By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy UITP, Sealink, CDC + ADL

WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORT an all-encompassing key discussion area in a Covid-blighted world, UITPANZ’s forthcoming online forum – starting Tuesday, 28 September – will uniquely gather 30 top international, regional and domestic experts to discuss industry evolution going forward.

UITPANZ executive director Michelle Batsas says this is a unique opportunity for public and private organisations to build a bold vision for the future of public transport in Australia and New Zealand.

Presented by the International Association of Public Transport (Union Internationale des Transports Publics) Australia/New Zealand (UITPANZ) - in partnership with the Victorian Department of Transport and international engineering, design and advisory company Aurecon – the Transforming Public Transport Forum will dive deeply into how authorities and operators can adjust to changing mobility behaviour and enable new travel patterns to ensure public transport remains, "…the backbone of how people move around our cities and regions," UITPANZ explains.

These experts will canvass a range of perspectives and share leading innovations and case studies of new mobility solutions being implemented around the world, the organisation confirms.

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Forum speakers include:

• Andy Byford, commissioner - Transport for London;

• Natalie Reiter, deputy secretary - Policy, Precincts and Innovation, Department of Transport, Victoria;

• Bernard Salt AM, managing director - The Demographics Group;

• The Hon Ben Carroll MP - minister for Public Transport, Victoria;

• Aneetha de Silva, managing director, Government - Australia and New Zealand, Aurecon;

• Nick Foa, head of Transport Services - Department of Transport, Victoria;

• Catherine Rooney, executive director – Strategy, Innovation and Data Insights, Department of Transport, Victoria;

• Luke Agati, CEO - Transdev Australasia;

• Jeremy Yap, deputy CEO - LTA Singapore;

• Sue Wiblin, executive director Emerging Technologies - Transport for NSW;

• Stacey van der Putten, group manager Metro Services - Auckland Transport;

• Joe Ma, deputy general manager - Shenzhen Bus Group;

• Alexa Besson - Transport Publics de la région Lausannoise, Switzerland;

• Segolene Deeley, director Corporate Affairs - Keolis Downer.



The Forum will be delivered online over four weeks from 28 September to 21 October, 2021, with five two-hour sessions, the organisation states.

UITPANZ executive director Michelle Batsas says this is a unique opportunity for public and private organisations to build a bold vision for the future of public transport in Australia and New Zealand.

"Covid-19 has had a huge impact on public transport and how people choose to move around our cities and regions. However, as we’ve seen around the world, the pandemic has provided an opportunity for authorities and operators to accelerate major public transport innovations, including real-time passenger information, contactless payments and improved network integration," Batsas said.

"UITPANZ has drawn on our global public transport network to harness the lessons learnt so we can keep that momentum going to improve public transport services."

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Natalie Reiter, deputy secretary of Policy, Precincts & Innovation at the Victorian Department of Transport says the forum will inform the agency’s strategies moving forward.

"The way people move around Victoria has been dramatically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. We are working hard to ensure that when passengers are ready to return to public transport, our services are better than ever," Reiter explained.

"The Transforming Public Transport Forum provides an opportunity for the Department to showcase its innovation, learn from other jurisdictions and lead a conversation with industry on how public transport can remain the best choice for commuters."



Aurecon, Australia & New Zealand managing director – Government, Aneetha de Silva, says it’s a great opportunity for government and industry to come together to share ideas to achieve a more sustainable and equitable transport future.

"We’re excited to partner with UITP Australia New Zealand and the Victorian Department of Transport to share our international expertise and contribute to such an important discussion for the public transport sector," de Silva said.

"Now is the time to drive innovation and transform public transport to prepare for changing customer expectations around sustainability, demand management and the passenger experience, focusing on the community’s mobility needs into the future."

Victoria’s Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said, "While Victorians have been doing the right thing and staying home, we’ve been working hard to accelerate public transport projects to keep our state moving and support thousands of jobs at a time our economy needs them most."

"There’s no doubt travel patterns are changing so we’re creating more space on public transport to give passengers more confidence, adding extra services and innovating with new technologies for when people are ready to return," minster Carroll added.

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Full details about the forum and registrations are at: uitpanz.eventsair.com/tpt-forum/registration




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, it states.

The organisation has 1,800 member companies from 100 countries and its members are public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, research institutes and the public transport supply and service industry, it adds.

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