As we approach the MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition (23-25 April) in Dubai, our programme, panel sessions and list of speakers and participants is rapidly taking shape. Over the next week we will be sitting down with several of our Congress speakers and panellists to get their thoughts on MENA, public transport and the industry going forward.
Up next, we’re pleased to bring you some thoughts from Laurence Batlle, President of the Executive Board at RATP Dev in France.
This year’s edition of the MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition is based around the theme of pioneering for customer happiness, recognising that customers are at the core of public transport service, how important do you think this theme is for public transport right now?
At RATP Dev, there are four fundamental principles that drive our initiatives to shape the future of urban transit. We believe in a future where urban mobility services are technology-enabled, sustainable, people-centric, and inclusive. ‘Mobility for all’ is one of our credos. At the end of the day, public transport is about people, so making it convenient and enjoyable for all users is—and should always be—of utmost importance.
The MENA region gathers some of the largest, most ambitious mobility projects in the world. We intend to be a key player in this mobility revolution, as public transport in the MENA region continues to transform the industry.
The MENA region is leading the industry in many ways when it comes to revolutionary public transport, particularly Dubai, what do you think the world can learn from the progress the MENA region is making?
The MENA region provides unique opportunities for greenfield projects, with the capacity to build long-term partnerships and develop major public transport services. These countries are paving the way by tapping into innovative ideas, harnessing cutting-edge technology and developing forward-looking solutions to make even the most ambitious projects a reality. The smart city of Dubai is a shining example of thought leadership on how technology offers new hope and potential for the future of the world’s cities and urban communities - and mobility is at the heart of this urban transformation.
UITP recently launched the #PT4ME campaign with the World Bank to promote and advance women in public transport. What do you think the public transport sector can do to break down barriers for women working in our industry?
Gender equality principles are part of RATP Dev’s DNA so we strongly believe in initiatives like the PT4ME campaign to promote it.
Earlier this year, RATP Dev signed the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEP) in UAE, reaffirming our commitment to empowering women and promoting equality. Incorporating these core values into everyday business practices, policies and procedures is key, and it can be done through recruitment, training, and corporate mobility. RATP Dev has also set targets for the number of women in leadership roles and throughout our organisation globally. It has proven to be an invaluable asset in building teams that are open-minded, responsive, and agile.
And finally, what do you hope the many visitors, attendees and guests from across the world take away from the 2018 edition of the MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition?
The MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition is the biggest public transport event in the MENA region, so it’s an exciting opportunity to meet with public officials and local stakeholders, in addition to connecting with global leaders and innovators in mobility solutions. The MENA region gathers some of the largest, most ambitious mobility projects in the world. There’s tremendous potential. We intend to be a key player in this mobility revolution, as public transport in the MENA region continues to transform the industry.
Thanks to Laurence for taking the time to speak with us!