The official opening of the event took place on 26 May in the presence of Madame Doris Leuthard, Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication, who reminded the constant concern of the Swiss authorities for the development of the public transport system in the country.
Alain Flausch, the UITP Secretary General, declared in a press conference during the opening of the event that public transport enjoyed more and more attention worldwide and that financing-related problems could be overcome by varying income sources and identifying innovative solutions.
The UITP Congress in Geneva will include 15 forums during the three days among which sessions dedicated to railways, electric buses, integrated solutions or different regions in the world. For the first time, Central and Eastern Europe will have a dedicated session within the UITP Congress.
The General Assembly of UITP took place on 26 May as well, hosting the election of the new president of the organisation, Sir Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, who will replace Ousmane Thiam from Senegal, the first African president of the association.
UITP also awarded the Grow with Public Transport awards presented during the opening ceremony as follows:
Business model (i-move 2.0): to MTR Corporation Limited (Hong Kong, China) for the project “Rail plus Property Development Business Model in Shenzhen Longhua Metro Line”
Customer service: to Swiss Federal Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS) for the project “SBB.Connect – travelling with friends”
Integrated mobility: to Land Transport Authority (Singapore) – for the project “MyTransport.SG – your one-stop integrated transport companion”
Information technology: to IVU – Traffic Technologies AG (Germany) – for the project “Open data for London buses: new lean United Real-Time Interface (URA) for real-time data from Countdown 2 system using cloud technology”
Design award: to Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) (France) for the project “Osmose Bus Station”.
Political commitment: to Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality