The UITP MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition (25-27 April 2016) took place in Dubai and was organised by UITP and RTA. The event attracted 528 delegates from 34 countries, 85 exhibitors and more than 2,000 visitors bringing together both regional and international transport experts.
The event concluded the 27 April and reflected the urgency to find congestion-cutting solutions in the region.
Cities in the MENA region are seeing rapid urbanisation and the population is expected to continue increasing. At the same time, economic growth combined with the relatively low cost of car ownership is leading to increasing motorisation. Consequently, public transport and non-motorised modes will be crucial to limit traffic and congestion, which has already reached alarming levels in many capitals across the MENA region.
Eng. Khalid Alhogail, Chairmain of the UITP MENA Region and CEO-Board Director of Saudi Public Transport Company said
Here we see the challenge because we need to build big networks in a very short time and cities are becoming crowded and congested because of an absence of transport.
The role of governance and the issue of funding were mostly discussed at the event and the main recommendations were for cities to play a leading role in establishing a vision for public transport. The importance of providing safe and efficient school transport was also touched upon.
Despite congestion issues in the region, the event also gave the participants cause for optimism. Major public transport development projects across the region – such as Riyadh’s planned six metro and three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines - are already bearing fruit: in Dubai, for example, sustained efforts have seen public transport usage increase by 215% from 2006-2015. Dubai also announced a target of 25% driverless mobility by 2030.
The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) is a passionate champion of sustainable urban mobility and is the only worldwide network to bring together all public transport stakeholders and all sustainable transport modes. We have 1,400 member companies giving access to 16,000 contacts from 96 countries. Our members are public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, research institutes and the public transport supply and service industry.
UITP member companies in North America include some of the region’s largest operators in metro (New York, Boston, Washington, Montreal and Toronto) and light rail systems (Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Edmonton and Vancouver). UITP opened its first office in North America in New York City in 2015 to support the growth of urban transit in the region and will hold its flagship event, the Global Public Transport Summit, in Montreal in May 2017. Find out more about UITP’s activities in North America.