More than 80 guests attended AIC’s June 15 Speakers Luncheon with Anne Hornung-Soukup, Chair of the Board of the Transports Publics Genevois (TPG). Hornung-Soukup gave a fact-filled, humorous address and presentation on current transit system plans and innovations aimed at increasing ridership within an agency that currently services 600,000 riders daily, and more than 200 million annually.
AIC President Ron Banks introduced Hornung-Soukup, a native Chicagoan and Smith College/American University graduate who has resided in Geneva for nearly thirty years. A successful entrepreneur, private banker, and supporter of women's career causes, Hornung-Soukup was tapped to head the TPG Board in July 2016.
Hornung-Soukup’s discussion, entitled “Chairing the TPG – Present Challenges, Future Opportunities” touched on a number of logistical and technological improvements to Geneva’s current rail, tram, and bus network both within the city and the surrounding region, including:
The current expansion of the #12 Tram, the oldest continuing tram line in Europe, into Annemasse and beyond which would commence in 2019.
The Leman Express which will direct train service from cities such as Evian, Thonon, Annemasse Annecy into Cornavin-Geneva by 2020.
The multi-billion Euro collaborative CEVA project, due to open in 2020, would bring an underground subway to Geneva for the first time.
The TOSA initiative will introduce a new generation of electric buses that will eliminate the use of the unsightly overhead power lines. These are to be introduced into service in early 2018.
A highly-innovative driverless bus system, currently being tested in nearly 20 cities worldwide and which could come to Geneva within the next five years.
The En Chardon project, a third transit repair and storage facility near Geneva Airport, would bring much-needed relief to the TPG’s over-extended maintenance division.
In addition, the TPG Board Chair cited a number of ongoing challenges: potential strikes, a recent fair increase that was rejected by voters, and the likely financial ramifications resulting from that vote. She also noted the rise of emerging competitors who could drastically affect TPG ridership, including Uber, Mobility, Catch-a-Car, as well as a rise in the use of electric bikes.
Hornung-Soukup, a former President of the Career Women’s Forum and a long-time supporter of American Citizens Abroad, has also held various roles with the American International Club and the American International Women’s Club. She is currently on the board of Venture South, a Geneva-based company which makes loans to small businesses in the emerging world.
A lively Q & A session followed Hornung-Soukup’s presentation, whereafter she was presented with a Lifetime Membership in the AIC President. This event was co-sponsored by the Career Women’s Forum and the Chamber de Commerce, d’Industrie et des Services de Geneve (CCIG).