In recent decades, cities around the world have undergone major transformations which have completely altered their aspect and nature. These urban areas have seen their metropolitan areas greatly expanded, and with it an increase in transport links and networks to face an ever growing population who demand a better integrated and efficient public transportation service.

Within this context, many cities have had to improve and expand their public transport systems. The industry has been working for many years on a more effective solution to meet the needs and changes of these new urban areas.

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At this point, all new public transportation strategy’s must integrate these four fundamental principles: sustainability, mobility, innovation, and economic feasibility. These key points must be aligned with the city’s lifestyle where we intend to implement an urban or interurban public transportation plan.

Sustainability in public transportation responds to environmental values which must be addressed, in addition to comfort and safety issues. Mobility not only solves the integration and application of public and private transport systems, but also the establishment of communication networks and pedestrian areas in the city.

The new possibilities offered by mobility development and new technologies applied to the city are now added to the technical and mechanical innovations in public transport. Currently, smart cities and their essential needs as well as other new urban lifestyles are considered crucial for future projects. Examples of recent demands and requirements include pedestrian friendly areas, n, demand response, and, accessibility for disabled people and the implementation of new technologies for an ultimate urban experience.

One of the most important and relevant elements in any project is economic feasibility. While launching or optimizing public transportation networks it is important to consider issues such as financing, permits, licenses and public-private structuring.  But, nowadays it would be impossible not to include a company’s policy, fee management, employability, growth and competitiveness for both the transportation system and the city as a whole.

The International Association of Public Transport – UITP further examined these items in the World Congress and Exhibition which took place in Milan from the 8th to 10th June, 2015.

This biannual event celebrated its 61st edition this year and has become an international flagship to promote and show the most recent advances and innovations in public transportation. Its global nature and its exhibition area have set it as a pivotal event for the sector. The UITP holds a total of 1,300 private entities and organizations worldwide, 400 of which are European businesses that belong to or are related to the urban, suburban and regional public transportation sector.

Attendee and participation assessment results were positive. Nearly 275 companies from 38 different countries came to the event. Among the participants there were 12 Spanish firms and Goal Systems was one of them. The next event will be in Montreal, Canada in 2017.

Micaela Gomez