Young Transport Professionals Seminar Wrap Up

On Friday 29 November in Melbourne, we held our annual flagship youth event - the UITPANZ Young Transport Professionals Seminar. The event was sold out and we were thrilled to welcome over 100 young professionals to discuss emerging issues that will shape their future careers, including new mobility, the emerging customer and future cities. Thank you to our Event Partner and host, PwC Australia, as well as sponsors Keolis Downer and Via, for your support in making this event such a success. Below is a wrap up of the speakers and their presentation topics.
Victoria's Mobility Future
The Hon. Melissa Horne | Minister for Public Transport, Minister for Ports and Freight | Victorian Government
The Hon. Melissa Horne, Victorian Government Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Ports and Freight, opened the day with an acknowledgement of the importance of the transport sector, before summarising her vision for public transport within Victoria and the increasingly vital role it will play in easing congestion and improving quality of life. Minister Horme addressed the crowd stating that 'transport is the most awesome career', and the skills and knowledge that the young professionals are acquiring will always be in strong demand. The Minister introduced a range of technological projects her Government is focussing on, including TrainSUM (data capture to inform travel behaviour, waiting periods with object recognition); real-time data streaming; and predictive congestion modelling. 

On-Demand: The Answer to Underserviced Areas?
Sue Wiblin | Manager New Mobilities | Keolis Downer

Sue Wiblin, the Manager of New Mobilities at Keolis Downer, outlined the concept of on-demand transportation, and highlighted the opportunities the new mobility option can provide to solve local transport issues. Sue ran through multiple case studies that she has been leading in Sydney and Newcastle and provided insights into the successes and failures of introducing new mobility possibilities to customers. 
According to Sue, 'on-demand is just a different type of bus' with 34% of the trips that Keolis Downer provides would have otherwise not been possible within the existing network. On-Demand is specifically designed to meet the needs that the existing transport network is unable to meet, creating micro-networks that address non-standard customer requirements. Sue then reflected on her own professional journey and outlined the need for transportation professionals to have resilience and a good sense of humour. A standout quote from Sue’s address was 'if we do our jobs right, we change people's lives and change the profile of cities'. 

Micromobility: Transforming the First/Last Mile
Mitchell Price | Head of Government Relations Asia Pacific | Lime

Mitchell Price, Head of Government Relations Asia Pacific, at Lime surprised the crowd by accessorising his presentation with a new generation Lime Scooter. Mitchell outlined the concept of first/last mile as the key difficulty restricting the uptake of public transport and addressed the opportunities that electric scooters and bike share can provide to mitigate that concern for customers. Brisbane was the first city in Australia to implement a trial of Lime scooters, and Mitchell shared the findings of the trial, announcing that 46% of riders reported that the scooters replaced a car during their most recent trip.
The benefits that micromobility options provide by connecting users with public transport are immense, however, they come with some challenges, including pedestrian safety and amenity, regulation, infrastructure, and equitable access. Mitchell announced that Lime are seeking to address those issues through close coordination with police and government agencies, strict safety parameters, and education and training. 

Disrupting Policy and Harvesting Innovation
Megan Bourke-O'Neil | Deputy Secretary – Policy and Innovation | Department of Transport, Victoria 

Megan Bourke-O'Neil, Deputy Secretary for Policy and Innovation, within the newly formed Department of Transport, Victoria, provided insight into the Victorian Government's departmental changes and new approach to unified a transport network through the integration of VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria. The Department's new focus is on 'simple, connected journeys'. 
Megan continued to explain the Victorian Government's policy approach to transportation, and how it differs from other Australian state departments. Her teams' aim is to focus on understanding the needs and drivers for change, before enabling the market to innovate through deregulated outcomes. The objective is to open-up the market and create flexible solutions, as regulatory frameworks are no longer expected to last decades as they have in the past. 

Panel Discussion: The Future of Door to Door Mobility

  • Sue Wiblin | Manager New Mobilities | Keolis Downer
  • Megan Bourke-O'Neil | Deputy Secretary – Policy and Innovation | Department of Transport, Victoria
  • Mitchell Price | Head of Government Relations Asia Pacific | Lime
  • Dave Wall | Country Manager | Via
  • Moderator: Kathy Lazanas | General Manager – Victoria and Tasmania | MRCagney
The morning panel discussion was focussed on the future of whole, connected trips from door-to-door. Dave Wall from Via opened the panel discussion and provided the audience with a background on Via’s work in ANZ and abroad, taking the opportunity to announce the brand-new service that Via was providing in conjunction with Environment Canterbury and Ritchie’s to service Timaru. The panellists each elaborated on points raised in their earlier individual presentations with the shared sentiment that collaboration and partnership was key to the success of the fully integrated transport network that customers expected.


