Why Cities Need Public Transport To Be Well-Funded, Equitable, and Resilient

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Over the course of a year, the MOBILIZE Learning Lab convened by ITDP and VREF convened global transport researchers and advocates to discuss the future of public transport. High-quality, reliable public transport is essential to all cities, especially in lower- and middle-income countries where public transport is often the only accessible option for millions of people. High-quality public transport is also critical to addressing the growing emissions, congestion, inequality, and traffic violence associated with increases in private vehicle usage. Four years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic had clear and significant impacts on public transport systems worldwide. As public health concerns in cities limited the mobility of many, the International Energy Agency reported a nearly 50% fall in global road transport activity in the first few months of the crisis. Now, many public transport systems continue to face a decline in funding, labor, and resources. At the same time, we know that public transport is one of the most important climate and equity solutions for reducing emissions and supporting mobility. The future of cities also means a future with robust transport infrastructure and services that acknowledge the diverse needs of urban populations.

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