With great expectations, should come a great introduction.
And with 41 years of experience in public transport across the globe, the introduction of Ian Dobbs as the new Deputy President of UITP should definitely stand out from the crowd.
In a career spanning four decades, Ian Dobbs has held a wide variety of positions within a global array of companies.
As a Director, Chief Executive, Advisory Board Member, Vice President, Chairman and Managing Director, Ian has the skills many in the sector look to for leadership.
So what do all of these positions tell us? They tell us that experience is at the core of everything Ian Dobbs will bring to the role of Deputy President of UITP.
Before we meet Ian, let’s bring his introduction right up-to-date…
Born in Nottingham, England and educated at University in Scotland, Ian’s career started with British Rail in the UK before relocating to Melbourne, Australia where he was CEO of the state’s multi-modal transport system. He had a period back in the UK managing private sector rail franchises with Stagecoach Group plc before returning to Melbourne as CEO and Chairman of Public Transport Victoria.
Ian is a member of Cubic Transportation Systems global advisory board based out of Dan Diego, California and he represents Cubic as a UITP member. However he is also a board member of Network Rail Consulting in London and Tasmanian Railways in Australia, as well as a Council Member of the Australian British Chamber of Commerce.
Importantly, Ian has been involved with UITP either as a member or an official since 1993. In 2015 he became Chairman of UITP’s Australia and New Zealand board and a global Vice President. His elevation to Deputy President comes at an exciting time for UITP as we approach our next Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm (9-12 June 2019).
So without further ado, let’s meet the man in question…the new Deputy President of UITP, Mr Ian Dobbs.
Ian, you’ve had a lengthy career in public transport – within the public and private sector – in several countries around the world. What first led you to pursue a career in the industry?
To be honest when I was first faced with the prospect of finishing my studies at university in Scotland I hadn’t got a clue what I wanted to do. Most of my peers were considering teaching careers but I couldn’t stand the thought of 40 years in front of a class of children! I’d always had a slightly “unnatural” interest in buses and trains, so I began applying to various transport companies as a graduate trainee. British Rail offered me a job and the rest is history!
To be honest I’ve been blessed. The public transport industry has given me four fantastic decades and I’ve loved every minute of it.
The public transport industry has given me four fantastic decades and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Your history with UITP goes back to 1993. What are your thoughts on your new role as the association’s Deputy President?
I’ve attended all but two Summits over the last 25 years, which is a bit scary! But over that time I’ve really enjoyed being able to develop the industry in a global context. I see the Deputy President’s role as a natural extension to that development. My role will be to support the President and Secretary General as we take the public transport industry to the next level.
As an international association, UITP reaches all corners of the globe. How important is it to work with colleagues from around the world to advance the sector?
Using our global network of public transport professionals to advance the sector is THE most important element of UITP’s work. Through our membership base we have a vast network of amazing and talented people who work in and around UITP and the industry. Bringing them together and sharing best practice is UITP’s most valuable activity.
There are many hot topics in the public transport sector…autonomous vehicles, AI, digitalisation and more. What are the latest exciting developments for you?
That’s a difficult question to answer in a few sentences. Some of the hot topics are difficult to predict in terms of how quickly they will develop as real solutions – such as hyperloop technology. However our cities are becoming more and more congested and urban living more and more challenging. So I’m most excited by the technology that is emerging in terms of traffic management and capacity enhancement of traditional systems and modes – in other words advances in technology that allow us to move more people, more efficiently on road and rail systems.
I am very keen that that the industry does more to invest in its young professionals and to promote diversity in the sector
And finally, what would you like to achieve in your career that you haven’t so far? What’s the next big dream you can share with our readers?
On a personal level, after 41 years in the industry, I’m very content with where I am and what I’m doing. However I am very keen that that the industry does more to invest in its young professionals and to promote diversity in the sector. I grew up in an era when I was given many opportunities to develop as a manager and I want to make sure that young people in the industry today have those same opportunities – whatever their location, background, gender or beliefs. We do need more diversity in our industry and now is a great time to start.
Read more about our new Deputy President in his biography here!