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The Barcelona Declaration: Uniting Leaders for Public Transport's Future

  • Global
  • Advocacy
CEOs sign declaration at UITP Summit

CEOs from the public transport industry worldwide joined forces at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to public transport.

On Tuesday, 6 June, during the Executive Forum, an exclusive gathering reserved for the leaders of UITP Premium members, these influential figures engaged in high-level discussions on the sector’s key challenges. In a powerful show of solidarity, they unanimously endorsed the UITP Barcelona Declaration, underscoring their belief in the crucial role of public transport in society.

The Declaration serves as a testament to the undeniable and indispensable role of public transport in our daily lives, benefiting everyone, everywhere. It plays an intrinsic role in facilitating movement, fostering employment, supporting cities and economies, preserving the environment, promoting good health, and much more.

“The response to the Barcelona Declaration is truly uplifting. Considering the multitude of challenges our sector has confronted in recent years, such as pandemic recovery, climate events, soaring energy costs, and labour shortages, witnessing the unwavering commitment from our industry’s trailblazers is inspiring.”
Mohamed Mezghani
UITP Secretary General*
Attracting workers, converting passengers, inspiring policy makers

The Barcelona Declaration was developed by the UITP Executive Forum, where the global leaders of the public transport sector discussed the most pressing sector. Most important one among them: the labour shortage.

UITP President Khalid ALHOGAIL: “We can buy busses, we can buy trains, we can’t buy employees. Before the pandemic, we talked about automation and replacing workers. We scared off workers to more secure jobs. We have to be more attractive.”

“We are a big industry”, adds young professional Elisabeth. “Workers can move upwards as well as sideways. That, combined with our positive contribution to the environment, makes us highly attractive.”

From attracting staff, the discussion goes into attracting riders, and crucially: how do we attract drivers to leave their car behind?

Solutions range from personalisation to informing passengers. “We tell the user that the escalator they use daily is broken, and propose a different route.”

One CEO remarks: “The difference between the train and the car is that on a train you can use your hands. But if you need to stand, that’s not true anymore.”

The discussion ends with the question of how to reach policy makers. Clearly, the public transport sector needs speed and decisiveness from politicians. At the same time, the sector needs to build solid relationships with decision makers.

Spreading the benefits of public transport

The UITP Barcelona Declaration aligns seamlessly with the ongoing efforts of UITP’s Public Transport Benefits campaign. This campaign emphasizes the numerous advantages of public transport and the positive impact it has on individuals, communities, and the environment. It reinforces the principles and objectives outlined in the Barcelona Declaration.

As we move forward, let us celebrate this collective commitment to public transport and embrace the opportunities it presents. The UITP Barcelona Declaration marks a significant milestone in our journey towards a future for people, a future for the planet, and a future for progress.

Discover more about the UITP Public Transport Benefits at

Express your support

The Barcelona Declaration remains open for signatures, and CEOs of UITP’s Premium members are invited to express their support by contacting [email protected].

You can read the Barcelona Declaration at

*Acting on behalf of Mohamed Mezghani SARL

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