The time is right for investment in sustainable mobility

By: Chris Smith


The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) calls on governments to invest in public transport infrastructure, including rail vehicles and

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) calls on governments to invest in public transport infrastructure, including rail vehicles and buses, to help stave off global recession and to encourage efficient energy use across the world.

UITP made this call following its Policy Board meeting in Lisbon last week, which was attended by Vitor Manuel Ribeiro Constâncio - member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank and Governor of the Bank of Portugal - as well as the Portuguese State Secretary for Transport, Ana Paula Vitorino.

UITP’s call comes in the context of cuts in interest rates, commitments to increase government spending and the preparation for the G20 Summit of heads of state in Washington on November 15.

The international financial crisis and the significant structural changes in the financial sector offer both challenges and opportunities for changing the way we move people in our cities.

The cost of capital is expected to reach an all-time low and many national governments will need to invest in infrastructure to assist local economies.

At the same time, an economic slowdown is also likely to drive construction costs down.

This is an excellent opportunity to invest in public transport in major cities around the world, contributing to creating local jobs, says UITP President Roberto Cavalieri and UITP Secretary General Hans Rat.

Recent work by the association confirms that the benefits from public transport are often underestimated.

They include economic, environmental, social and safety benefits. Now is an excellent time to increase the efficiency of mobility in our cities and ensure the investment is sustainable.

"With the right political will and investments, public transport can clearly play a significant part in alleviating the effects of the current financial and energy crises by boosting more sustainable demand and consumption patterns," concludes UITP Secretary General, Hans Rat.

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook