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The curtain comes down on another year done, So what were our greatest hits in 2021?

  • Global
  • Communication

What does a year look like in public transport?

We may not be able to relive an entire twelve months for you…but how about a annual recap instead?

The year is almost over, and we’re about to welcome in 2022…it’s been another year like no other.

At UITP we’re known to love a statistic or two! So how about an entire top ten of them?

Before you reach to rip off the final page of that trusty desk calendar, or swipe past the digital December on your phone planner…we hope you don’t mind staying with us for just a little bit longer as we share some key facts and fun stats.

UITP is a gathering point for public transport and the strength of community within our sector has come to define us. By looking back at what interested you most, we can see what output connects us as a sector.

So let’s begin our trip down memory lane, shall we?

Number 10

A look at the Second-Hand Bus Market with the EIB

Taking to the stage as we lift the curtain on 2021’s moment in the spotlight is a trifecta of highlights: collaboration with external stakeholder. Check. Sought after sector publication. Check. Content themed around an important topic in the bus industry? Check!

From May of this year, at number ten we have our Knowledge Brief “A Study on the Second-hand Bus Market” with the European Investment Bank. We often work with external partners and sector stakeholders here at UITP. On events, on publications…partnerships are often the name of the game to allow us to move important conversations forward. In a global effort to reduce our impact on the environment, public transport is looking at our own carbon footprint and the bus sector is ready to do its part. So what are buses doing to help air quality? And what about buses that no longer meet our environmental expectations? Find out in our joint release! Can’t get enough of our work with the EIB? We’ve just partnered with them to extend our collaboration!

Number 9

A focus on the vaccine roll-out in public transport

Sometimes news can remain popular eleven months after it was first published. And sometimes that’s because we dive into a topic of great interest and relevance to those in and out of public transport. Case in point, our number nine news is a detailed look at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic vaccine roll-out – and what that meant for public transport workers across the globe. Back in February, we took a closer look at essential employees and which cities and countries were placing our workers on priority lists. We’re now in the era of booster jabs, but did we take a look at your home city when we first shone a spotlight on the vaccine roll-out?

Number 8

Electric Buses in India with FAME-II

We may be taking a look back at our top ten most read news for 2021, but that doesn’t mean all the output that caught your eye had to have been published this year! Coming in at number eight is from all the way back in August 2020, with a look at FAME-II in India. The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric & Hybrid Vehicles (FAME)-II scheme allocated 5565 electric buses across 64 cities, giving a further push to clean mobility in public transport and help State Government Entities and State transport undertakings for intra-city and inter-city bus operations. UITP has a strong presence in India with our regional office and bringing you the news of an initiative towards more electric mobility in India’s public transport systems clearly struck a note with you – in 2020 and 2021!

Number 7

A new President for UITP

2021 saw a special moment take place for UITP when in June our new President was elected. Khalid ALHOGAIL, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on SAPTCO in Saudi Arabia became our new President. With a lengthy career and outstanding experience in public transport, the President was sworn in during our General Assembly. Ranking as the highest corporate news in our top ten, your eyes were also on this announcement from the summer. Congratulations to the new President!

Number 6

Changes to the 2021 Global Summit

With all of the changes that the world has lived through since the pandemic began, we’ve had to become used to all different kinds of news at UITP. At number six was the announcement, unwanted but necessary, of the cancellation to our Global Summit in Melbourne 2021. The pandemic taught us to get used to changes, some in advance and some more last minute, to our global events calendar. Initially moved from June to December, we made the decision in March of this year to officially cancel the next edition, due to have been held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time in 25 years. We were sorry not to have the chance to host the Summit with our partners and friends at Victorian Department of Transport, but with sector leadership comes tough decisions. Onwards and upwards to the 2023 edition in Barcelona!

Number 5

Public transport is Covid-safe

You’ll have heard us say before that UITP is a hub of knowledge, of sharing…of bringing our community together. Since the pandemic began, we’ve worked tirelessly to keep that going. We’ve collaborated with our membership to show the many ways in which public transport is Covid-safe. The data and insight produced through many studies and research, undertaken by our members, external partners and world-leading experts, and UITP has produced many important Covid-themed publications throughout the past almost two years. None more so than the one which has taken the half-way point on our list this year: our Policy Brief “Public Transport is Covid-safe”. Originally produced in October 2020, it struck a strong enough cord with you to make it in to the top five of our top ten list for 2021.

Number 4

Leaders of tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand

We like to see strong leadership here at UITP. And we like to see that interest emerge from the next generation. Coming in at number four is news from May of this year with the call to join the Emerging Mobility Leaders Committee from UITP Australia New Zealand. Advancing skills and supporting roles was the name of the game, as the Committee planned initiatives and activities to bring together young professionals working in the region’s public transport sector. The future of public transport is bright! 

Number 3

Accessibility and social inclusion for everyone

We’ve cracked our top three and we can clearly see why this news continued to grab your attention in 2021. Accessibility and social inclusion are vitally important talking points for public transport – but at UITP, we’re all about action too. Tackling mobility issues encountered by passengers, whether they relate to geographical, physical or social conditions, is one of the main focuses of public transport companies and governments, as mobility is a key factor for economic and social integration. We continue to shine a much-needed spotlight on serious issues such as accessibility and inclusion, whether this to be for disabled people, the elderly, or those with reduced mobility. We need to talk about these issues, and clearly you agree as our focus on inclusion made it in to the top three for 2021.

Number 2

Building back better in five major cities

2021 may be different to 2020 in many ways, but in a lot of ways, the similarities remain: Covid-19 continues to be the main talking point and once again content focused on the pandemic and our members has kept you reading. At at our number two spot was a look at five major cities and their focus for life beyond the pandemic, in connection to our Back to Better Mobility focus. Paris, Madrid, London, Moscow and Baku shared their vision for the future based around a digital gathering looking at the necessary steps public transport would need to take to build back better out of the pandemic. #MobilityForLife has never been more important!

Number 1

Advancing Open Loop Payments with our new Forum

Coming in at number one is news from this summer that mirrors our number ten spot as a perfect bookend to close out our countdown: A collaboration with an external partner to produce new and exciting content for you. Our most read news article of the year was your ticket to a better passenger experience with the launch of our new Forum to advance open loop payment in public transport. UITP, Visa, American Express, Scheidt & Bachmann and more key players from the industry launched the new Urban Mobility Open Payments Forum, aiming to advance the adoption of open loop payment systems in public transport.

It seems like the perfect choice to make it to our number one spot, with your focus landing on a story about making public transport as easy, familiar and compelling to use abroad as it is in your home city. The Forum is growing – and so is your interest in it! Stay tuned for more…


And there you have it. Our Top Ten most viewed news stories of 2021.

It’s been another busy, intense, productive year here for us at UITP.

One full of dedication, hard work and the desire to work with our membership to see public transport grow stronger for the world of tomorrow.

Our countdown varied in content, much like our output – there’s something for everyone with an eye on sustainable urban mobility.

It also shows the sector reach, and your recognition of it, that our top ten features a variety of topics on events, releases, policy, partnerships and statistics.

Join us in 2022 for even more news, releases, position papers, webinars and events…

From everyone at UITP, we wish you a happy holiday and a joyful New Year.

Stay safe and we’ll see you soon!

Please note that the UITP headquarters in Brussels, Belgium will be closed from Friday 24 December 2021 to 03 January 2021 included. 

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