(From left) CAIT Director Ali Maher, UITP Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani and NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett sign agreement establishing the North American Regional Training Center at Rutgers. Photo ©Gevon Servo/NJ Transit.

A new center designed to educate the current and next generation of transportation professionals to be resilient to challenges of the 21st century has been established at Rutgers through a partnership with two industry leaders.

Leaders of the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) have partnered with NJ TRANSIT and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) to create the North American Regional Training Center housed at the CAIT building on Busch campus.

The partnership marks the first UITP regional training center in North America.

“New Jersey residents will reap massive benefits from this newly forged partnership, which convenes NJ TRANSIT, New Jersey’s premier state university, and a worldwide leader in sustainable public transportation,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “By hosting the first Regional Training Center on the continent, New Jersey will earn worldwide recognition as a North American transportation hub. Just as importantly, the establishment of the training center emphasizes our ongoing commitment to invest in the growth and development of our critical public transportation workforce.”

Dedicated to advancing sustainable urban mobility in the public transport field, the center will provide high-level courses on the fundamentals of public transport, bus planning, rail operations, railroad maintenance, fare management and more.

These courses will cover critical topics ranging from railroad track servicing, inspection and repair, to analyzing trends in urban mobility for maintenance managers, fleet supervisors, operations coordinators, planning and finance staff, and other professionals in public transport.

Learn more about the training center here, and the first course, Public Transport Fundamentals for North America, being offered from July 10-12 2023.

NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett was joined by UITP Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani and CAIT Director Dr. Ali Maher in the CAIT Auditorium on Thursday, March 16 to sign an agreement establishing the regional training center.

Officials gave remarks before signing an agreement between NJ TRANSIT, UITP and Rutgers CAIT. Photos ©Gevon Servo/NJ Transit.

“It is a privilege for NJ TRANSIT to lead this partnership that is establishing UITP’s first-ever North American Regional Training Center,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO and North American Representative to the Policy Board of UITP Kevin S. Corbett. ”NJ TRANSIT has benefitted greatly from its membership in UITP since 2018, which has given us access to industry best practices around the globe, as well as our strong, long-standing partnership with Rutgers CAIT.”

By gathering international experts and industry leaders at Rutgers University, the training sessions will provide first-class transportation education and an opportunity to establish uniform standards and best practices nationwide.

It also provides transit agencies and leaders in North America with access to a worldwide network of data and catalogs of programs driving innovation within rail and bus.

“NJ TRANSIT is proud to be a part of establishing UITP’s first Regional Training Center in North America,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “The training sessions to be held at the Rutgers CAIT will offer valuable information to help drive innovation in our industry. This partnership affirms both NJ TRANSIT – and the state of New Jersey – as worldwide leaders in public transportation services.”

UITP is the only worldwide network dedicated to bringing together all public transportation stakeholders – from all forms of sustainable transportation – to advance the quality of life in cities globally.

The international association currently has centers in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and now North America.

“Throughout its long history as an association, UITP has worked to advance sustainable urban mobility by collaborating alongside our members and external partners,” said UITP Secretary General Mohamed Mezghani. “Collaboration is key – and we strive to do this across the globe to best reflect our international membership. I am delighted that UITP will partner with NJ TRANSIT and Rutgers CAIT to establish the first UITP Regional Training Center in North America. This is an important time for our sector, and this new partnership will provide an excellent opportunity for industry leaders to bring their expertise to a whole new audience in North America.”

Rutgers CAIT trains thousands of transportation professionals annually in courses ranging from infrastructure resilience planning to track asset management systems, and prides itself on being a dynamic resource for the transportation community.

“Healthy infrastructure and transit systems serve as the backbone of the US economy, and require a skilled workforce to maintain, operate, and improve them,” said CAIT Director Dr. Ali Maher. “The current and future transit workforce will be tasked with addressing climate change impacts, building with resilience, and improving the equity of our transportation systems. This North American Regional Training Center serves as an opportunity to share industry knowledge on a national scale and develop the next generation of transit leaders. Rutgers CAIT is excited to leverage its extensive workforce development and technology transfer programs in support of this Regional Training Center and in partnership with NJ TRANSIT and UITP.”