Metro directives discuss digitalisation at UITP Metro Assembly in Vienna

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The 2017 edition of the UITP Metropolitan Railways Assembly - the annual meeting of CEOs and technical directors of member metro operators - was held in Vienna (27-29 September 2017) by invitation of local operator Wiener Linien.

High on the agenda was digitalisation, which brings many opportunities for public transport: increasing efficiency, improving quality & customer experience, lowering costs and opening new services and revenue streams. Mr Marc Grau Mancebo, Director of the Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona metro network and Mr Tae Ho Kim, the CEO of Seoul Metro, spoke on the digital transformation of their networks and its impact on their organisations.

However, and as highlighted in the Assembly closing panel, digitalisation also brings significant challenges due to the complexity of integrating this digital evolution in to existing organisations.

For this reason, digitalisation will continue to be a priority subject for UITP in the next two years: we have created an operators – industry working group to address digitalisation and asset management for rail systems.

UITP has also placed the topic of rail digitalisation and its impact on human resources as the focus of the UITP Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition (SITCE) (9-11 July 2018).

Vienna constituted an excellent opening venue for this discussion. Wiener Linien has developed a strong vision and in this field is leading the development of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform to structure a true combined mobility offer to its citizens. They are also developing digitalisation projects to support their infrastructure management and launching a plan for the full automation of the network.

Reinforcing this commitment, Vienna’s Mayor Dr Michael Häupl met with UITP President Pere Calvet and UITP Secretary General Alain Flausch, agreeing to join the UITP Global Urban Mobility Innovation Champions’ Club..


                    pictured: UITP President Pere Calvet and Secretary General Alain Flausch

This initiative builds on the success of the Urban Mobility Innovation Index – a joint initiative by UITP, RTA Dubai and Future Cities Catapult that aims at fostering innovation in the urban mobility services and systems of cities worldwide.

To support their ambitious metro automation plan, Wiener Linien CEO Günter Steinbauer and Ms Mercedes Vidal, the Barcelona City Councillor for Mobility and President of Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, signed at the closing of the Assembly a cooperation agreement to collaborate on the development and modernisation of the Vienna metro.Through the agreement, the Barcelona metro network will provide the model for new automatic lines in the Austrian capital.


The UITP Metro Division gathers 93 metro operating companies, representing 2/3 of the metro infrastructure in operation, and carrying ¾ of metro passengers in the world. The Assembly is the annual meeting of the Division members, dedicated to review the recommendations and reports arising from the work of the UITP Metro Subcommittees. Subjects discussed this year included project management for full metro automation, energy recovery in metro systems, workshop (re)design linked to the introduction of new rolling stock and good practices in the psychological assessment of metro drivers. The event also includes presentations of significant metro projects from our members around the world.

This year’s edition had 111 participants, representing 30 metro networks from all continents, with a significant delegation from Asian networks (Wuhan, Guangzhou, Taipei, Tokyo and Singapore). The Assembly in Vienna also had the participation of three partner Associations in representation of Eurasian Metros (Metro Association), Latin American Metros (Association Latinoamericana de Metros y Subterráneos) and China’s metros (China Association of Metros).

For UITP Metro activities and access to UITP metro reports please contact:

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