Public transport and active mobility must be at the heart of new EU Urban Mobility Framework

6th October 2021 by CMIA

Coalition says emphasising the importance of public transport and active mobility is key in fighting against climate change.

Public transport and active mobility must be the foundation on which changes to the urban mobility systems are made in order to counter the ongoing climate crisis, says a broad coalition of transport stakeholders in a statement released on September 23.

Both public transport and active mobility are the most sustainable, affordable, democratic, dependable and resilient transport modes says the coalition, and should therefore be placed at the heart of the new EU Urban Mobility Framework.

The coalition includes local and regional authority representatives, public transport operators, local and regional transport authorities, railway and infrastructure companies, the rail supply industry, passenger organisations and advocates for walking, cycling, disability rights and better health in Europe. The coalition includes UITP, the association of European Passenger Transport Operators, POLIS, SGI Europe, EMTA, Eurocities, European Disability Forum, European Passengers’ Federation, CER and UNIFE.

The message we send to the European Commission today is clear,” says Mr Thomas Avantaza, EU Committee spokesman. “Promoting public transport and active mobility is the only way to achieve the EU climate targets and improve the quality of life in cities.

“While providing affordable and accessible mobility to all, these sustainable modes also help tackle environmental challenges, boost the economy, and improve EU citizens’ health and wellbeing. To encourage a much-needed modal shift, we call on the commission to place public transport and active mobility at the heart of the future Urban Mobility Framework.”

Three key recommendations proposed by the coalition include:

  • ensure that Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) accelerate the uptake of sustainable and collective mobility. The coalition says the EU should ensure that all cities that are defined as urban nodes on the TEN-T network, and as many other cities as possible, should produce a high-quality SUMP or have a similar strategy in place by 2025. It claims that 40% of road-related CO2 emissions in Europe stem from urban areas. Cities must be encouraged and supported to build upon the potential of existing public transport networks and thus allow them to realise their full potential
  • support sustainable mobility with appropriate funding opportunities. The coalition says this includes deploying alternative fuels, digitalisation and ensuring accessibility as society ages, and
  • create multimodal mobility on the ground and by harnessing the benefits of data. However, before this can happen, the coalition states that multimodal integration must happen first and foremost. This would be achieved through high-quality infrastructure for walking, cycling and public transport and more stations becoming multimodal.

“Multimodality and modal shift are the key to achieving EU Green Deal climate objectives in transport,” says Mr Alberto Mazzola, CER executive director. “It is of the utmost importance that the new EU urban mobility initiative includes the application of the “polluter pays”’ and “user pays” principles’ to facilitate the use of more sustainable forms of mobility in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.”