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Looking back on the innovative winners of the UITP Awards

From electric buses to cutting-edge transport hubs, the 2017 UITP Awards epitomised the innovative contribution the public transport sector makes to sustainable mobility. Let's look back at each of the winners and their remarkable projects.

© Patrick Bourque, photo of all the winners taken during the awards ceremony held in Montréal during the 2017 UITP Global Public Transport Summit.

The seven winners of the 2017 UITP Awards were selected by an international panel of experts from more than 230 submissions, chosen for their ambition, innovation, and transferability to other regions.

Look back over the interviews with each winner and discover the bright future of public transport.

Winner of Award for ‘Public Transport Strategy’: Cape Town Transport and Urban Development Authority for ‘Cape Town Transit Oriented Development Strategic Framework’

In Cape Town, South Africa, the Transit Oriented Development Strategic Framework (TODSF) is a strategic tool that impacts the entire city. It represents a paradigm shift in Cape Town’s approach to integrated land and public transport development. The project utilises sophisticated data and modelling techniques to deliver social and environmental goals in an economically efficient manner.

“The TODSF represents a unique metropolitan scale approach to addressing sustainability, urban efficiencies and socio-economic disparities in the long-term. It builds from the very foundation of mobility in a complex urban environment by understanding the intricate relationship between land use and transport, and translating it into an optimised spatial future that reduces the need for travel, reduces travel distances and costs, balances multi-directional flows, and promotes a modal shift to public transport”, said Melissa Whitehead, Commissioner of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority.

Winner of Award for ‘Design’: Atkins, Network Rail, and Mace for ‘Birmingham Gateway Project’

The ‘Birmingham Gateway Project’ is the £750m (€830m) landmark transformation of Birmingham New Street Station. The project significantly increases passenger flows inside the building, with brighter, cleaner platforms, optimised access, and a contemporary station exterior that reflects the dynamism of the city. The project integrates new pedestrian links across the city centre, giving direct access and interchange with a planned Metro stop nearby.

“Birmingham New Street station has become a destination in its own right. It has redefined what a station can be – fluidly serving as a leisure, retail and transport space and delivering unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction. The new facilities realised by the collaboration between Network Rail, Mace and Atkins mean that passengers benefit from the innovative customer information system designed to improve their travel experience”, said Stephen Ashton, Engineering Director at Atkins.

Winner of Award for ‘Smart Financing and Business Models’: ADDAX Assessoria Econômica e Financeira LTDA and Empresa Metropolitana de Transportes Urbanos (EMTU) de São Paulo for ‘Public-Private Partnership – Baixada Santista – Bus and LRT Integrated System’

This project epitomises innovative public transport financing with the simultaneous award of a whole metropolitan region of public transport services to one private concession company. With an integrated approach to the business model, the Baixada Santista Public-Private Partnership (PPP) offers an example of public transport financing that can answer to the increasing mobility demands of growing economies.

“The customer is the ultimate beneficiary of the new system implemented. Fare levels have been preserved even with upgraded technology, faster services, and more comfortable trips, as a result of the integrated system designed. Also, the new LRT mode was conceived to improve urban development in the region, increasing the positive external benefits for the population, which go beyond public transport in itself”, said Flávio Chevis, Partner at ADDAX.

Winner of Award for ‘Customer Experience’: City Government of Muntinlupa and the Lingkod Muntinlupa Foundation for ‘Leading the e-jeepney revolution in the Philippines’

The e-jeepney creatively re-defines the customer experience of a flexible public transport service. As a core feature of mobility in the Philippines, it utilises new technology to enable booking and payment, and an eco-friendly vehicle for service delivery, based on a customer-centred approach to service design. This is an exemplar project for flexible mobility services that is transferable to other developing areas of the world.

“Our e-jeepneys benefit the residents of Muntinlupa city with rides that are pollution-free. We offer free rides to people with reduced mobility and senior citizens. The e-jeepneys also service areas that were previously inaccessible, thus opening up the city and improving access”, said Grace Salvador, Program Director of Lingkod Muntinlupa.

Winner of Award for ‘Operational and Technical Excellence’: Västtrafik and Volvo Group for ‘ElectriCity’

ElectriCity is an electric bus demonstration project implemented in Gothenburg, Sweden, connecting two university campuses. The project includes a fleet of seven electric hybrid buses and three fully electric buses (designed by Volvo exclusively for the project), as well as charging stations and bus stops. ElectriCity fosters closer cooperation between the industry and the public sector to create sustainable mobility solutions for the city of Gothenburg, providing a world-class example of innovative public transport services for the future.

“ElectriCity is more than a bus route, it is a demo arena for public transport, where we test and evaluate new solutions with the ultimate goal of making public transport more attractive. By testing in real conditions and real traffic we can learn a lot. Silent, emission-free buses open up new opportunities in city planning”, said Roger Vahnberg, Senior Vice President and Deputy CEO of Västtrafik.

Winner of Award for ‘Small cities and low density areas’: Nordjyllands Trafikselskab (Public Transport Authority of North Denmark) for ‘Around your World’

The ‘Around your World’ project offers an integrated mobility solution for residents in low-density regional settings, including: hourly services all day, on-demand responsive service, and a travel planner. This project includes strategy covering the entire region of North Denmark and all modes of transport (including carpooling and car sharing).

“Our goal is to transform from a traditional public transport authority to a ‘mobility provider’. We want to combine train, bus, taxi, and carpooling, and we want to play a crucial role in the transition. This requires new partnerships across the transportation industry. Good mobility is crucial for Denmark’s major policy agendas: Growth, health and well-being, as well as reducing the negative impact on the environment and climate”, said Ole Schleemann, Deputy CEO of the Public Transport Authority of North Denmark.

Winner of Award for ‘Y4PT Young Leadership’: Ulrich Strötz, Team Lead in Software Development, Door2Door

New among the award categories for 2017 is the Y4PT Young Leadership Award, which celebrates public transport trailblazers under the age of 30. Ulrich Strötz, the first-ever winner of this award candidates, epitomises innovation and sustainability in the sector. Mr Strötz serves as Team Lead in Software Development at the Berlin start-up, door2door. He has an impressive track record including leading the implementation of the company’s recent journey planner application (Ally App), and developing mobility analytic tools.

“The mobility sector is booming, and it is super exciting to be part of a sector that is so innovative. Innovative start-ups across the world are working on ideas around how to improve mobility. There are various approaches – from bike-sharing to car- or ride-sharing. But the problem is that these new solutions do not collaborate and instead see the others as competitors. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages, and appeal to different individual preferences. So for me, the future of mobility lies in the connection of all the various solutions to create a mobility ecosystem, where everyone can use the type of transportation he or she prefers. With our mobility platform we want to make this happen, and I’m sure we are on the right track”, said Mr Strötz.



It’s not too early to save the date for the 2019 UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm, 9-12 June.

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