Ministers call for open data framework and improved governance for transport at International Transport Forum summit

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Transport Ministers from the 57 member countries of the International Transport Forum (ITF) have expressed their political will to improve the governance frameworks for transport in order to help achieve objectives agreed by the international community.

At their Summit in Germany this week, Ministers released their ‘2017 Ministerial Declaration of Governance of Transport’, which states, “Transport governance should consider the ambitious goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Successful implementation of these agreements calls for significant changes to transport systems, technologies, and to the overall governance of the sector.”

In their joint declaration, ministers recognize that regulatory and fiscal frameworks may require adjustment to promote innovative mobility solutions, and call for responsive regulation to foster innovation.

Specifically, the Ministers expressed their will to create a sound framework for open mobility data, and support new approaches to collaboration between the private and public sectors to share data. They welcomed initiatives to make all non-personal transport data collected by governments openly available, and encourage transport companies to make their data available in open standard formats. Ministers will also promote measures to ensure cybersecurity and data protection in transport. Taking note of ongoing urbanization, ministers encouraged cooperation among all levels of authority to ensure that transport systems in urban areas provide inclusive access to services, and sustainable mobility solutions for their rapidly expanding populations. Specifically, they call for better coordination of transport, land use, and fiscal policies.

At the summit in Leipzig, the Council of Ministers of Transport, the ITF’s highest decision-making body, also unanimously approved the membership applications of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates to join the organization as its 58th and 59th member countries.

Holder of the ITF Presidency this year, Mexico’s Secretary of Transportation and Communications, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza (top), said, “As a vast country, Kazakhstan knows how vital transport is for a society and the economy. Its significant investment in high-speed rail, airports and urban metro systems are testimony to that. Their voice will enrich the transport policy debate in ITF.”

Esparza added, “Over the past decades, the Emirates have become a major player in transport by developing global aviation and maritime hubs. Their experience in infrastructure development will make the Emirates’ presence in the ITF invaluable.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).