TRAN Committee meeting – Public hearing on Public Transport Operators

On 14. February 2024, the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN Committee) convened a public hearing on “How to boost public transport and deal with the challenges faced by the sector”. The hearing aimed to delve into crucial aspects of future transport policy and identify strategies for enhancing the efficiency, accessibility, and sustainability of public transport across Europe.

Ms. Karima Delli, Chairwoman of the TRAN Committee, set the stage with opening remarks emphasizing the dual focus of the hearing: expanding public transport offerings while addressing the sector’s multifaceted challenges. These challenges, ranging from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to rising costs and labour shortages, underscored the urgency of strengthening the public transport sector in alignment with Green Deal objectives and trends such as increased digitalization.

Among the invited speakers at the hearing was Delphine Grandsart, Senior Researcher at EPF. The hearing also featured insights from other speakers, including Thomas Avanzata from the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), Heinz Högelsberger from the Austrian Chamber of Labour, and Koos Fransen from the University of Ghent, shedding light on various aspects of urban mobility and sustainable transport transitions.

Delphine’s presentation, entitled “How to unleash the potential of the public transport sector in Europe: EPF’s priorities”, offered valuable insights into the essential elements for creating a passenger-centric public transport system. Drawing on EPF’s research and advocacy efforts, Delphine highlighted passengers’ core expectations for an affordable, reliable, sustainable, coordinated public transport system, with sufficient capacity to travel comfortably to where they want to go at the times they wish to travel. She also pointed out the influence of factors such as age, income, education, and mobility restrictions on passengers’ choices – stressing the need to recognize the social function of public transport, combatting transport poverty and leaving no one behind.

EPF’s priorities, as outlined by Delphine, resonate with the broader objectives of enhancing public transport infrastructure and services to meet evolving passenger needs and expectations. She emphasized the need for a seamless European passenger transport system, dynamic journey information, robust passenger protection mechanisms, and greater focus on end-users in decision-making processes.

Access Delphine’s full presentation here.¬† The hearing can be re-watched here.