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Shenzhen Bus Group

Public Transport and COVID-19


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.

In the public transport community, each of us has a different role to play to prevent the spread, and keep essential services running. We’re here to help!

As we try to consider what the next weeks and months look like, I hope the strength of community throughout public transport continues. I’m thankful to all of those working within the sectors that can’t work from home, going about their daily routine to keep us moving. I’m especially thankful to see those in public transport stepping forward to do their part.
Mohamed Mezghani
UITP Secretary General
For the Sector

Prepare, protect, reduce

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 ‘Management of COVID-19’ 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.

Members-only bonus

Are you a UITP member? Login to MyLibrary and browse our full list of case studies submitted from our members all over the world in an exchange of best practice and know-how on various implementations of this UITP Factsheet.

You can also join in on the exchange and discussions on our members-only LinkedIn group that we’ve dubbed our ‘Coronavirus Exchange Platform’.Check it out!

Interested in becoming a UITP member? Then find outhow here!

Get advice from experts

UITP has developed a series of webinars (held in different languages) to assist public transport operators in tailoring business continuity plans responding to the specific challenges of communicable diseases (namely, COVID-19 in this case).

Head to our events calendar to register for our next available webinar. Don’t see a webinar coming up that suits your needs? Contact us at

In addition to that, the UITP Academy can assist with an e-peer review on preparing for pandemics, managing the response, and developing integrated action plans for the public transport sector. See how it works and the topics we can offer here.

Please contact Emre Kiran, Head of Training, for more information.

Guardians of Mobility

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.

We are 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 to our newsroom, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to get the latest stories!

Where is UITP’s response to the coronavirus pandemic featuring in the global press?

A message from our staff

While our staff at UITP works from home during this period, we continue to support our Guardians of Mobility and thank them for their dedicated service! Here is our small message from our staff to the sector in the video below.

For decision makers

Public transport is needed now more than ever

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. UITP is proud to be part of that international community as we join forces on both the European and global level.

UITP joined together with ITF, UIC and UCLG to call for the continuity of passenger transport services during these unprecedented times and beyond.

On the European level, we teamed up with IRU, Polis, EuroCities, and CER 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.

We have continued our engagement with the European institutions by issuing two more Open Letters focusing on the next stages for public transport andengaging with more than 80 CEOs and city representatives from almost 20 countries calling for public transport to be a key sector in the European Union’s strategy plans. 

And now as Europe considers the European institutions Recovery Package, UITP is responding to this strategy y based on our previous engagement detailed above.

Public transport contributes to clean and sustainable urban mobility and we have now issued a Statement on the package.

Our world is more interconnected than ever before in its history. This allows for close collaborations, fruitful partnerships and joint efforts to advance essential services.

It also brings new and continued risks: few as serious as climate change. 

Continuing our collaborations during COVID-19, UITP has released a Joint Statment with UNIFE and UIC. Climate action is required by all of us and by working together we can give public transport a central role in the world of tomorrow. 

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