On June 4., EPF delivered a presentation at the POLIS webinar on “Public transport and COVID-19: Getting the offer right… and safe!”.
The Covid-19 lockdown has reduced transport demand and has had a huge impact on modal choice: more people started to walk and cycle, but public transport and shared modes were used much less. Now, when transport demand will rise again, we must realise that if people start rejecting public transport over the private car, this would be a huge step backwards. Public transport must rise to this challenge!
Mostly, passengers’ confidence in public transport has suffered, and this trust must be regained, through:
- measures to improve cleanliness and reduce the risk of infection overall
- measures to reduce crowding on public transport
- adequate information and communication!
Measures should be temporary, proportionate and consistent. Every crisis is also an opportunity – and we need to remember the bigger picture: public transport must remain the backbone of our transport system if we are serious about reaching the Green Deal objectives; moreover investments in public transport would save far more lives than corona may reap if pollution and accidents caused by road traffic could be reduced…
EPF, in the meantime, is also conducting some research on the state of play in several European countries:
- Which modes are being unlocked?
- What is the current situation of Public Transport in Europe compared to the peak of the crisis?
- Is demand discouraged?
- How about vulnerable groups?
- How do journeys look for passengers?
- How is enforcement working?
- Were there changes in passengers’ behaviour?
A preliminary overview of the main findings (which will be updated the next weeks) was presented on June 6. at the EPF Management Board meeting.