ETF joined forces with partners for a Just Transition in Urban Public Transport

27 Nov 2023

ETF organized a Sustainable Connections urban public transport networking event on November 24, just a few days before World Sustainable Transport Day.

The event was part of the Urban Public Transport Committee (UPTC) workplan and brought together trade unions, environmental organisations, public transport operators/employers, city organisations, active transport advocates and others.

The event has four main objectives

  • Bring together ETF affiliates and others to discuss opportunities and challenges in the sector
  • Identify potential partners to further mutual interests in UPT and urban mobility
  • Foster alliances with these likeminded organizations
  • Enhance ETF’s profile in this area and built a network at local, national and EU level

The event had three themes, the Green Deal, the worker and skills shortage and creating a common agenda for a green and fair future for public transport.  Further details are available in this event briefing note.

Livia Spera opened the event stressing the importance of public transport for the future of our communities’. There is a common societal interest to make the expansion and electrification of public transport a success with workers concerns at the heart of the debate.

Ciaran Cuffe MEP in his keynote address called for massive investment in public transport workers, infrastructure and electrification and stressed the key role of the state. Public transport cannot be left to the market. Green deal has to work for workers and all of society.

The Green Deal panel also concluded how investment remains a key to success.  Everyone needs to work together to ensure a timely Implementation of the green deal. This is paradigm shift, not just about making transport cleaner but about changing behaviour to make public transport an option for everyone.

The worker shortage panel agreed that there can no Green Deal without workers. Worker shortage undermines worker and user safety and threatens success of green deal. Improved wages, working conditions, safety and work life balance can be all part of the solution.

The common agenda roundtable stressed the importance of unifying behind improving public transport but also encouraging modal shift which is influenced by a lot of other factors including prioritizing urban space, urban and economic planning and the pricing of carbon.

Dirk Schlömer our UPT Committee Chair closed the event, ‘we know what we need to do, we alone will not achieve it, we have to work together to carry our message to everyone at all levels. We all have a role to play. We mustv take this issue of sustainable, safe, fair, reliable public transport and make it our number one priority’.