Integrating Shared Mobility with Public Transport Networks
Ashleigh Cormack | Public Policy Manager - ANZ | Uber

Ashleigh Cormack, Public Policy Manager for Australia and New Zealand at Uber, spoke to the audience about the future of urban mobility, Uber's ongoing relationship with public transport, and integration difficulties and opportunities. Uber believe that they are part of the emerging mobility solution, creating a link between private vehicle occupancy and shared mobility transport. 
Ashleigh confirmed that 15% of all uber trips start or end at a public transport hub, and therefore Uber operations arguably extend existing public transportation lines and routes. Uber data also shows that trips are most frequent on Friday and Saturday nights, during hours where public transport has traditionally operated at low frequencies or ceased to operate. 

The Future Passenger: Delivering Accessibility on the World's Largest Tram Network
Julien Dehornoy | Executive Director – Passenger Service Delivery | Yarra Trams

Julien Dehornoy, Executive Director of Passenger Service Delivery at Yarra Trams, proudly informed the crowd of Melbourne's public transport success as the largest tram network in the world and addressed the issues Yarra Trams face in operating one of the oldest tram networks in the world.
Yarra Trams currently operate 500 trams, within 9 different classes, issued from a variety of years extending back to the 1970's. The impacts of operating technology that is almost 50 years old, alongside technology that is brand new was considered relative to accessibility, maintenance and driver training. Yarra Tram's main challenge is 'meeting the needs of the 21st century passenger, with a tram network that was designed in the early 20th century'.
Julien announced Yarra Tram's goal of increasing ridership, during a period of unpreceded population growth, changing passenger diversities and changing commuting patterns. To achieve their goal, Yarra Trams are aiming to improve performance and safety of the roadways, modernise the aging tram fleet and network, and improve the accessibility of trams for all passengers. 40% of all passengers have mobility needs, and Julien raised the thought of how accessibility will not only benefit customers with mobility needs but will provide benefits for all people at different stages of their lives (elderly, children, disabled).

Customer Experience and Mode Shift: International Perspectives
Rob Mayo | Managing Director | MH Consulting

Rob Mayo, who has last 30 years living and working in Asia – principally in Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Singapore – went ‘around the world in 20 minutes’ sharing international perspectives on customer experience and mode shift, providing insight into different approaches and technologies used by various operators and authorities to deliver services to meet customer demand. Taking the audience through a process he coined ‘Design-Doing’, Rob summarised that ‘there is no app that will get people out of their cars’ so public transport must focus on the end-to-end customer experience.


Disruptors or Distraction? Separating Fact from Fiction
Professor Graham Currie | Director, Public Transport Research Group | Monash University

Professor Graham Currie, from Monash University, is the Director of the Public Transport Research Group. Graham was invited to the seminar to share his thoughts on the reality of emerging trends and new mobility constructs. 
Graham introduced the concept of the hype curve, showcasing how over time new technologies are received, creating vast expectations of opportunities and successes, before people lose interest, and then eventually reach a plateau of productivity.
In Graham's opinion, autonomous vehicles are nearing their plateau of productivity and they better utilised as driverless trains, rather than private vehicles. Likewise, Graham investigated the successes of ride share, and argued that while cycle sharing and vehicle sharing are considered 'ride sharing', they only average 1.44 persons per trip (including the driver), whereas public transport modes, average thousands of persons per trip, and should be considered ride sharing.
Graham continued to review the concept of Demand Responsive Transit (DRT) and revealed that 30% of DRT's have failed within 2 years, while the average life expectancy of the operations are 7 years. According to Graham, DRT is a specialist option for low demand and high cost. Graham's studies have shown that the public transport versus car is not about real costs, it is about the perception of costs, and it is his hope is that the introduction of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will work to adjust customer's perception gap. 

