Public Transport : The smart green solution
The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) unveiled its vision for urban transport in 2025 at the UITP Dubai 2011 World Congress in April. It compared the economic, environmental and social impact of urban transport in a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario and in a ‘PTx2’ scenario.
Based on well-documented urban economic and technological development projections and a partnership with the International Energy Agency (IEA), UITP presented the way our cities will evolve until 2025 compared to 2005.
This was considering the fact that, in 2025, 60% of the world population will live in urban areas and the number of trips made in urban areas will increase by 50%. Against this assumption, in a business-as-usual scenario, between 2005 and 2025:
• The share of private motorised transport will grow and the volume of traffic on urban roads will increase by 60% with correlated lost hours in traffic congestion;
• 30% more urban traffic fatalities (500,000/year) will take place;
• Urban transport energy consumption will reach 890 million tons oil equivalent per year;
• GHG emissions from urban transport will increase by 30%, reaching 3 billion tons CO2 equivalent per year.
To avoid this, the UITP solution is to double the public transport market share by 2025.
Achieving PTx2 in 2025 entails tripling the number of trips made by public transport and stabilising private car use, with the following benefits:
• Controlling greenhouse gas emissions with a 25% decrease of GHG emissions per capita between 2005 and 2025. 600 million tons CO2 equivalent could be saved per year compared to a business-as-usual scenario.
• Preserving energy reserves with 170 million tons of oil equivalent saved per year, that is $140bn (€95 billion) per annum (estimation at today’s price).
• Keeping citizens healthy with 50% less risk of coronary heart disease and obesity and 30% less risk of hypertension thanks to the 30 minutes of physical exercise provided by daily urban mobility.
• Saving human lives with 60,000 less urban traffic fatalities per year compared to 2005 and 180,000 compared to the business-as-usual scenario. If a human life is valued at €1 million ($1.4 million), this represents savings of about €180 billion ($250 billion) per year.
• Creating 7 million more green jobs in cities only on the operators’ side of the supply chain, while making the hypothesis that public transport labour productivity keeps increasing by about 1% per year.
To materialise PTx2, governments, local authorities, public transport operators, the industry and stakeholders need to:
• Develop visionary integrated policies
• Secure stable funding and investment schemes
• Create a new business culture
• Deliver lifestyle services and
• Develop mobility management.
The UITP PTx2 programme encourages the public transport community worldwide to set ambitious targets to produce the global effect of doubling the public transport market share and to make cities better places to live in.