Second annual conference promotes development of urban public transport in Latin America.
The Second Annual SIBRT Congress of Best Practices in Latin America was held on April 25-26 in the city of Leon, Mexico.
The event brought together more than 350 transport experts from 15 countries, convened by the Latin American Association of Integrated Transport Systems and BRT (SIBRT) and EMBARQ.
The Congress was sponsored by 21 companies from a range of related industries, many of which expressed their interest in expanding their relationship with SIBRT and the EMBARQ Network; as a start, becoming strategic allies of SIBRT. There were 6 Gold sponsors: DINA, Pagobus, ACS, Andina Technology, Empresa1, Inteligensa; three Silver Plus: Volvo, GMV, Servyre; and twelve Silver sponsors: Caliper, Doppelmayr, Hersan, Trapeze, BEA, Transconsult, InterBerica, Grupsa, Nettropolis, Hyundai, Régie T, Bioplast. Three of these sponsors have decided to become strategic allies of SIBRT (Doppelmayr, Hersan, MAN) and many others are evaluating the possibility.
During the two-day conference, 28 lectures focused on four central themes: Public Policies for Sustainable Transportation, Modernization and Financing of Public Transport, Road Safety, and Quality of Service and User Satisfaction.
Participants included directors and technical staff from 19 agencies that manage integrated transport and BRT systems in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Mexico. Transportation managers and decision makers from Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Canada, the United States, Spain and Guatemala also had the opportunity to learn best practices of Latin America transit systems. Representatives of bus systems operators also attended, including Otavio Cunha, president of the NTU, which is the national association of Brazilian bus system operators.
Here are some key takeaways from the main speakers:
Luis Aparicio Gutiérrez, EMBARQ’s Latin America Strategic Director and Executive Secretary of SIBRT, stressed the need to integrate policies for mobility and urban development, and to prioritize high-quality “door to door” transport solutions for all.
“We need to prioritize the recovery of public spaces for people and for non-motorized transport,” he said. “We must prioritize the use of technology and clean fuel, and reduce inequality.”
Fernando Paez, former president of SIBRT and former director of the Transmilenio in Bogota, Colombia, stressed the importance of developing the institutional capacity, including financial mechanisms, to put policies into practice.
Claudio Varano, an expert in pre-paid fare systems, said “the quality of service on integrated systems and BRT should be subject to constant monitoring.”
Salvador Herrera, deputy director of EMBARQ Mexico, said resource management should begin from a solid institutional structure and planning.
Jorge Jara, director of EMBARQ Andino, focused on the need to save lives. “We can improve in many ways, especially in regards to standardizing and updating traffic crash records, developing auditing committees to improve road safety, and improving the design of infrastructure, with a focus on safety and conducting traffic education programs.”
Monica Vanegas, former director of Megabus, the entity that manages the transportation system of the city of Pereira, Colombia, presented on branding and marketing, saying that the focus of transportation projects should be on people.
“Marketing, media relations, and user education are three aspects that are relevant to the planning, implementation and operation of integrated transport and BRT,” she said. “It is necessary to understand the feedback from dissatisfied users to seek real, deep and appropriate solutions,” she said. “Communication in transportation projects must be grounded in transparency and honesty. And never promise something that cannot be fulfilled.”
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