Doppelmayr & UN-Habitat: Decision-Makers Discuss Integrated Public Transport Solutions during the International Mobility Congress in La Paz, Bolivia

Doppelmayr & UN-Habitat: Decision-Makers Discuss Integrated Public Transport Solutions during the International Mobility Congress in La Paz, Bolivia

“The Solution to Public Transport is never only one solution but rather an integrated mobility system” – said César Dockweiler, Director, Mi Teleférico in his opening remarks at the International Mobility Congress in La Paz. Cities around the world need to understand better the importance of integrated and intermodal public transport systems. Public transport can only run efficiently when it operates as a seamless, integrated system. The Congress in La Paz has illustrated that this is particularly important in fast urbanizing cities, where public transport must increasingly compete with privately-owned cars.

To share experience and to learn from the integrated mobility system in La Paz, around 50 participants from Bolivia, India and Zimbabwe participated in the International Mobility Congress in La Paz, 1-4 October 2018, representing city officials, transport operators, transport authorities, non-governmental institutions, international organizations, private sector and academia.

The workshop was organized in a joint effort of UN-Habitat, Mi Teleférico and the Ministry of Public Works, Services and Housing, with support from Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH. The workshop underscored the linkages between growing urbanization and expected rise in motorization, while discussing the importance of implementing integrated public transport solutions.

Open remarks were provided by Stefanie Holzwarth, Urban Mobility Unit, UN-Habitat, César Dockweiler, Managing Director, Mi Teleférico, as well as Milton Claros, Minister, Ministry of Public Works, Services and Housing, Bolivia.

The aim of the workshop was to introduce an alternative paradigm for urban mobility that seeks to improve accessibility by introducing efficient, inclusive, safe, affordable and clean transport that is well integrated with active modes of mobility. “We need to put people into the heart of our transport planning and encourage compact cities and mixed land uses along transit corridors – as a way to increase access to destinations”, said Stefanie Holzwarth during her opening remarks. “The world has come together to discuss a sustainable vision for our future through global frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda”, she added.

Participants at the workshop were introduced to the integrated mobility system in La Paz. Representatives from Mi Teleférico, the urban cable car operator, and Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH, the cable car supplier, provided knowledge to participants through training sessions and field visits on planning, implementing, operating, financing and maintaining urban cable car systems.

In addition, other mobility operators, such as the Puma Katari and Wayna Bus, as well as Mi Tren, provided insights from their ongoing efforts on integrating their systems with the other mobility solutions in La Paz and El Alto. On the 3rd workshop day, the Bolivian cities of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba introduced their non-motorized transport projects, in addition to a presentation by the Critical Mass cyclists’ movement of La Paz.

The workshop was furthermore designed to support the inclusion of Urban Mobility in the framework of Bolivia’s National Urban Policy. UN-Habitat, with support from SIDA, is supporting the formulation of a National Policy for Integrated Development of Cities in Bolivia. According to Sergio Blanco, Coordinator, UN-Habitat Bolivia, “the policy will be based on the four pillars of Urban Legislation, Urban Planning and Management, Capacity Building and Financial Management. For Bolivian cities, it is key to include mobility in order to achieve sustainable urban development.” UN-Habitat promotes National Urban Policy as a tool that can be used by governments to provide an urban vision which can guide urbanization and helps countries to achieve the commitments of the New Urban Agenda.

Throughout the workshop, exchange and interaction between participants and experts was encouraged and facilitated. Through an interactive session, participants were tasked to envision an integrated public transport system for their respective city, while reflecting on gaps and solutions for improving the inter-modality and its benefit to all sectors of society.  

As partners of the workshop, the Bolivian Government, Mi Teleférico, UN-Habitat and Doppelmayr will continue - through multi-stakeholder partnerships – to promote sustainable urban mobility and livable cities to local and national governments.

Article by Stefanie Holzwarth

Photo Credits: Línea Verde (Green Line) linking neighborhoods in La Paz (credit: UN-Habitat, 2018) / Participants on the study tour in a Mi Teleferico station (credit: UN-Habitat, 2018) / Visit to the La Paz city center on its weekly Car-Free Sunday (source: UN-Habitat, 2018)  / Participants during the group work session (source: UN-Habitat, 2018) (by order)