The ITS World Congress ‘Smart Mobility, Empowering Cities’, hosted by the forward-thinking city of Singapore and co-hosted by ERTICO ITS Europe, ITS Asia-Pacific and ITS America, formally opened its doors yesterday, with passionate speeches and an energetic performance at its Opening Ceremony.

Jacob Bangsgaard, ERTICO CEO says, “Congresses are a great environment for people to bring their real-life mobility challenges so together we can solve them, but also where innovative solutions can be brought to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. ITS will be an important key to unlocking the future of transport and ensuring a sustainable, safer and more efficient society.”

“ITS can bring great benefits to transport services – but industry must be aware of the potential obstacles.”  That was the direct message from Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore’s Minister of Transport, at the Opening Ceremony of the ITS World Congress 2019.

“The upsides of ITS are compelling” he said. “ Technology can transform society, but what matters to the vast majority of the population is that public transport is fast, safe, reliable “and very importantly, affordable”. It must also contribute to people’s quality of life. “Technology is but a means to achieve these political objectives – but is must be implemented wisely.”

Given that Singapore is “small and densely populated, we take transport planning very seriously.” He concluded: “However, there is no one-size-fits-all for transport that transcends place and time”. For example, what works for Copenhagen, venue of the previous World Congress, will not necessarily be what suits Singapore – and that what works today for Singapore itself “might not work in 10 years time”.

Commissioner Violeta Bulc, representing Europe said, “Europe is taking a systematic approach and moving towards fully integrated multi-modal solutions. This adds to promoting a cleaner transport service and offers gains in efficiency for the transport of people and goods. She continued “ITS is for women as well. I hope in the future we will see a gender balance in the transport industry and on the ITS Congresses stage. “

At the Opening Ceremony, Svend Tofting of ITS Denmark, was also presented with the lifetime achievement award.