Transport workers, unions and mayors from leading global cities including Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, Chicago, Milan, Jakarta, Bogota have joined forces to demand that governments make historic global investments in public transport to ensure a green and just recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
Spearheaded by C40 Cities, a coalition of mayors representing 97 of the world’s largest cities, and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), who represent 20 million transport workers, “The Future is Public Transport” initiative is calling for an urgent injection of stimulus funding in public transport services and infrastructure in order to drive economic stimulus, job creation and climate action.
C40 Cities’ newly released research (supported by WSP and Goudappel Coffeng) confirms that green investment in global public transport systems will not only safeguard existing jobs, but will also create millions of decent, sustainable jobs and drastically cut emissions in the next decade. At a time of global mass unemployment and economic hardship, stimulating employment opportunities, particularly for women and young people, will benefit millions of families and protect key workers and marginalised communities.
The report finds that proper investment in mass transit could result in both environmental and economic benefits, such as:
- Creating 4.6 million additional jobs across 100 cities by 2030, with multiplying economic impacts for jobs created as a result of greater access to public transport.
- Reducing air pollution from transport by up to 45% in some cities, resulting in better public health and longer life expectancy in cities across the globe.
- Helping cities to cut emissions from urban transport in half by 2030 – a crucial step to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and keep global temperature rise to below 1.5°C.
Failing to support mass transit in the near future will put the world on track for more than 3°C heating, with devastating consequences.
WSP partnered with Goudappel Coffeng to provide supporting analysis and advisory services to C40 throughout this Protecting Mass Transit campaign. This included:
- Researching social impacts of transit service reductions on marginalized and vulnerable communities.
- Analyzing the state of transit agency funding gaps and deficits as a result of COVID-19.
- Developing a framework for assessing different city types through mode share and GDP/capita.
- Creating and framing a set of COVID-19 recovery scenarios and applying parts of WSP’s scenario planning process.
- Contributing methodology recommendations to economic impact models for improved accuracy.
- Collaborating on essential messaging for reporting.
“Investing in mass transit is an essential direction as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only does mass transit provide a reliable return on investment and good green jobs, but it is also the necessary backbone for a low-carbon transport future. Quality transit systems can enhance social equity and create reliable access to opportunities.” ~Blair Underhill, Planner, Advisory Services at WSP.
This campaign aligns with WSP’s commitment to creating thriving communities relying on its Future Ready program. Protecting mass transit contributes to decreased impacts from climate change through emission reductions, improved mobility for all, and a socially just and equitable recovery that connects people with opportunity.