Investment in public transport should form part of EU economic recovery plan

By: Chris Smith


The EU Committee of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has addressed a letter to the President of the

The EU Committee of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has addressed a letter to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the College of Commissioners urging them to include urban and suburban public transport networks in the transport infrastructure investments which are to form part of the European economic recovery plan due to be unveiled today.

"Economic wealth in Europe is mainly created in urban areas which very often face high congestion and pollution levels. Approximately 7 percent of this wealth is wasted on the external costs of accidents, congestion, health and environmental damage linked to transport," stated Guido del Mese, Chairperson of UITP’s EU Committee.

"When discussing higher levels of public investment for infrastructure development, it is therefore important to also better adapt and extend the capacity of the current public transport networks to offer attractive mobility solutions as a basis for sound economic development whilst reducing congestion, accidents, climate change and local pollution."

Public transport networks represent an essential link enabling good accessibility for all to the different functions of the city (such as employment, education, health, leisure) while securing social inclusion and providing stable local employment.

In the European Union UITP estimates that public transport operators create 900,000 direct jobs, and studies suggest that every direct job in public transport is linked to four jobs in other sectors of the economy.

"Investment in better and more public transport therefore represents an indispensable element for supporting sustainable economic growth in European urban areas," concludes UITP’s President, Roberto Cavalieri.

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