ATS 2017 Event Summary

(VIEW A PDF VERSION WITH PICTURES AND QUOTES HERE.)

Event Summary - Australian Transport Summit 2017 

The International Association of Public Transport Australia/New Zealand (UITPANZ) and the Transport and Tourism Forum (TFF) co-hosted the 6th Australian Transport Summit (Summit) which saw almost 200 leaders gather to debate and discuss top of mind issues facing the transport industry in Australia. Our program featured former premiers, current transport authority heads, heads of major transport operators and foremost industry experts. The event explored three themes:

  • A Vision of the Future - Building cities that work                     
  • Infrastructure Delivery - Mobilising to deliver tomorrow's transport networks
  • Digital Disruption – Embracing technology and new service delivery models to meet the evolving needs of our customers

The full program can be viewed here; below is a summary of the key points.

THEME ONE   A Vision of the Future - Building cities that work

Opening Keynote Address: What is the Australian Government’s vision for our cities? Honourable Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure

The Honourable Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure, set the tone of the event with his opening keynote address. Stating that 90% of Australians live in urban areas, Minister Fletcher outlined three reasons why public transport is important to the effectiveness of cities:

  • Growing density has clear impacts on transport
  • Public transport has a key role in linking where people live and where they work
  • Australians are showing an increased appetite to use public transport

The full text from the Minister’s speech can be found here.

Panel Discussion: The importance of public transport to the future of Australian cities.

With an emphasis on emerging and disruptive technologies, the panel discussed the role of government in this face-paced environment, surmising that transport is changing because of increasing complexity, increasing pace of change, and increasingly sophisticated customer expectations.

There was consensus from these authority heads that technology/service model innovations are moving too fast for regulators, but too slow for customers making it necessary for government to become more of an enabler and less of a regulator.

THEME TWO      Infrastructure Delivery - Mobilising to deliver tomorrow's transport networks

Keynote Address: Transforming the NSW transport network to meet the mobility challenges of the future. Tim Reardon, Secretary, Transport for New South Wales

With New South Wales on track to become home to 10 million Australians by 2036, Transport Secretary Tim Reardon shared that Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) is now spending $1 billion per month on infrastructure and will continue to do so throughout the financial year. This level of investment reinforces the notion that our government agencies are key players in city-shaping who are serious about service delivery into the future – moving towards a 24-hour service delivery model responding to the paradigm shift that costumers expect and they will continue to reinvent themselves to better service customers.

For Secretary Reardon, the end goal of this massive investment in transport is to make New South Wales the place to be.

Keynote Address: The Future of Transport P.A.C.E. René Lalande, Chief Executive Officer, Transdev Australasia

In his keynote address, Transdev Australasia CEO, René Lalande, outlined some geopolitical, social and planning challenges facing the transport sector.

In a world of ever-changing global technological and industrial trends, it is inevitable that there will be changes in customer expectations, which will lead to changes in the workforce and how people interact with and provide services to customers. It is for this reason that the industry should shift towards point-to-point planning and better utilise existing assets. For Transdev, this point to point shift will be centred around PACE – personalised, autonomous, connected and electric vehicles.

Case Study: The Benefits of Integrated Public Transport Networks

Keolis Downer Hunter CEO, Campbell Mason, updated attendees on the progress of the nation’s first awarded multi-modal contract – the operation of ferries, buses and light rail in Newcastle. Using international and local examples, Mr Mason expressed that there are four components of a successful multimodal network: physical infrastructure, network building, customer information, and a single ticketing solution.

Panel Discussion: Delivering tomorrow’s transport networks

This panel generated some lively discussion about the capacity of the workforce in shaping the future delivery of transport. The panel acknowledged that different demands are placed on employees as they progress through life and the industry needs to be flexible enough to respond to that reality. Addressing the notable gender gap in the transport sector and the attractiveness of the sector to women, the leaders opined that if women are looking to work in transport, they will seek shared experiences and make choices based on that feedback. Therefore, the goal should be creating a flexible and supportive environment for all employees.

Panel Discussion: Delivering major projects in today’s partisan political climate.

In a highly-anticipated discussion, former premiers Hon Nick Greiner AC and Hon Peter Beattie AC reflected on their respective tenures, gave some insights on how things were done under their leadership and gave advise on how to keep things moving in our hyper-partisan political climate.

