Who’s Who in Public Transport: Key Organizations at a Glance
Without them public transport wouldn’t have been what it is today. Get to know some of the most influential organizations in the public transport industry such as UITP, ITxPT and APTA, and learn how they shape the mobility of tomorrow.
The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) is the biggest international network for public transport professionals. Established in 1885, it is the only worldwide organization to bring together all public transport stakeholders and all transport modes. Its community of over 1.900 members from more than 100 countries include public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry.
UITP sees itself as “the global advocate for public transport” and a “passionate champion of sustainable urban mobility”. The association encourages innovations in all modes of public transport: metro, bus, light rail, regional and suburban rail, and waterborne transport. By supporting the entire sector, UITP continuously works towards enhancing quality of life and economic well-being in urban areas worldwide. To do so, UITP is actively
- releasing publications and statistics
- organizing events
- leading research and innovation projects
- delivering training programs.
UITP has industry leading publications to its credit. Its global public transport summit with over 15.000 visitors brings together the entire sector. The organization also partners with the WHO and UN-Habitat. In order to seek a local presence with its members, the Brussels-based UITP has 14 other liaison and regional offices, two Centers for Transport Excellence as well as other regional training centers across the globe.
UITP provides its members with different kinds of resources to help them with the day-to-day and strategic issues of their business. Besides the opportunities for benchmarking, networking and knowledge sharing within the community, there is something for every sector in the global knowledge base built up over 129 years as well es the extensive online library with over 60.000 references.
In fact, UITP’s capabilities extend far. For the sake of sustainability in public transport, the organization takes advocacy actions worldwide and lobbying work with the European Institutions. Its member-driven Organising Authorities Committee is working on sector-defining topics such as mobility policies, urban governance and funding.
UITP provides a global bridge for business partnerships and joint ventures for all industry players, from vehicle and components manufacturers to providers of new mobility solutions.
Since 2021, TRONTEQ is a proud member of UITP, thus coming closer to customers and public transport users and further better understanding of public transport use cases and improving its IP network solutions based on the Ethernet technology.
For more information about UITP, visit uitp.org.
The organization ITxPT (Information Technology for Public Transport) was founded in 2013 as it emerged from the project European Bus System for the Future (EBSF). ITxPT operates on an international level as an independent non-profit association with a strong link to UITP due to it being one of the founding members.
Legacy public transport systems have mainly had to rely upon proprietary solutions. The result was often a complex on-board infrastructure with several computers and antennas, each requiring complex cabling. ITxPT’s main purpose is developing an open IT architecture for public transport and other mobility services, based on standards and best practices. This way, a high data accessibility and interoperability between IT systems is made possible, and most important – the on-board architecture becomes way simpler with only one communication gateway and one antenna. This results in an integrated network for all systems and devices, as well as their monitoring and management.
The key benefit of implementing the ITxPT standard is interoperability, which makes it possible to seamlessly integrate systems and devices from different suppliers. The ITxPT architecture enables gradual extensions of system functionalities, allowing for new features such as Wi-Fi access, state-of-the-art ticketing systems and mobile applications to be added. Interoperability also helps IT suppliers and manufacturers become more competitive within the industry by offering standardized products and services. Last but not least, more and more often ITxPT compliance is declared a qualifier for public tenders in the public transport industry.
ITxPT believes in achieving added value for public transport worldwide with:
- an architecture for interoperability that brings cost advantages to companies and improves services to travelers
- a community for innovation that gathers public transport authorities, operators, IT suppliers and vehicle manufacturers from all over the world
- a label for compliance: all compliant equipment, software or services are labeled with the ITxPT logo.
Members of ITxPT include organizations like UITP, local authorities like Transport for London, vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and component providers like TRONTEQ. Since 2019, TRONTEQ is a principle member of ITxPT and is actively participating in ITxPT working groups. TRONTEQ is offering a fully standardized M12 Ethernet switches ready to connect any modern on-board IP system.
For more information about ITxPT, visit itxpt.org.
The association of the European Metropolitan Transport Authorities (EMTA) was founded in 1998 in order to form a venue for exchange between authorities in charge of metropolitan transport of the main European cities. Currently, EMTA brings together 31 authorities from 19 European countries. As a non-profit organization, its main purpose is to support public transport authorities in their role as decision-making bodies for issues related to infrastructure policies, sustainable and smart mobility.
EMTA carries out studies on subjects requested by its members.
Members include authorities from most major European cities from Manchester to Thessaloniki, from Lisbon to Helsinki.
