Ábalos advocated for a change of model in the financing of infrastructures in a speech at UCJC

José Luis Ábalos, Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, inaugurated the 1st Symposium on the Mobility Observatory organised by EL ESPAÑOL and Invertia, at the Camilo José Cela University Almagro Campus, to address a new concept of Smart Mobility, that is safe, sustainable and connected. It will take place until next Friday 27 November and can be followed on this link.

The Rector of UCJC, Emilio Lora-Tamayo, was charged with opening the Symposium. “Now is the time to promote a more sustainable, safer and smarter mobility, taking advantage of digitization”, he said in his speech. Then the editor-in-chief of the digital newspaper El Español, Pedro J. Ramirez, welcomed the minister.

The Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda took the opportunity to recall that the pandemic “does not suspend the Government’s reformist agenda” and that the public sector must counteract its effect, as well as focus on raising ecological awareness and providing more sustainable and intelligent solutions that prioritize “quality of service over volume”. Following this reflection, he highlighted projects by public companies such as Adif, “with railway stations and an important plan for the digitization of stations”, of “Renfe as a service”, or of Enaire and Aena with their own energy self-supply projects.

In conversation with Pedro J. Ramirez, the minister reviewed the future of infrastructure financing, and said that “we have conservation needs that must be addressed” and that “with the current budget there would be no room to do new work if we have to pay for the maintenance of these roads ”. In the case of the railways, he assured that “the process of liberalization of passenger transport by rail is already underway. The operators could be operating already but the pandemic has led them to ask for a delay in their entry into service”. In the case of the bailout of Air Europa he said “the first thing the Government had to do was save the company due to its strategic nature. It is our flagship company in the airline industry, together with Iberia”.

Ábalos also mentioned at Camilo José Cela University some details of the future housing law, which “guarantees the social function of housing” and that “we must put the emphasis on alternative housing, an issue in which the role of city councils and autonomous regions is key.”

The First Symposium of the Mobility Observatory has convened the main public and private players in the sector, who analysed up to Friday the 27th the main projects underway, as well as the major problems that affect mobility from a transversal perspective.

The Symposium will conclude with a conference attended by major international personalities such as the Secretary General of the International Transport Forum, Young Tae Kim; the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo and the Commissioner for Transport of the European Commission, Adina Vălean.