UITP World Congress, Expo call for boost to public transport

The Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (third from right) participates in the opening of the UITP Congress and Expo in Dubai, April 10. The Emirate has achieved phenomenal growth in public transport through major investments. Photo: UITP

Will Chennai, India’s second most densely populated metropolitan district as per the Census of 2011 see substantial investment in public transport to achieve PTx2 (a doubling of public transport share by 2025), a goal set by the UITP? For the record, there are 26,903 people per square km in Chennai, second only to Delhi.

This is a key question that will determine the friendliness and livability of Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s capital in the years to come. A rapid study done for Chennai in 2004 projected the increase in bus trips to be 2.8 times by 2026, and rail trips by 11 times during the same reference period.

Here is an overview of the UITP’s flagship event on public transport in Dubai between April 10 and 14, where the progress towards PTx2 was reviewed, and new technologies for public transport showcased.

The 59 th UITP World Congress & Exhibition – the World Congress and Exhibition of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), hosted by the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), was officially inaugurated on April 10th in the presence of Mr. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. Organised with the slogan ‘Boosting public transport: Action!’, the event is a key milestone of the UITP ‘PTx2’ strategy, which aims at doubling the public transport market share worldwide by 2025.

Only two years after the launch of ‘PTx2’ at the 58 th UITP World Congress and Exhibition in Vienna, many cities and organisations around the world have already taken up the challenge and are working towards doubling the public transport market share worldwide by 2025. The 2,000 delegates from 80 countries and the 300 exhibitors coming from 37 countries are in Dubai to assess the achievements made so far towards PTx2, a press release said.

“With growing urbanisation, cities will be stuck if we do nothing. Public transport is a vital part of the solution as it alleviates congestion, helps the planet breathe, connects everyone everywhere and empowers the economy,” said Alain Flausch, UITP President. “The 59 th UITP Congress and Exhibition is a key milestone in the UITP ‘PTx2’ programme and marks a global move towards more sustainable cities.”

Mr. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director, Roads & Transport Authority stated: “Since the RTA was established in 2005, our goals have been simple but ambitious. We want to increase our public transport market share from 8 per cent in 2010 to as much as 30 per cent in 2020 and develop mass transit modes with the aim of making them the favourite means of resident mobility across the city. The future holds more projects including an integrated rail network of around 300km of additional rail lines, a comprehensive bus line and service improvement plan and a comprehensive marine passenger transport plan. These plans in addition to our efforts directed to the implementation of different relevant transportation policies will help us achieve our challenging public transport mode share target.

Dubai increased its ridership by 90 per cent over five years increasing the number of passengers who used public transportation from 163 million in 1995 to 309 million in 2010.”
“Dubai was selected to host the UITP 59 th World Congress and Exhibition because it is at the heart of one of the most promising regions in terms of public transport development, namely the Middle-East and North Africa region. It is one of our PTx2 champions,” said Hans Rat, UITP Secretary General.

“For the industry, ‘PTx2’ is an excellent prospect which we support wholeheartedly because it will generate more business and more jobs in our branch,” said Hartmut Schick,
Head of Evobus, Daimler Buses and Chairman of the UITP Industry Assembly.

As many are aware, Daimler Buses is putting up a plant to manufacture buses with a new design at a plant near Chennai. This is an opportune time to sensitise the public towards high quality, reliable and affordable public transport, and thereby build it up as a political priority.

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