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13 Nov 2009



On November 11, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) signed a joint declaration, in Montreal, to encourage their members to conduct and regurarly update a security risk assessment in public transport systems. The signing of the declaration marked the official opening of the two-day UITP-CUTA joint International Security Conference on Public Transit Systems and Security: Achieving the right balance.

Conducting a Security Risk Assessment in public transit system is currently an excellent method to assess security needs in a systematic and analytically clear way. It helps to identify weak points and to prioritise areas where scarce resources should be concentrated.

This is the crucial message included in the declaration that UITP and CUTA signed at the presence of the many public transit associations – such as ALAMYS, APTA, COLPOFER and UIC – and speakers from all around the globe, who had gathered at the International Security Conference held in Montreal, Canada, on 11-12 November.

The theme of the conference ‘Public Transit Systems and Security: Achieving the right balance’, was explored in seven main sessions which tackled the challenge of building customer confidence that appropriate measures are being taken to ensure their security as they use the system.

In recent years public transit security has become a central concern world-wide. Terrorist attacks on Mumbai’s railway station and Madrid and London undergrounds, show that public transit systems continue to be vulnerable and potentially attractive targets for terrorists. But security does not just mean terrorists bombings: it is all about daily operational issues that are part of a customer service portfolio. Vandalism, petty crime, fraud and staff security are costly issues which public transit organizations of all shapes and sizes face on a daily basis.

The UITP-CUTA International Security Conference offered a valuable forum for debate and exchange of experiences on securing public transit, addressing issues such as customer perception of security, the role of staff as well as the role of technology, risk assessment and large events.

“Customers today consider security a top priority in public transport, along with efficiency, speed and safety. In order for public transit networks around the world to improve their security, it is important for the sector to come together and exchange information and experience at events like these” declared UITP Secretary General, Hans Rat. The Operational Security Manager for London Underground and Chairman of the UITP Security Commission, Geoff Dunmore, concluded the conference by stating “It must be clear that security is crucial, but the core business of a Public Transport operator is the transportation of passengers, and any security measure put in place must respect this core value”.


Notes to Editors

UITP (International Association of Public Transport) is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It is a platform for worldwide cooperation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,100 members from 90 countries. UITP is the global advocate for public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector. For more information, please visit

For more information about CUTA-ACTU, please visit

UITP Press contact: Sarah D’Angelo | UITP Press Junior Manager

Direct phone: +32 (0)2 6636639 | Fax: +32 (0)2 6601072 | sarah.d’