A Day in the Life of a Secretary
Paul Younis | Secretary | Department of Transport, Victoria

Paul Younis, the Secretary of the Department of Transport, Victoria, discussed his role and what it means to be the head of a state government department. Paul shared that his main role as Secretary was to provide advice and implement decisions. The role involves a lot of interaction between ministerial offices, executives and committees. He is responsible for 21 different Acts and is regularly required to represent the transport sector to the rest of the Victorian Government.
On top of his individual responsibilities, he also has a department to run across 60 locations throughout Victoria. Paul advised that his most common question was 'What have you done in your career that was important enough to get you where you are?' he conceded that his path to the most senior leadership role was not traditional, having only been in the transport sector for two and a half years. His progression has been determined by his love of being challenged and chasing things that interest him. Paul finished on the reflection that the 'public sector is enjoyable and rewarding, where you know that you are making a difference to people's lives'.

Panel Discussion: Career Reflections and Advice From The Top

  • Paul Younis | Secretary | Department of Transport, Victoria
  • Raymond O'Flaherty | CEO | Metro Trains Melbourne
  • Karen Hayes | CEO | Guide Dogs Victoria
  • Leila Frances | President Middle East and Hyderabad, Chair of Keolis Downer | Keolis
  • Moderator: Michelle Batsas | Executive Director | UITPANZ
The afternoon panel invited CEO's from a range of sectors, including public, private and non-for-profit, to discuss their individual career progressions and provide advice to the young transport professionals in the room. The following are direct quotes taken from the panel discussion: 
- Find what will motivate you to get out of bed every day.
- Find people who inspire you. 
- Go find an inspirational leader that you can look up to.
- Where you start is not where you end up. 
- Fast track management training programs provide opportunities for advancement.
- You've got to believe in yourself.
- Don't doubt yourself, just go for it.
- Always challenge yourself in the now. Stop always thinking of the next move.
- Always take the opportunity. Always be prepared to have a go.
- If you're not feeling challenged every day, you are not preparing yourself for every opportunity.
- I've never got a job that I could do or bought a house that I could afford.
- Success is measured by what you do AND how you did it.
- Work on your core values and self-reflect option.
- Don't accept a position for the next position.
- Excel in each role you have.
- Don't internalise; turn it into something productive.
- Lean how to develop relationships and understand people's backgrounds.
- Find a workplace with a good life balance.
- Have a positive outlet that removes you from your responsibilities.
When answering the question 'What are your top tips for managing employees?', panelists responded with:
- Be values based, built trust; have clear vision; be visible to the team; acknowledge work. 
- Be open, honest, authentic and inspiring. 
- Be human and personable; put your hand up for everything; learn as much as possible as you go along. 
- How do you recall information so well?
- Process information and then put it into your own words and thinking.
- Know your limits.
- As you progress, sound yourself with the best people. 
- Be focussed at work. 
- The more you use your brain, the more it can take on. 
- Be curious all the time. 
- Be interested in everything. 
- Learn different things. 
- Always believe that you do not know enough. 
- Make yourself uncomfortable every day. 
- Celebrate your achievements. 

Designing Tomorrow: Planning Precincts with City Maker
Kerrie Young | Director | PwC

Kerrie Young, Director at PwC, presented PwC's new platform, the City Maker. The City Maker Platform is a data-driven way to measure place and is based on liveability, productivity and sustainability. The Platform is designed with the ability to measure a place and create data-backed business cases, master plan options, benefits realisation, community engagement and encourage collaboration through a data-driven process. The Platform is a realistic and reactive tool that can be used to visually display the positive impacts of public transport services and infrastructure. 

Young Transport Professionals Reflections on UITP Global Summit in Stockholm
Stuart Morgan | Winner of Young Transport Professionals Bursary | Transport for NSW

Stuart Morgan, Benefits Realisation Manager from the Transport for New South Wales, was a winner of the Young Transport Professionals Bursary for the 2019 UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm. Stuart was asked to present to the audience on his learnings from the Summit, and the opportunities that his newly developed networks have been able to provide upon his return. His key learnings were inclusive of the importance of managing and understanding big data, car sharing, drones, urban freight, autonomous vehicles and the need for customer experience to support mode shift. 

Workshop: Individual and Group Reflections
Facilitated by PwC

The final session of the day was a workshop based around reflecting on the seminar and the learnings from the day. The participants were separated into 4 groups and were able to share their views on New Mobility, Customer Journey, Career and Leadership, and the Future of Cities. 


View the full photo gallery here