The two leaders left attendees with these key factors for successful project delivery:

  •  Have a committed deadline
  •  Build community acceptance
  • Tell a narrative of city-building, not project delivery
  • Use consultation to sell your project
  • Seek to deliver in an integrated manner
  • Have a long-term plan and start project planning early.

They also shared that to keep Australia moving, land use planning followed by transport planning, fast trains, and seamless funding arrangements between federal and state governments are critical.

Panel Discussion: Delivering major projects in today’s partisan political climate.

In a highly-anticipated discussion, former premiers Hon Nick Greiner AC and Hon Peter Beattie AC reflected on their respective tenures, gave some insights on how things were done under their leadership and gave advise on how to keep things moving in our hyper-partisan political climate.

The two leaders left attendees with these key factors for successful project delivery:

  • Have a committed deadline
  • Build community acceptance
  • Tell a narrative of city-building, not project delivery
  • Use consultation to sell your project
  • Seek to deliver in an integrated manner
  • Have a long-term plan and start project planning early.

They also shared that to keep Australia moving, land use planning followed by transport planning, fast trains, and seamless funding arrangements between federal and state governments are critical.

THEME THREE              Digital Disruption – Embracing technology and new service delivery models to meet the evolving needs of our customers

Panel Discussion: Embracing technology, innovation and disruption to meet the evolving needs of Australian commuters.

Expanding on thoughts on disruption expressed in the first panel, this panel addressed a range of policy, legislative, planning and contractual reforms needed to accommodate emerging technologies.

They agreed that further work is required to integrate innovations outside of the transport sector into an efficient transport operating system, allowing for improved solutions to come out of disruption. There was also recognition that there is untapped potential in data integration with many use cases yet to be explored.

Panel Discussion: Digital Disruption and the Future of Mobility: International Lessons for Australian Decision Makers

Ahead of this panel discussion, Jeremy Yap, Deputy CEO – Singapore Land Transport Authority, and Emily Castor – Director of Transport Policy – Lyft, gave individual presentations showcasing the perspective of the future of mobility from the vantage point and actions taken by the entities they represent.

Jeremy shared that Singapore is focused on a future of ‘carless drivers, rather than driverless cars’. Emily expressed that within five years, Lyft aims to provide their journeys via a fleet of autonomous vehicles.

In an interesting and unexpectedly philosophical discussion, this panel addressed the social ramifications of disruption and honed in on the trust factor necessary to move the industry forward, stating that the current trajectory indicates that we will go from asking people to outsource productivity to then outsource responsibility to ultimately outsourcing decision-making. Each of these steps take trust.

The panel cautioned that we must consider the social implications of where we are going instead of focussing on the next big thing. Ending with the observation that Australia is filling an infrastructure backlog and there has not been enough serious contemplation about policy frameworks for the future.

Conclusion

The Summit, once again, proved to be a thought-provoking leadership discussion where transport leaders benefited from the opportunity to discuss and network. This years’ program reflected a ‘back to basics’ approach that highlighted issues core to the industry (Infrastructure Delivery, Service Delivery and Modal Choice), challenging participants to think in concrete terms about what needs to be done here and now in order to stay relevant as a sector.

Themes of the Summit – building cities that work, embracing digitalisation and mobilising tomorrow’s transport networks – will no doubt propel mobility as a service (MaaS) to the fore as a logical next step for the transport industry. L.E.K. consultants, in partnership with the UITPANZ and the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) produced a report underlining the drivers for MaaS, the imperative for Governments and private mobility suppliers to consider their position, the potential role of various parties in the MaaS ecosystem and how to unlock the value of the MaaS. This report complements the learnings from the Summit by providing a more concrete shape to the ideas discussed.

View the report HERE.

We at the UITPANZ are excited to see what new developments might take shape as a result of the day’s inspiration and we look forward to co-hosting the 2018 Summit in Melbourne.

Written by Angé Anczewska, Senior Manager – Corporate Affairs and Advocacy, UITP Australia/New Zealand (UITPANZ)

This article summarises discussions and key findings the 2017 Australian Transport Summit. The Summit is a yearly forum hosted jointly by UITPANZ and Transport and Tourism Forum (TTF) where executive industry and government leaders are invited to share their perspectives on critical issues impacting the public transport sector.