INTRO: ’Public Transport 2020: Making the Connection - People - Environment - Business’ is the theme for the 56th World Congress of the International Association of Public Transport

Having previously staged its biennial World Congress in Roma in 1928 and 1971, UITP’s return to the Italian capital on June 5-9 marks the organisation’s 120th birthday. This year’s event will focus on public transport’s role as the link between the social, environmental and other factors that can stimulate economic growth, examining in particular how public transport should respond to changes in society in a sustainable way.

UITP will present the Club of Roma with a manifesto seeking to ensure that decision -makers recognise public transport as the key to effective mobility. Secretary General Hans Rat, and Presidents Wolfgang Meyer and Roberto Cavalieri will hand the manifesto to the Club’s President, HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan, who is the keynote speaker at the ceremony to mark the start of the congress. ’We want to clearly set out our strategic vision for the future, a future where public transport is a valued mobility option amongst citizens, and thus also in political decisions’, says Rat.

A wide range of topics is covered in dedicated workshops at the congress, with a choice of modal, thematic and regional parallel sessions enabling each delegate to construct a tailor-made agenda for the event. The programme ranges widely, with a plenary session tackling the energy crisis, the future development of society, cities of the future and the special challenges faced by public transport in low-income countries.

Another plenary session focuses on the latest developments in public transport in and around Roma, with a third debating the management of organisations in the context of sustainable development.

Sessions of interest to rail specialists cover information systems for improved rail operation and management, regional railways, new technologies for improved rail infrastructure and rolling stock, automatic fare collection, rolling stock design and maintenance, energy and the environment in rail systems, automation and driverless metros. Delegates will also be able to attend a light rail session with reports on tram-train development in France and the need for modernisation of tram networks in eastern Europe and the former USSR. More general sessions may also appeal, with topics ranging from finance to research, security and marketing techniques.

UITP is launching a ’Mobility Village’ concept at the parallel Mobility & City Transport exhibition. The Mobility Village will fully integrate the congress and exhibition to promote interaction between all participants. Open-air restaurants, coffee shops and typical street furniture will aim to recreate a village street atmosphere, while buses will transport visitors between halls at the Fiera di Roma exhibition centre.

The Mobility & City Transport Exhibition will host four Expo Forums on the exhibition site each day, offering congress delegates and exhibition visitors an opportunity to learn about recent technological innovations and business development opportunities. Subjects include the uses of modern information technology, radio communications, electronic, automatic and smart fare collection, plus rolling stock design.

Participants can also sign up for technical visits which include a visit to the Roma Metro Line A workshop at Osteria del Curato where the latest CAF-built trains will be on display.

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