CEOs of the main train and bus manufacturers, representatives of the administrations of the large global cities, as well as a large delegation of specialized journalists from around the world have made Barcelona the capital of public transport for four days. The celebration of the main summit of the sector, organized by the International Union of Public Transport (UITP), has been a complete success for those involved, although it has tiptoed over the city.
In any case, the name of the Catalan capital will remain in the history of this meeting, which changes its venue every two years after the signing of the "Barcelona declaration". This is an agreement between the top managers of the sector in which an unusual unanimity has been achieved, largely forged after a few years in which companies have gone through particularly difficult times due to the effects of the pandemic.
Euphoric due to the large number of meetings held during all these days, in a climate of optimism, they leave the bad behind and in said statement they underline the crucial role of public transport in "improving people's health, air quality and noise reduction. On the one hand, they ask the administrations for more investment "to improve cities by giving space to people" and, for their part, they commit to advancing in the decarbonisation of the sector. This issue has focused a large part of the debates and is demonstrated in the vehicles exhibited at the congress, where the only diesel that could be seen were the historic buses of companies such as TMB, Sagalés and Alsa exhibited as relics.
“Sustainability is much more than talking about climate change; it is to create a solid coalition of leaders willing to create a better future”, values Reneé Amilcar, who has taken over from Khalid Alhogail at the helm of UITP. In addition to leaders, the sector also needs workers. One of the concerns expressed at the round tables is the lack of labor in an increasingly digitized sector.