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UITP Congress: World transit leaders sign "Toronto Protocol" at close of International Congress

    TORONTO, May 26 /CNW/ - A "Toronto Protocol", a document 
identifying a universal public transit goal, will be signed tomorrow 
at the closing ceremony for the International Union of Public 
Transport's (UITP) 53rd Congress and City Transport Exhibition held 
this week at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. About 3500 transit 
professionals from around the world attended workshops and information
sessions, and visited 280 exhibits from 17 countries. Local hosts were
GO Transit, Toronto Transit Commission and the Ontario Ministry of 
    Also in Toronto during the week were delegates from the American 
Public Transit Association (APTA) and the Canadian Urban Transit 
Association (CUTA). Both groups attended UITP sessions as well as 
meetings of their own.
    The "Toronto Protocol" will be signed at the UITP closing ceremony
at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 27 attended by UITP delegates as well as 
those from APTA and CUTA.
    Signatories are (for UITP) Jean-Paul Baily, President, and Hans 
Rat Secretary General; (for CUTA) Georges O. Gratton, Chair, and 
Michael W. Roschlau, President and CEO; and (for APTA) Shirley A. 
DeLibero, Chair, and William W. Millar, President.
    The Protocol states that Public Transport (Public Transit) makes a
major contribution to liveable communities and sustainable 
development. In particular, it mentions the benefit of public transit 
to the environment and the economy, and calls for action to reduce 
traffic congestion. (Full Protocol follows)

                          The Toronto Protocol

      Public Transport - a major contribution to liveable communities
                        and sustainable development

    All individuals need accessibility to employment, education, and
recreation. Achieving environmentally sustainable mobility must 
include an expanded role for public transport and requires many kinds 
of action. Well-managed, well-utilized public transport will make a 
major contribution to the quality of life in global communities in the
next century.
    Economies can only prosper with efficient transportation systems 
and this requires a balanced use of all transportation modes including
a strong public transport network. Transport and mobility has a direct
impact on the social cohesion of our community life, benefiting  all 
citizens including those with no access to other forms of transport. 
Public transport is safe, causes less pollution and is a better use of
increasingly scarce land particularly in urban areas.
    Action must be taken now to counter the deteriorating conditions 
in our environment and increasing traffic congestion and to create a 
future of mobility and to provide access to facilities.
    Increased commitment of governments and international agencies is
essential. Public transport has to have a higher priority on the 
political agenda and must be supported on a long-term basis by public 
officials. It has to be included early in the allocation of land and 
in the development of integrated transportation plans.
    Expansion of all the different modes of public transport is 
crucial to make it widely available and as attractive to use as other 
means of travel. More public and private funding must be invested to 
improve infrastructures and quality of service available.
    Public transport professionals around the world have a major role 
to play in providing a convenient, efficient, innovative, safe and 
affordable service. The undersigned associations of public transport 
commit to work together, share ideas and best practises in order to 
further improve public transport.
    These associations and their members join together to call on
international agencies, governments and public officials, and all
professionals working in urban and regional transport to join them in 
making a commitment to support the actions agreed in this protocol.

    Signed at the 53rd UITP Congress of the International Union of 
Public Transport in Toronto on the 27th day of May 1999 held in 
parallel with conferences of CUTA, the Canadian Urban Transit 
Association and APTA, The American Public Transit Association and in 
the presence of 5,000 transport professionals from 75 countries.


    For  UITP, the International Union of Public Transport
    Jean-Paul Baily, President
    Hans Rat, Secretary General

    For CUTA, the Canadian Urban Transit Association
    Georges O. Gratton, Chair
    Michael W. Roschlau, President and CEO

    For APTA, the American Public Transit Association
    Shirley A. DeLibero, Chair
    William W. Millar, President

                            Mobility for All

For further information: Heather Allen, UITP Media Relations,
(416) 685-3884; Karen Majerly, GO Transit, (416) 869-3600 ext. 5325;
Edmund Shea, GO Transit, (416) 869-3600 ext. 5328; Marilyn Bolton,
Toronto Transit Commission, (416) 393-3741