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Over 90% of the world’s population live in areas where air pollution exceeds safe levels, resulting in eight million premature deaths per year. Around 50 million people are also injured on the world’s roads every year, costing governments up to 3% of GDP. Our way of living and subsequent impacts on the climate are directly targeting the lives of our citizens. Then throw in the detrimental impacts of COVID-19, and we have a catastrophic crisis on our hands. The health situation has powered a widespread drop in ridership and, with an expected 10% fall in GDP, we must act now to prevent a social and economic tsunami whose curve is difficult to flatten.
Our greatly anticipated Policy Brief, Cities for People: Public Transport for better lives, sets the bar high for all city authorities. The facts are laid out, with concise recommendations backed up by the international Paris Agreement which we should all be working towards. This is a renewed commitment to address the climate crisis.
Urban mobility plays a vital role in helping cities prosper. But this can only happen by stepping up collaboration among stakeholders and putting people first. This means restoring trust in the public transport sector, dedicated mobility funds and transport-oriented development.
Climate, health, social inclusion, road safety and the economy are all under attack and public transport, driven by innovation and service quality, is a vital part of the solution.
Going ‘back to normal’ is unquestionable. Tackling the COVID-19 crisis means moving towards a more sustainable livelihood. At UITP, we are strongly advocating for all cities to build back better by prioritising public transport as a vital pillar for social, economic and environmental change.