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Combined Mobility

Meet our top 3 candidates to host the Global Public Transport Summit 2023

  • Global
  • Future of Mobility
  • Summit
  • Urban mobility

This summer, UITP launched a call for expression of interest (8 July- 2 August 2019) to host the 2023 Global Public Transport Summit. After much deliberation, a list of 10 applicants were officially invited to apply to host the Summit 2023. From these applicants, three final candidates have officially been shortlisted on 23 October by the UITP Executive Board.

For World Cities Day, a day designated by the United Nations to promote the successes of urbanisation and address its challenges, we are proud to announce the final three candidate cities in line to host the 2023 UITP Summit:
Barcelona (Spain), Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC)
Brussels (Belgium), Société des Transports Intercommunaux de Bruxelles (STIB/MIVB)
Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)

Congratulations to these three candidates! All three cities set excellent examples of  “innovation and better life for future generations”. The final decision will be made in June 2020 by the Executive Board. Until then, we thought we would share a few highlights from these three attractive and competitive cities.

Barcelona, Spain

A sprawling metropolis located on the Spanish coast of the Mediterranean Sea, there is no doubt that Barcelona is a beautiful location for any event! Aside from that, Barcelona has an outstanding public transport system, as a result of long-term policies linking urban development and public service provision.

The public transport system in Barcelona, run by several of our members (FGC, TMB, TRAM, AMB, RENFE, ATM, …), keeps the customer at the centre of their operations, with an integrated fare structure and careful coordination of all mobility services.

Barcelona also represents a city full of innovation! Some industry leaders on mobility (such as Siemens, Alstom, Volkswagen Group and Nissan) and a large range of component suppliers are located in the Barcelona area. While already hosting events like the Smart City Expo World Congress, this city has marked itself as a breeding ground for innovation.

Hosting the UITP Summit 2023 in Barcelona would also potentially attract more of the Latin American and Mediterranean market to our event.

Brussels, Belgium

Some call it the “heart of Europe”, as this city houses the central offices of the European Union. At UITP, we generally refer to Brussels as our home-base, being the location of our main office!

Brussels is supported by a highly efficient public transport system which continues to move more and more people away from individual private cars and onto a tram, bus or metro.

The main transport operator, STIB, transported 417.6 million travellers in 2018, and this number is constantly increasing. In the past 10 years, STIB has increased the number of trips by more than 45%, and the capacity of the network has increased by 38%. The market share of public transport in Brussels is also constantly rising. Between 2007 and 2018, it grew from 14% to 35%, and in a recent study, 72% of Brussels residents reported using the transport network in the last 12 months.

In terms of business opportunities, given the proximity of European institutions, Brussels has a bustling international business community which attracted reportedly around 4 million business trips in 2018. The major mobility projects underway in Brussels are also an opportunity to approach civil engineering companies in neighbouring countries.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

One of the most populous cities in the UAE and located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai is renowned for its splendour, and is sure to impress any visitor.

In a city that serves more than three million inhabitants, congestion can be a real challenge, but RTA continually improves its offer and services in order to tackle this challenge and improve the quality of life in the city.

RTA policies have focused on active mobility, expanding cycling tracks from 10km in 2006 to 386km in 2018 and introducing shared cycling and scooter schemes. Operating hours of Dubai metro have also been extended by minimum 30 minutes, while some stations benefit from up to 1 hour 30 minutes longer service. Future rail plans, which include around 320km of additional rail lines will have protected rights of way in the city.

Innovation is thrives in this city, which is home to the world’s longest automated metro line. Dubai is also known as the international business hub of the Middle East and is ideally located to attract members from the Middle East and Asia-Pacific region.


The Global Public Transport Summit 2021 will take place in Melbourne, Australia! See you there!

Stay tuned to learn more about our top three finalists in line to host the Summit 2023!

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