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The President of the International Association of Public Transport calls on Ministers to bank on public transport

Date

30 May 2011

Sections

Transport

Alain Flausch, President of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP),
made a resolute plea to governments to take up their responsibilities yesterday 26
May. He stressed that governments must seize the opportunity to provide a better
urban life for their communities by improving public transport through stable funding
and integrated urban policies.

Speaking yesterday to Ministers from around the globe at the International Transport Forum Summit, UITP President Alain Flausch called on governments to act responsibly and reconsider their priorities. As budget allocation and policy decisions are in their hands, Mr Flausch focused on the opportunity that political leaders have to improve quality of life in their communities, boost the economy and make cost savings, by integrating public transport as a priority in urban policies and allocating stable funding.

“National governments have a critical role to play and plenty of tools to put in place in support of urban public transport,” he told Ministers from over 50 countries, decision-makers, business leaders, top academics and civil society representatives gathered in Leipzig for the 2011 Summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD.

A recent UITP study on mobility* shows that, with 60% of the world’s population living in urban areas in 2025, daily trips in urban areas will increase by 50% compared to 2005 levels. If current trends persist, private motorised trips will increase by 80%, bringing with them all the associated risks of urban transport externalities, such as CO2 emissions, traffic fatalities and congestion.

Another future is possible. If governments take up the ‘PTx2’ challenge, promoted by UITP, of doubling the public transport market share worldwide by 2025, it would be possible to decouple the growth of urban mobility from the growth of its environmental and societal costs.

In such a scenario:

-urban transport energy consumption would be reduced by 170 million tons oil equivalent;

-it would be possible to avoid emissions of around 550 million tons CO2 equivalent;
 

-urban traffic fatalities would be reduced by 15%;

-the risk of obesity and coronary diseases would be reduced by 50%.

Giving priority to public transport contributes to a better quality of life in urban areas.
In order for public transport to thrive and for individuals and communities to reap the benefits, the following combination must be put in place: a new business culture; lifestyle services; adequate and stable funding; integration of public transport with other urban policies; and implementation of demand management strategies.

The annual ITF Summit was also the occasion to honour the winner of the Transport Achievement Award (26 May): UITP member Arriva Skandinavien, part of the Arriva Group owned by Deutsche Bahn, was rewarded for its ‘Better Bus Ride’ Project. A special mention also went to another UITP member, Istanbul Electricity, Tram and Tunnel, Turkey, for the design and implementation of a bus rapid transit system (BRT).
***

* http://ptx2uitp.org/sites/default/files/leaflet_ptx2_LR.pdf

Notes to the Editors
The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) is the international network of public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It is a platform for worldwide cooperation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,400 members from 92 countries. UITP is the global advocate of public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector.

Visit our website www.uitp.org

The International Transport Forum (ITF) is a strategic think tank for the transport sector. Each year, it brings together Ministers from over 50 countries, along with leading decision-makers and actors from the private sector, civil society and research, to address transport issues of strategic importance. An intergovernmental organisation linked to the OECD, the Forum's goal is to help shape the transport policy agenda, and ensure that it contributes to economic growth, environmental protection, social inclusion and the preservation of human life and wellbeing.

Press Contact: Sarah D'Angelo | UITP Press Junior Manager
Direct phone: +32 (0)2 6636639 | Fax: +32 (0)2 6601072 | sarah.dangelo@uitp.org

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