La Paz, Bolivia, October 2018 – Policy makers and urban transport stakeholders from Bolivia, India and Zimbabwe met at the International Mobility Congress to discuss integrated urban public transport solutions and draw lessons from implementation of the integrated mobility system in La Paz. Participants included municipal officials, transport operators, transport regulators, non-governmental institutions, international organizations, the private sector and academia.  Participants were introduced to the integrated mobility system in La Paz. Training sessions on planning, implementation, operation, financing and maintenance of urban cable car systems were conducted by representatives of the La Paz urban car operator Mi Teleférico and the supplier Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH. Field visits were also conducted to give participants first-hand experience.

“We need to put people into the heart of our transport planning and encourage compact cities and mixed land uses along transit corridors to increase access to destinations,” said Stefanie Holzwarth of UN-Habitat. “Together we must find a sustainable vision for our future working through global frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda,” she added.

Cities around the world need to adopt integrated and intermodal public transport systems. Public transport can only run efficiently when it operates as a seamless, integrated system. This is particularly important in fast urbanizing cities where public transport must increasingly compete with privately-owned vehicles. “The challenge of public transportation does not have a single solution, rather it must be addressed through an integrated mobility system,” said the Director of Mi Teleférico, Mr. César Dockweiler.

Emphasis was on adopting an alternative urban mobility paradigm which focuses on improving access to efficient, inclusive, safe, affordable and clean transport networks integrated with active nodes of mobility.

Transport operators including the Puma Katari, Wayna Bus and Mi Tren shared insights and lessons learnt from ongoing efforts to integrate their systems with other mobility solutions in La Paz and El Alto. The Critical Mass cyclists’ movement of La Paz and the Bolivian cities of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba presented their non-motorized transport projects.

The congress was jointly organized by UN-Habitat, Mi Teleférico and the Ministry of Public Works, Services and Housing with support from Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH. It highlighted linkages between growing urbanization, the expected increase in motorization and implementation of integrated public transport solutions.

UN-Habitat promotes national urban policies as tools to guide sustainable urbanization and implementation of the New Urban Agenda and is providing technical support to the formulation of a National Policy for Integrated Development of Cities in Bolivia with support from SIDA. Recommendations of the congress will support inclusion of urban mobility in Bolivia’s National Urban Policy. “The policy will be based on four pillars - urban legislation, urban planning and management, capacity building and financial management,” said Sergio Blanco, Coordinator, UN-Habitat Bolivia.