For more information about EMTA, visit emta.com.
The Association of German Transport Companies VDV (Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen) is the industry association for public transport, organizing over 630 public transport and rail freight companies. Originally founded in 1949 as the Association of Public Transport Operators, the Cologne-based organization looks back on a long history. Around 500 volunteer experts from various fields are involved in six general and 20 specialist committees that deal with planning, legal matters, economics, marketing and communications, personnel management, pricing and sales, and technical issues relating to public passenger transport. The activities of the association are rounded off by the VDV Academy, which takes care of (management) trainees for public passenger and rail freight transport.
The VDV sees public transport as a decisive player for climate-friendly mobility and acts in the sense of a sustainable mobility turnaround – both in the city and in the countryside. To this end, the association has initiated several projects for the expansion of climate-friendly or sustainable mobility:
- E-bus projects
- New Mobility projects
- Autonomous shuttle bus projects
- Emergency management in the railroad sector
VDV eTicket Service
VDV is the publisher of the (((eTicket Deutschland – the standard for electronic fare management in public transport in Germany. The initiative establishes organizational rules for its use and provides support for participating transport companies and system component manufacturers.
For more information about VDV, visit vdv.de.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association that consist out of more than 1,500 public and private sector organizations. The APTA as we know it today, was created in 1974, anyway its roots date back to 1882 with the creation of the American Street Railway Association. With headquarters in Washington, DC, APTA offers its members advocacy for federal funding and policies, research, technical expertise and consulting services, workforce development programs and educational conferences and seminars, backed by 135 subject-matter working committees.
APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transport, including bus, paratransit, light rail, subways, commuter rail, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. APTA engages in every aspect of the industry: transit systems, vehicles, equipment and transit-related products and services. To do so, the association counts on the cooperation of academic institutions, transportation network companies, transit associations and state departments of transportation.
Safety of rail services is a key topic for the APTA, with Positive Train Control (PTC) being the reference technology. PTC is a complex signaling and communications technology that provides critical safety redundancies to already safe commuter rail services. With riding commuter rail being 18 times safer than driving a car, the Positive Train Control certification makes commuter rail service even safer. According to APTA, since 2021 every required commuter railroad is Positive Train Control (PTC) certified by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
Other issues, which the APTA’s activities center around are:
- Safety benefits of public transit
- Transit’s response to people who are homeless
- Economic impact of public transit
- Transit asset management
- A strong and effective voice for its members
APTA hosts a variety of virtual and in-person meetings and conferences with each event providing a mix of education and networking for public transportation professionals at all levels. The association also has its own podcast.
TRONTEQ is a proud member of APTA.
For more information about APTA, visit apta.com.
The French Groupement des Autorités Régionales du Transport (GART) was created in 1980, when the car was practically the only travel option for most French citizens. In order to fundamentally change public transport policies, elected officials and technicians decided to join forces by creating the association. To date, GART acts in favor of the development of public transport and alternative transport modes to the use of the personal car.
To its authority members, GART is a resource center they can benefit from to optimize their role as mobility providers. The association provides a platform for exchange, best practices, innovations and debate to build the mobility of tomorrow. Last but not least, GART serves as a spokesperson for the authorities organizing mobility at national and European level by defending their interests with the institutions and services of the State, the European Union and the media.
- Transport economics: Securing its financial resources.
- Organization of mobility: Staying up to date with technological breakthroughs and institutional changes.
- Reasonable use of the car: With current mobility in France still relying more than 80% on the private use of the car, it is necessary to promote sustainable alternatives to solo driving, like car sharing, as well as coherent parking policies like park-and-ride.
- Transport operation: Different modes of transportation contribute to a more efficient transport offer in the territories with the goal of adapting to multimodal travel.
- Intelligent transport systems: Optimizing the use of transport infrastructures with service-based mobility (MaaS), while enhancing the services offered to travelers.
- Institutional: GART works with other structures, organizes internal events (Board of Directors, Scientific Council, General Assembly, etc.) as well as external (National Public Transport Meetings (RNTP), European Mobility Fair (EUROMOBILITY).
- Active mobility: There is a plurality of activities like walking, cycling, scooter, Segway, whose growth is positive both for their users (physical exercise, accessibility, autonomy) and for society as a whole (quality of air, public space usage).
- Low density territories: Better mobility solutions by combining all modes of transport, including car sharing and carpooling and the increased use of active mobility.
For more information about GART, visit gart.org.
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