Successful days at RUC conference

Conference News

IMG_0477It was a successful two days at the 13th Annual Road User Charging Conference in Brussels, Belgium as more than 120 delegates from around the world gathered to discuss the latest issues in road pricing.

The two-day event saw presentations from various pricing schemes from around the world, showcasing best practice and highlighting challenges, which are being overcome.

The event was chaired by Wouter van Haaften (Senior Researcher at the University of Amsterdam) and Keith Mortimer (RUC IC Chair at ITS UK), who brought a different dimension to each of the days. Other speakers included:

Bart Dewandeleer, VP, Viapass: the opening address was a chance to find out more about Belgium’s new truck tax which is replacing the Euro-vignette in April 2016. Dewandeleer updated the delegates with the current situation with the new system and gave people the opportunity to find out more about how implementation was taking place.

Tone Hardeland, Assistant Director General, Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications: Hardeland looked at the rationale behind the overhaul of Norway’s tolling system and where the project was. She highlighted challenges and opportunities and gave delegates details on the benefits of the new system.

William Todts, Transport Manager, Transport & Environment: as a member of the lobbying body for more sustainable transport options, Todts detailed the idea of a new CO2 truck tax to help drive truck manufacturers and fleet managers towards the use of more fuel efficient trucks (see RUC Magazine’s latest feature discussing this subject).

Vicki Berger, Chairman, Oregon’s Road User Fee Task Force: with the OReGO scheme seen as a pioneering example of road pricing, Berger gave the conference an update on how the scheme is progressing, the acceptance by the public in Oregon and how other states in the US are using OReGO as a model for road tolling scheme consultations.

Richard Wu, CTO & VP of Technology Division, FETC. Co. Ltd: a departure from the Euro-based look of the first day, this presentation took delegates to Taiwan and the new electronic tolling system now in place. Wu discussed the move from plaza-based manual tolling to the electronic tag system, and gate statistics on user acceptance as well as revenues.

Victor Shu, Deputy Director, Singapore Land Transport Authority: this was the next step in electronic tolling, as Shu detailed how the next generation of tolling tags in Singapore will do more that just road tolling – it’ll help with parking, traffic management and other things as well.

Niko-Matti Ronikonmäki, Transport Planner, HSL Helsinki Region Transport: taking things to a strategic level, Ronikonmäki detailed the 4-yearly congestion pricing study was performed and the results from the study, which then influence the pricing strategy for the next four years.

Tom Antonissen, Senior Adviser Europe & Central Asia, International Road Federation: Antonissen gave a global look at road pricing and best practice from around the world, as well has giving tips on how to make the implementation of a road pricing scheme smoother.

In addition to the individual speakers, panel discussions were held to look at issues including road pricing challenges; Congestion charging and ultra low emission zones; and the use of EETS/REETS compatible technologies and interoperability.

IMG_0468There were plenty of networking opportunities and delegates enjoyed the time, catching up with old and new colleagues. In addition, there were opportunities to discuss the latest in equipment and delivery with conference sponsors Siemens, thought leadership partner Norbit and panel session host GNSS.

The next RUC conference will be held in Singapore later this year – keep coming back to the website for more details as we confirm them. RUC Europe will once again open its doors March 1-2, 2017, in Brussels.