vehicles continue to be an important talking point in the public transport industry – Transdev is a leader in operating AV systems – where is the sector right now when it comes to autonomous trains and metros?

Automation is clearly a way of the future. According to the UITP Automated Metro Observatory, automated lines have been deployed now in 37 cities around the world, depicting very different mobility needs and demographic contexts. There are many advantages to automation providing greater operational flexibility, very high safety record, and even a perceived increase in quality of service. My feeling is that an increasing number of metro projects will be constructed with automation, just as conventional metro systems will gradually convert.

Thank you, Patrique, for your time!

Catch up on our previous Q&A here!

Check us out on Twitter at @UITPnews and @UITPpress to get the full report from Singapore! 

Stay tuned for all of our follow-up and wrap-up news and press releases regarding the successful International Rail Conference and SITCE edition!

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