IRU, The International Association of Public Transport (UITP), POLIS, EUROCITIES and The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), addressed the leaders of the European Institutions (European Commission, European Council and European Parliament) this week in an open letter.
In the context of demand for mobility services falling by up to 85% in some European cities, the signatories to the letter urge for action on EU level to ensure basic continuity and the survival of mobility operators across Europe.
While mobility stakeholders have already implemented preventive measures to protect staff, passengers and to keep essential services running, the open letter calls for the support of Member States and European Institutions to deploy these across Europe. Some of the recommendations include:
- providing continuous flow of information for transport workers
- providing hand sanitising products to workers
- disinfecting transport vehicles on a regular basis
- adapting levels of service to the current demand
- releasing from active service staff members with a higher risk of infection
Most importantly, financial aid to keep the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating mobility services, is essential. In this context, the Commission’s proposal to activate the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact is a welcome measure. It gives Member States the flexibility to design an economic stimulus plan adapted to the situation.
With European commercial passenger transport SMEs employing millions of people, safeguarding the sector during the pandemic and making sure it’s operational post COVID-19 to support economic recovery, is a top priority.