The directors of Colombia's largest transit agencies came together on August 3 in Bogota, Colombia to attend the “Colombian Public Transportation Manager Bodies Meeting."
The meeting, which began in 2010, aims to strengthen relations between the governing bodies of mass transportation in Colombia, and to build strategic relations with the country's Ministry of Transportation.
The meeting was attended by directors of Metrocali from Santiago; Transmilenio from Bogota; Transmetro from Barranquilla; Metrolínea from Bucaramanga; Transcaribe from Cartagena; and the Latin American Association for Integrated Transport Systems and Bus Rapid Transit (SIBRT), for which EMBARQ serves as Technical Secretariat.
"Such meetings are held in order to strengthen the ties between different agencies, and to find joint solutions to common problems, with the support and coordination of the Ministry of Transportation," said Maria del Pilar Rodriguez, president of Metrocali and vice-president of SIBRT.
Luis Gutierrez, general secretary of SIBRT and Latin America strategic director for EMBARQ, presented on the results achieved by SIBRT over the past two years. He also discussed upcoming activities, such as SIBRT's benchmarking work and upcoming events in Cali, Colombia in November 2012 and Lima, Peru in April 2013.
Gutierrez noted the significant achievements of the Association in the process of Benchmarking, Communication and Strategic Alliances. He stressed the importance of partnership with academia and research centers, such as the Across Latitudes and Cultures - Bus Rapid Transit Centre of Excellence (ALC-BRT CoE), composed of four universities and EMBARQ.
"Through strategic alliances with institutions like the Center of Excellence, we can develop solid knowledge and tools based on common experiences and challenges, with the ultimate goal of improving service quality and user satisfaction of urban public transport in Latin American cities," Gutierrez said.
Maria del Pilar also stressed the importance of collaboration.
"The public transport industry of BRT and integrated systems is still considered young," she said. "To improve the practices of each agency, it is vital to have mutual support and find experienced partners in different subject areas, mainly in the improvement of the quality of service,” she said.
At the end of the meeting, the representatives of Colombian agencies identified the importance of creating a mechanism for benchmarking on critical issues, seeking national and international best practices, and improving management and decision-making processes, particularly in addressing technical, legal, institutional and financial issues.
The meeting also allowed the prioritization of a joint working agenda of the agencies with the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Finance, and the Planning Department to work together to modernize public transport in Colombian cities.
Contact: Fagner Glinski – Communication Coordinator – SIBRT: email@example.com
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