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Public transport contributes directly to 14 out of 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is showcased clearly in UITP’s latest report ‘Why public transport is key to achieve the SDGs’, which outlines how 12 benefits of public transport directly contribute to specific targets within the SDGs. Each benefit is also linked to two case studies from across the globe.
The SDGs stem from the 2015 Paris Agreement to address major world challenges like poverty, inequality, and climate change by 2030. The 12 public transport benefits meanwhile, show how the sector has a positive impact on People, Planet and Progress.
For example, public transport benefits progress by boosting the economy. It connects people to jobs, training and leisure, supports tourism, increases land and property value, and helps regenerate poorer areas through public transport connections. This has a direct impact on SDG target 4.1 (poverty reduction and economic development across the globe).
This is strengthened by case studies showing how Toronto, Canada puts money to best use and why Japan includes leisure, housing and lifestyle in major transport development projects.
All in all, the report identifies 37 instances where public transport brings a benefit that directly contributes to a target within the Sustainable Development Goals.
People depend on public transport. It is essential in empowering lives and livelihoods, moving people, and ensuring no one is left behind. Transforming public transport has an integral role to play in securing the future, protecting the planet, and ensuring the sustainability of our cities.
As the world hits 8 billion people, with most living in urban areas, only half of the world’s urban population can claim to have access to a sustainable transport system fit for the future. To get us back on track, we need a transformation of transport in cities through the scaling up of policy measures and shifting finance towards public transport. If not, then the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will remain out of reach.
If we ensure that all our urban citizens have convenient access to public transport, we will truly have a future with Vision Zero: no inequality to access, no deaths on our roads, no pollution, no emissions, no discrimination, no marginalisation, and no limits.
We can Improve lives and the planet, shift the economy and society to a better place, and avoid inequality with more public transport. That is our vision for 2030 and beyond.
Public transport is one of the most sustainable and safest modes of transport. It brings benefits to all of society; improving the lives of people, guaranteeing a healthy planet, and stimulating technological, economic and societal progress.
Across the world, cities are increasing their investments in public transport, walking and cycling. After decades of policies promoting private car use, they are giving cities back to people and making the sustainable choice.
The 12 benefits of public transport are divided into three categories: people, progress and planet.