We are happy to welcome our new Secretary General, Mohamed Mezghani, after his first week in his newly appointed office! Previously the UITP Deputy Secretary General (since 2014), he is also an ambassador of the Dubai Association Centre. In his 25 years of experience working in the public transport sector, Mohamed has spent 18 dedicated years working for UITP. As a passionate promoter of sustainable urban mobility throughout his career, no one can deny this well-deserved appointment. Given his expertise and ambition, we are all eager to see what our new Secretary General will bring to the future of the sector and our organisation.
Mr Mezghani has kindly agreed to sit down with us and share his unique vision.
Your predecessor, Alain Flausch, said: “Mohamed knows the next steps for UITP to keep developing as the international reference in the sector”. What are these ‘next steps’?
I have a vision on three levels – for public transport, for UITP, and for its General Secretariat in particular.
For public transport, we must continue expanding large infrastructure networks to cope with the growing demand for mobility, and we have to do that within short timelines. On the other hand, the sector must move towards digitalisation and customer-centricity, while embracing new mobility services.
At UITP, we must involve and work with the new mobility players; strengthen the advocacy of public transport by engaging with political decision makers and business leaders; develop high quality services with good value for money for our members; and continue the globalisation of the Association by answering local specificities and diversity of expectations in the different world regions and for various categories of members.
For the Association governance, expect to see the Board members, who give their time and expertise free of charge to UITP, play a more active role in the budget, decision-making process and management. I’m really pleased about this development. Moreover, we must ensure the management of the General Secretariat is perfect and staff are happy. This is a question I will be asking myself every day.
How does the future of public transport look to you?
Though public transport will remain the backbone of any mobility system in cities, we have to see it as one element of the multiple mobility options at the disposal of citizens. The more flexible and shared solutions are developed, the less individual use of cars will be. Consequently, this increase will increase the demand for public transport. This complementarity will be the future model.
This progress is also vital if the sector wants to fight climate change in the bigger picture, besides developing electromobility.
What kind of Secretary General do you plan to be?
I am the tenth Secretary General in the 132-year history of UITP. Those who follow football, like myself, know Maradona, Zidane, and Messi; they understand the significance of ‘squad number 10’. I have a lot to live up to!
I plan to have direct communications with our members, as well as stay close with the staff. I attach great importance to the human touch, to building relationships that are both professional and personal. So please, call me Mohamed.
This interview is an excerpt from the UITP Activity Report 2016-2017.
Please read the full biography of Mohamed Mezghani here!