Business insights

Quality passenger service with the urban mobility digital revolution

Quality passenger service with the urban mobility digital revolution

Khalid Alhogail, President of Union Internationale des Transports Publics, underlines how collaboration, innovation and determination are fundamental to encourage the use of public transport. The UITP invests in promoting digital development in the sector, as it is of great interest to those who live in our cities and can experience an innovative and futuristic public transport.

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Public transport should be more visible in showcasing the many ways in which it benefits our cities and urban quality of life, and technology can help promote it with new means.

What is the role of public transport in the future and how do you plan to promote its use?

The public transport sector has faced a significant impact by the coronavirus pandemic with declining ridership and revenue, extra infrastructure and necessary sanitation costs, and not enough political and financial support. However, during these times of crisis, the sector has been defined by its strength of community.  At UITP we have worked tirelessly to bring the sector together to keep advocating for more support from decision makers, and to push urban mobility further up the political agenda.
We know that when it comes to building back better, the future will be determined by collaboration, innovation and determination – we need to make sure public transport remains the most convenient, easiest and productive mobility choice for people moving around our cities. Within UITP, and the association’s wider membership, we know that the future should be driven by technology, and the digital revolution taking place in the sector can work towards making sure urban mobility best serves the passenger
We must also make sure that communications and marketing tools are used to their strength, as messaging matters. Therefore as we look to keep rebuilding after the pandemic, and into the future, our messaging should remain strong and focused on the many ways in which public transport usage benefits our cities with cleaner air, less congestion, more accessibility, and better movement for all. 

How do you see technology helping to promote public transport, making it more appealing?

Technology is an important tool for public transport, and during the past five to ten years, there has been a digital revolution taking place within the sector. People want more ease of access, and they want public transport that is safe, accessible and convenient. Although traditional modes will always remain the backbone of mass public transport, there is a place for other players and actors within the urban mobility landscape. If we combine all forms of active mobility, we can offer people more choice, and this includes with technological advancements. 
UITP has been working to promote these developments with a focus on topics such as data, Mobility-as-a-Service, ticketing, Artificial Intelligence, and more, in recent years. Whether this has been through new publications and projects, or working groups and Forums, these topics can be of great interest to those who live in our cities, and we must make sure that public transport is seen as innovative and futuristic. These are among the technological developments within public transport that can help to bring appeal to the sector for future generations, but we must also use technology to promote public transport in other ways
Public transport should be more visible in showcasing the many ways in which it benefits our cities and urban living. We must make sure that the sector has a positive image within campaigns, advertising and promotion. Public transport is a sector open to everyone, and should be used by everyone. I take great enjoyment from getting to speak about the work going on in public transport, and we must always take these opportunities to talk about the future of public transport.
After all, the more people who are potential new passengers, will be the faces who jump aboard our trams, trains, buses and metros, choosing sustainable urban mobility, rather than individual car use.

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Francesco Moretti - Fincons Group Francesco Moretti

Fincons Group

Group Deputy CEO and CEO International