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UITP URGES THE EUROPEAN SUMMIT TO PRIORITISE PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN THE EU RECOVERY PLAN AS REQUESTED BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Date

20 Mar 2009

Sections

Transport

UITP calls the Heads of Sate and Government to specifically integrate public transport networks into the EU recovery plan during the meeting of the Spring European Council on 19-20 March. More and better public transport is part of the solution towards vibrant and competitive cities within a low-carbon future!

The European Parliament own-initiative report on the recovery plan adopted on 11 March shows the path to the wilful policy required by the situation. EPs advocate for the inclusion of urban transport in the recovery plan and particularly in the additional EUR 5 billion to be invested in infrastructure projects.
This political message must be endorsed by the Heads of State and Government.

Cities are the economic motors of Europe and good public transport represent the solution to the most pressing transport related problems:
More than 70% of the economic wealth in Europe is created in urban areas which at the same time face high congestion and pollution levels. Approximately 7% of this wealth is wasted on the external costs of accidents, congestion, health and environmental damage linked to transport.
• More public transport means lower energy consumption for transport and thus reduce carbon dependency, lower GHG emissions and lower air pollution.

Cities with a high modal share of public transport, walking and cycling can save about 400 to 500 kg of petrol per inhabitant per year (about 15 full tanks!!).
• More public transport means less expenditure on transport for citizens and thus increases available purchasing power for other goods and services. In Hong-Kong, Amsterdam or Helsinki transport costs 6% of the urban GDP against 12% in cities where mobility depends on private cars;
• More public transport means more inclusive societies and more jobs for local communities that cannot be delocalised!
Public transport networks represent the essential link enabling good accessibility for all to the different functions of the city (employment, education, health,
leisure …) while securing social inclusion and providing stable local employment.

In the European Union we estimate that public transport operators offer 1.000.000 direct jobs and studies suggest that every direct job in public transport is linked to 4 jobs in other sectors of the economy.

“The current financial and economic crises can favour the emergence of a new mindset. The European and national recovery plans developed to mitigate the effects of the crisis should lay down the basis for this paradigm shift” underlined Guido del Mese, President of the UITP EU-Committee.

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“Investments in public transport offer and excellent value for money. Public transport must be the cornerstone of any recovery policy if we want not only to spend money but also to build the post-recession European cities” added Roberto Cavalieri, President of UITP.

Notes for Editors
• UITP is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It is a platform for worldwide co-operation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,100 members from 90 countries. UITP is the global advocate for public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector.

• The UITP EU Committee was established in 1965. The objective of the EU
Committee and its secretariat, EuroTeam, is to represent the common interests of public transport undertakings to the EU institutions. It monitors legislation and provides members with information regarding EU policy developments, prepares EU Committee positions papers, and assists and
advises members concerning all aspects of European policies related to the public transport sector.

UITP’s World Congress and Exhibition will be held in Vienna, Austria, 7-11 June2009. The theme of the event is ‘Public transport: Making the right mobility choices’. For more information, visit www.uitp.org/vienna2009/.

See the congress programme
See the Expo Forums programme
Get a preview of the exhibition
Visit the Vienna Congress and Exhibition Media Room

Press Contacts:
Aline Talabard| UITP Communications Manager
Direct phone: +32 (0)2 6636672 | Fax: +32 (0)2 6601072 | aline.talabard@uitp.org

Brigitte Ollier | Director of EuroTeam
Direct phone: 32 2 6636626 | Fax: 32 2 6636623 | brigitte.ollier@uitp.org

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