Christopher Carey spoke to Pere Calvet on his re-election as president of UITP–the global public transport association–in June
What are you most proud of about your first term as president?
What I am most proud of is the close collaboration I had with the secretary general of UITP, Mohamed Mezghani, and all the UITP team, in modernising the association. UITP is the leader in its sector because of the business opportunities, knowledge, activities and all the advocacy actions it offers to its members. To ensure that we remain the leader, it is important that the association continues to modernise its governance and structure. During the past year, the organisation has taken bold steps to ensure that. I felt that it was my responsibility to support them in this period of change.
Why did you decide to stand for re-election?
I have this commitment towards UITP, an organisation in which I have been active for 20 years, and feel like I still have a lot of energy to give to help the organisation reach new heights. Also important is the support of my own company, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya. Thanks to the support of my own president and a very professional team I can devote time to the association and contribute to the development of public transport all over the world.
What are the most important challenges facing public transport?
I would say that more than challenges, there are a lot of emerging opportunities for public transport.
Digitalisation will be a key driver to further meeting customers’ needs and expectations. Inclusion in our workforce is a concrete solution to address the skills shortage, and urbanisation and an increase in demand give decision makers the leverage to invest in new public transport systems. This is how the urban mobility sector always met the challenges that it faced, by turning them into a tangible benefit for passengers.
What do you hope to achieve in your second term as president?
I want to continue the excellent work with the secretary general and his team. We will keep improving the governance of our organisation and implement new tools to increase efficiency and all of this while always reaching new standards in high-quality services for our members.
It will also be an opportunity to consolidate UITP as a worldwide organisation. Our next summit will be organised in Melbourne as we believe in a strong regional presence in all continents.
We will keep developing new services to answer our sector’s needs and develop cutting-edge content to help advance public transport.
UITP has a long history in the field of public transport, how does it intend to move forward in the coming years?
Indeed, UITP will soon be celebrating its 135th anniversary, so you are right to mention that we have built a strong understanding of the field of public transport. In the coming years, we will lead the global monitoring of artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, gender inclusion, electric mobility, Mobility-as-a-Service [MaaS], and so many other fields. We will do so by involving our members across the world, as well as decision makers, to ensure that public transport always remains at the top of the agenda. We strongly believe that, despite its age, our organisation is more relevant than ever in helping to achieve a sustainable society and preserve our planet for future generations.