Choose your language

IRU and partners call upon the EU to support collective passenger transport to achieve economic, social and sustainability goals
EU | Brussels

EU public transport calls for strong political and financial support

6 May 2024 · People

IRU and partners call upon the EU to support collective passenger transport to achieve economic, social and sustainability goals.

In an open letter, IRU – together with the European Metropolitan Transport Authorities, the European Passenger Transport Operators, Eurocities, POLIS and the International Association of Public Transport – calls upon the European Commission, the Council, and European Parliament to provide strong political and financial support to the public transport sector.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the public transport sector continues to deliver high-quality and safe services, with advancements towards zero-emission mobility and improved customer experiences. However, the sector faces increased operating costs for new technologies and infrastructure, compounded by labour shortages.

IRU's General Delegate to the EU, Raluca Marian, said, “The importance of public transport is undeniable. Public transport is indispensable to the lives and prosperity of EU citizens, businesses, communities and economies. It forms the backbone of any thriving community.” 

“Public transport is key to shifting people from private to collective mobility, thereby advancing decarbonisation goals. Its impact can be even further enhanced by supporting the purchase of zero-emission vehicles. The EU and Member States should provide sufficient funding for new technologies, including zero-emission vehicles, as well as infrastructure and network projects. We have to protect public transport in the EU and ensure that future generations can continue to benefit and rely on it,” she added.

Looking ahead to the 2024-2029 legislative term, the six organisations stress the need for renewed focus and support for local public transport to achieve the EU’s economic, social, and sustainability goals. They argue that the indispensable role of public transport in shaping sustainable urban mobility deserves special attention during the next legislative term.

The letter proposes several initiatives, including recognising public transport's strategic importance; publishing an EU declaration on public transport; enhancing coordination among EU institutions and local stakeholders; and providing adequate funding for new technologies and infrastructure.

Moving over 50 billion passengers annually, public transport stands as the most sustainable, efficient and inclusive mass-transit option, providing citizens access to vital services such as jobs, education, care and culture.