There are no precise numbers on the amount of people who are chronically homeless, and the figures fluctuate. At its core, homelessness is often caused by something as simple and unpredictable as losing your job. Though it can also be the result of long-term interpersonal difficulties or abuse in the home. According to authorities, in 2022 around 582,000 people experienced homelessness in the United States. In the UK, about 227,000 people are homeless and in France that figure is 330,000. In short, the issue is both severe and widespread.
Most public transport operators already have measures in place. Some cities treat the situation only as a security issue, simply collaborating with the police and moving people out of stations. Though many cities go a step further. Indeed, sustainable change and improvement comes from working with a range of actors, such as housing associations, charities, and local government, in order to tackle the root issues of homelessness.
Essentially, the public transport sector should be moving from treating homelessness as a security issue, to seeing how operators can integrate into local support networks to get people back on their feet.