New Jersey Transit, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), and Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) announced March 16 the formation of a joint partnership to establish UITP’s first North American Regional Training Center (RTC).
An agreement formalizing the partnership was signed Thursday at the Rutgers CAIT. While UITP has such training centers in different parts of the world, this new endeavor marks its first in North America.
UITP is the only worldwide network dedicated to bringing together all public transportation stakeholders to advance the quality of life in cities for everyone. It offers transportation training through the establishment of uniform standards and best practices for all areas of sustainable transportation. The training sessions will provide a worldwide network of data and catalogs of programs driving innovation within rail, bus and more.
“New Jersey residents will reap massive benefits from this newly forged partnership, which convenes NJ Transit, New Jersey’s premier state university, and a worldwide leader in sustainable public transportation,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “By hosting the first Regional Training Center on the continent, New Jersey will earn worldwide recognition as a North American transportation hub. Just as importantly, the establishment of the training center emphasizes our ongoing commitment to invest in the growth and development of our critical public transportation workforce.”
NJ Transit will lead the regional partnership by sponsoring four training programs annually. Rutgers CAIT will act as a key partner by coordinating with UITP and NJ Transit to provide necessary logistics and administrative support. It will also assist in the marketing of training courses, and by hosting the training sessions.
The four training programs planned for this year include:
- Public Transport Fundamentals for North America – July 2023
- Electric Buses: Fleet Infrastructure Planning, Operations and Maintenance for North America – September 2023
- Rail Operations and Maintenance for North America – October 2023
- Ticketing and Fare Management for North America – November 2023
“NJ Transit is proud to be a part of establishing UITP’s first Regional Training Center in North America,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “The training sessions to be held at the Rutgers CAIT will offer valuable information to help drive innovation in our industry. This partnership affirms both NJ Transit – and the State of New Jersey – as worldwide leaders in public transportation services.”
Kevin Corbett, president and CEO of NJ Transit and North American Representative to the Policy Board of UITP, called it a privilege for NJ Transit to lead this partnership.
“NJ Transit has benefitted greatly from its membership in UITP since 2018, which has given us access to industry best practices around the globe, as well as our strong, long-standing partnership with Rutgers CAIT,” said Corbett.
“The North American Regional Training Center serves as an opportunity to share industry knowledge on a national scale and develop the next generation of transit leaders,” said Ali Maher, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rutgers University and director of Rutgers CAIT. “Rutgers CAIT is excited to leverage its extensive workforce development and technology transfer programs in support of this Regional Training Center and in partnership with NJ Transit and UITP.”
The stakeholders say the benefits of the partnership include: across the board enhancement of transportation services for participating organizations; worldwide recognition of New Jersey as a transportation hub for North America; additional commerce to strengthen local economy; and global brand visibility for all agencies taking part in the sessions.
“Throughout its long history as an association, UITP has worked to advance sustainable urban mobility by collaborating alongside our members and external partners,” said UITP Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani. “Collaboration is key – and we strive to do this across the globe to best reflect our international membership. I am delighted that UITP will partner with NJ Transit and Rutgers CAIT to establish the first UITP Regional Training Center in North America. This is an important time for our sector, and this new partnership will provide an excellent opportunity for industry leaders to bring their expertise to a whole new audience in North America.”