The coronavirus pandemic has spread rapidly across the globe, causing a complete halt in daily routines, ripping through our global resources, and in some extreme cases, taking lives. The whole world is in crisis mode, but for what may be the first time in history, we’re fighting a common enemy.
Public transport is the backbone of cities, providing an essential service to keep cities moving, particularly in times of pandemics. The key objective for public transport operators therefore has to be maintaining a minimum service.
To that end, UITP has released a Factsheet (in several languages) providing recommendations for its worldwide community of members on how to prepare their transport networks for this pandemic, and ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and customers.
We know that theory always looks best on paper, but in reality there can be bigger challenges at hand, and in all cases whatsoever, we must acknowledge that while operations may continue, this is in no way “business as usual” for any of us.
These are still people we’re asking to drive that bus to transport medical materials, or to clean and sanitise our metros regularly. And fear is a very real factor, driving people’s response to the pandemic. They may not be directly saving lives like the incomparable work of our doctors or nurses, but they are still getting up in the morning and fulfilling their duties as transport professionals despite whatever fears or concerns they may have, taking real risks for the greater good, and for that we applaud them.
There are many “unsung heroes” in times like these, and we recognise that our public transport professionals are some of them. Public transport helps you bring groceries to your grandparents, get you to your work as health care professionals, or access health care facilities in times of need. Public transport workers, our ‘Guardians of Mobility’, are an integral part of the front liners keeping essential services available.
Over the course of these next few weeks, we will be sharing stories from our own community on what’s being done to keep public transport services running around the world, and to shed a little light on our sector’s contribution to fighting this pandemic.
Stay tuned for our first story from the Asia-Pacific region tomorrow...
UITP is doing its part to support the public transport sector in this unprecedented time. Please see our dedicated webpage on all of our activities surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic for more information on what's available.