Action needed to support urban public transport in Europe

Polis has today joined four other leading urban mobility organisations in calls for a coordinated response to support the transport sector during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In an open letter to the Presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament, calls were made for a broader outreach in Europe's response for the transport sector, and for the EU to be more effective in supporting Member States in transport issues. The letter was co-signed by Polis, Eurocities, CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies), UITP Europe, and IRU (International Road Transport Union).

The letter stresses the need to ensure the basic continuity and survival of the public transport and local mobility services is essential for Europe and all European citizens, in particular for the many workers depending on a well-functioning local
transportation network to execute their essential daily functions.

The letter sets out a range of best practices which should be followed, including:

  • Ensure that all workers receive the latest and most accurate information about COVID-19 including ways to limit/avoid transmission
  • Provide transport staff, especially drivers, with hand sanitising products and other appropriate means to limit the spread of the virus, taking into account the availability of the local facilities
  • Regular deep cleaning and disinfection of transport vehicles and assets touched by the transport users (such as ticketing devices
  • Limit the interactions of drivers with passengers (for example no cash ticket sales on-board, allowing rear-door boarding only
  • Adapt the level of service according to the reduction of travel demand in line with regular business procedures and with decisions taken by public authorities
  • Provide dedicated services to healthcare personnel and any other category of personnel falling under essential services;
  • Temporarily release from active service, staff members with a higher risk of infection

To read the letter in full, please see here.