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An Open Letter for the European Institutions: UITP and fellow associations advocate for the continuity of public transport

26/03/2020
  • Europe
  • Advocacy
  • COVID-19
  • Crisis management
  • European legislation

Public transport is needed now more than ever.

As the world lives through the coronavirus pandemic, maintaining a specific service within our sector is vital.

With key sector workers in our cities relying on their local mobility options we must always advocate for the basic continuity and survival of our public transport services.

What is clear during these difficult times is that the public transport sector is recognisable by its strength of community…

And UITP is proud to be part of that international community as we join forces with our fellow associations to issue an Open Letter to the European institutions calling for the ongoing support of our sector now, and in the times that lie ahead.

With a specific focus on Europe in this instance, UITP, IRU, Polis, EuroCities and CER have written to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council Charles Michel and David Maria Sassoli, President of the European Parliament.

The continuity and survival of the public transport and local mobility services is essential for Europe and all European citizens – and especially for the many professionals depending on a well-functioning local transportation network to go about their daily lives.

In order to ensure this continuity, the competent authorities have to guarantee the availability of the relevant medical equipment and products to the public transport and local mobility operators to protect the health and safety of their employees, as well as their passengers.

These are unprecedented times, and in this unprecedented context, public transport operators and local mobility providers are committed to apply to the extent possible health and safety recommendations in line with the requirements set by local, national and European authorities.

Public transport and local mobility stakeholders have already put in place a set of preventive measures and are continuously sharing information and best practices in order to protect both staff and passengers and to keep transit systems running.

You can read the best practices in our Open Letter.

What is clear is that a larger and more impactful outreach can be achieved with the support of the European institutions and the Member States.

No one is quite able to determine what the next steps will look like in terms of assessing the economic and financial impact of the pandemic on the urban and local mobility sector.
In order to limit these social, economic and financial consequences, as well as to facilitate continuity of service, exceptional measures will need to be adopted very rapidly.

Once the public health situation stabilizes after the coronavirus outbreak subsides, public transport and local mobility services can and will play an even greater role in revitalising the European economy.

UITP is committed, alongside our fellow associations, to ensure the continuity of service and limit any likely consequences for the various stakeholders in the local passenger transport sector.

We remain ready to ready to contribute to the future ambitious environmental objectives as defined in the EU Green Deal.

These are truly exceptional circumstances…action and collaboration are required to make sure that the public transport sector survives and thrives.

UITP has issued a detailed Factsheet (available in almost ten languages) on responding to a pandemic in public transport

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