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G20 sustainable and balanced growth requires sustainable mobility


28 Jun 2010


Sustainable Dev.

The day after G20 nations reiterated in Toronto their commitment to sustainable and balanced growth worldwide, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) highlights public transport’s important benefits for local economies.

Sustainable and balanced growth can only be achieved if mobility in cities is also sustainable and balanced.

Making the right mobility choice is crucial in terms of costs and availability of resources. Expensive mobility patterns – such as those based on cars – accentuate the problem of limited resources, thus hampering growth, and contribute to CO2 emission problems, pollution and congestion costs.

“A car-based economy is simply not sustainable. Public transport alleviates congestion, it helps the planet breathe, brings everyone everywhere and empowers the economy”, said Hans Rat, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

Sustainable and balanced mobility is therefore only possible with public transport, which alleviates the burden of energy and transport costs for the community and helps economies to reduce their dependency on fossil fuel.

According to a UITP study, the Mobility in Cities Database (2006), energy consumption for transport per inhabitant is three to four times lower in cities where the majority of trips are made by public transport and other sustainable modes. Furthermore, transport costs 50% less (as a proportion of urban GDP) in cities with a high share of public transport, walking and cycling.

Value created by public transport amounts to 150 billion euro (1.2% of GDP) in Europe. Public transport produces wider economic benefits and is a major job provider: in Europe, public transport operators alone create 1.2 million direct jobs. Public transport operators are the largest employers in cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam, Brussels and Dublin.

Cutting resources allocated to public transport makes it difficult for it to play its crucial role.

The International Association of Public Transport calls on G20 leaders to maintain resources for urban public transport when “cutting national budget deficits while endeavouring to promote economic growth”, as agreed at the conclusion of the summit.


Notes to Editors

UITP (International Association of Public Transport) 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 cooperation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,200 members from 90 countries. UITP is the global advocate for public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector. For more information, please visit 

Sarah D'Angelo | Press Junior Manager

International Association of Public Transport (UITP)

Direct phone: +32 2 663 66 39 |


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