Public Transport Can Compensate Job Losses in the Car Industry

© Andy Singer

© Andy Singer

Public transport is a significant provider of jobs. For instance, in Europe, public transport operators alone create one million direct jobs.  Every direct job in public transport is linked to four jobs in other sectors of the economy. Public transport creates 25% more jobs than the same investment in building roads or highways. At a meeting of the Policy Board of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) hosted by De Lijn from 13 to 16 October 2009 in Ghent, Belgium, worldwide leaders of the public transport sector called on governments to invest in the public transport sector.

“Public transport provides green local jobs. In many cities, the public transport network is one of the major employers, and such jobs cannot be delocalised,” said Alain Flausch, President of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

Public transport empowers the economy in general. In addition to the creation of sustainable, green and local jobs, public transport strongly supports the local economy by, among other things:

– Reducing congestion: congestion costs a minimum of 2% of the national GDP and between 2 and 8% in the European Union, which represents EUR 200bn.

– Alleviating the burden of energy costs: energy consumption for transport per inhabitant is four times lower in cities where the majority of trips are made by public transport and sustainable mobility. It helps economies to reduce their dependency on fossil fuel and improves their balance of payments.

– Reducing the cost of transport for the community: 50% less in terms of proportion of the urban GDP, in cities with a high share of public transport, walking and cycling; and

– Creating added value: every euro of value created from public transport is linked to a further value creation of EUR 4 in the total economy.

The magnitude of the current financial and economic turmoil shows that it is a systemic crisis calling for an in-depth change. This is the right moment to trigger a societal change and abandon the car-dependent lifestyle.

“It is time for a new mindset in the transport approach. A car-based economy is simply not sustainable. We call on governments to invest in the public transport sector as a sustainable lever of the economy,” said Hans Rat, Secretary General of UITP.

Brussels – October 20, 2009

www.uitp.org

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