Event wrap up: 12 International Conference on Advanced Systems for Public Transport CASPT12

The twelfth version of the International Conference on Advanced Systems for Public Transport was held in Santiago, Chile from July 23 to July 27, 2012. This time the conference was organized by the Department of Transport Engineering and Logistics of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, with the support of the Bus Rapid Transit Centre of Excellence. This conference has become the most important in the field of design and operations of public transport systems. For the first time it was organized in the southern hemisphere and in a Latin American city.
For almost 40 years CASPT has served as a forum for the international community of researchers, practitioners and vendors involved on all aspects of public transport planning and operations (with similar emphasis in bus and rail based services). CASPT covers significant contributions to the theory and application of systems and methodologies for advancing public transport planning and operations. CASPT encourages not only the generation and presentation of new ideas, but also hopes to instigate productive collaborations between participants from academia, industry, and government.
Traditionally, this conference attracts participants from many countries, most of them in North America or Europe. To increase its regional impact in South America, CASPT was organized in parallel to a meeting of the Latin American Association of Integrated Transit Systems and BRT (SIBRT) which guaranteed the participation of members of the most important transit agencies and operators of Latin America.
The call for extended abstracts received around 180 contributions. They came from over 30 countries from the 5 continents. By the end, 92 papers were presented, plus 7 plenary talks (3 by local authorities at the inauguration) and 15 talks at the SIBRT meetings. The following were the plenary talks:

  • Urban Public Transport Policy in Chile – Pedro Pablo Errázuriz, Minister of Transports and Telecommunications of Chile
  • Challenges of improving and expanding the Metro in Santiago, Chile – Roberto Bianchi, Chief Executive Officer Metro de Santiago
  • Transantiago, a radical transformation: yesterday, today and tomorrow – Patricio Pérez, General Coordinator of Transantiago
  • Urban Transport: A little less conversation, a little more action – David A. Hensher, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, The University of Sydney, Australia
  • On Joint Rail and Property Development: Opportunities and Potential Pitfalls – Hong K. Lo, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China
  • Traffic congestion in networks, and alleviating it with public transportation and pricing – Carlos Daganzo, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Sustainable Transportation: Just a question of mode technology election? – Paulo Custodio, Private consultant, Brazil

We had a bit over 250 attendants from 33 countries to the meeting (Australia, Brasil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, US and Uruguay) during the five days event, which included a Welcome Cocktail, a day trip to Casablanca Valley and Valparaíso, a Conference Dinner at the San Cristóbal hill and Technical visits in Santiago.
Additionally, the opportunity was taken for organizing a fair of software providers for managing, designing and control of public transport systems, as well as an open half-day Workshop between operators, academics, agencies and providers, where the firms had the opportunity to make a presentation about the products and services they offer. We had 7 firms presenting their products and services, and then a roundtable to discuss about them from a Latin American perspective. Around 60 people from firms, agencies, operators and academia attended it.

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