Global public transport summit – the need to lead the transition
Two years after Milan, the biggest event in public transport is back. The 2017 UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Montréal is now just weeks away and comes at a time when the urban mobility industry is witnessing a rapid and significant transition.
In times of unprecedented urbanisation, digitalisation, advances in green energy and the emergence of new mobility players on the scene, the public transport sector simply cannot afford to stand on the side-lines and have its future determined only by others. The changing mobility world is seeing the emergence of various innovative transport services that offer the shared use of vehicles and which are becoming an increasingly common sight on today’s city streets.
Together, with the rise of autonomous driving technology, these services have the potential to either dramatically reduce private car dependency and congestion, or encourage it. One of the key topics that will be covered during the Global Public Transport Summit is how autonomous vehicle technology and new transport services have the potential to completely redefine how authorities plan and improve public transport, in both urban and intra- urban areas.
The Summit will highlight how public transport is taking the lead in the deployment of autonomous mobility services and look in-depth at their exciting potential. The public transport sector is driving innovative solutions, such as alternative propulsion systems, that are allowing for ever-greater energy efficiency. During the Summit a diverse range of industry leaders, including vehicle manufacturers and transport operators, will show how they are embracing these technologies and share cutting edge industry techniques.
The Summit will also focus on trends in digitalisation and the constant innovation that are driving the need for new skills in the entire mobility sector. In order to continue serving the needs of customers, as well as stay competitive, public transport operators and manufacturers must adapt to – and even take part in developing – these new technologies, whilst dealing with challenges in cybersecurity. All of these discussions will take place in Montréal against the backdrop of unprecedented urbanisation: according to the 2014 UN World Urbanisation Prospects Report, around 66% of the world’s population will be living in cities by the year 2050.
Though many socio-economic factors are driving this evolution, it is clear that cities must work harder to include people from all levels of society, to enable cities to take on a more prominent role in tomorrow’s world. This also includes public transport and meeting the needs of all customers, including the elderly and people with reduced mobility, which is a growing concern.
A forum for innovation
Featuring an exhibition of almost 30,000m², the Summit has long-been renowned for unveiling the most important industry trends and developments, including numerous world premieres. At the last edition in Milan, almost 300 exhibitors from around the world displayed their latest wares, from cutting edge electric buses to ground-breaking rail and IT solutions. This edition will offer a particular focus on the very latest innovations, an overview of the new players entering the sector and a tantalising glimpse of the future of public transport. In Montréal, a space covering 3,000m² will also be exclusively reserved for North American companies, providing visitors with an extraordinary showcase of knowhow and a unique overview of the state of the industry in North America.
A logical choice
A logical choice Over the last few years, public transport has enjoyed an historic success in Montréal. The concerted efforts of the Québec government and Greater Montréal Area municipalities have yielded significant results, driven in particular by the first Québec Public Transit Policy (QPTP) which aimed to increase services offered and ridership.
On this aspect, the Montréal region achieved, in 2013, an all-time ridership record of more than 725m passenger trips. During the event, a North American day, dedicated to exploring topics affecting the continent, will explore a public transport market that is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance. Around 30 cities in the US and Canada are currently working on light rail projects either preserving existing lines, extending networks or creating brand new systems, such as the €1.3bn Valley Line project in Edmonton or the €1bn Evergreen Line extension in Vancouver. Montréal: the world capital of public transport in 2017 The 2017 UITP Global Public Transport Summit will provide a timely forum for the entire urban mobility world to come together when it is facing such rapid and unprecedented change. Montréal will be the world’s capital of public transport in 2017 as transport leaders will rub shoulders with the likes of urban leaders, tech wizards and policy watchers in the Canadian city to discuss, debate and determine the direction of this dynamic sector.