Open letter for the European Institutions: support needed for the continuity of public transport

27 March 2020

While fighting the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring the basic continuity and survival of the public transport and local mobility services is essential for Europe and all European citizens. This includes the many professionals that depend on a well-functioning local transportation network to meet their daily needs.

Eurocities joined UITP, CER, IRU and Polis in writing an open letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council, Charles Michel and President of the European Parliament, David Maria Sassoli, to highlight this message.

The letter welcomes the Commission’s proposal to activitate the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact as one means to limit the social, economic and financial consequences of the crisis and highlights the imporantance of financial support for public transport to assist in the subsequent economic recorvery.

In addition, the letter sets out preventive measures that city and public transport authorities have put into place to protect staff and passengers.

These best practices include:

  • Ensure that all workers receive the latest and most accurate information about COVID 19 including ways to limit/avoid transmission;
    Provide staff, especially drivers, with hand sanitising products and other appropriate means to limit the spread of the virus, taking into account the availability of the local facilities;
  • Regular deep cleaning and disinfection of transport vehicles and assets touched by the transport users (such as ticketing devices…);
  • Limit the interactions of drivers with passengers (for example no cash ticket sales onboard, allowing rear-door boarding only …);
  • Adapt the level of service according to the reduction of travel demand in line with regular business procedures and with decisions taken by public authorities (e.g. night services and school services are suspended in some cities, some networks are following weekend or school holidays timetables…);
  • Provide dedicated services to healthcare personnel and any other category of personnel falling under essential services;
    Temporarily release from active service, staff members with a higher risk of infection (e.g. older staff members over 60, people with a chronic health condition, etc.).

You can read the letter below or download the attachment.

Final statement: basic continuity and survival of urban public transport