Shaping digital transformation in public transport: ETF and UITP’s joint recommendations for a just transition

18 Mar 2021

UITP and ETF, social partners in urban public transport, have adopted joint recommendations on digital transformation and social dialogue in urban public transport in Europe.

Digital change will potentially have a hugely disruptive impact on companies and represents an opportunity to reposition the business by providing high-quality mobility to better serve passengers. This change process has also a significant effect on the workforce impacting employment, working conditions and skills required. With the adoption of the joint recommendation, the objective is to ensure that the digital transformation of the sector will be at the benefits of both passengers’ experience and work conditions for the employees.

The digital transformation of the urban public transport sector is an on-going process and the COVID-19 pandemic even accelerated this trend. These developments can be noticed in all aspects, from infrastructure and vehicles to customer relations and the development of new digital-based services and business areas and impact working conditions for the employees. Both UITP and ETF recognise that the use of new digital technologies can strengthen the position of public transport as the backbone of urban mobility and make public transport fit for the future in line with the objective of the European Green Deal.

To seize the many opportunities provided by digitalisation, it is of utmost importance to anticipate potential change and introduction of new technologies, as well as involve all partners to contribute to shaping this digital future. This process needs to be managed and planned and must be inclusive and participatory from the very beginning to better anticipate, prepare and manage digital transformation. It should guarantee a just transition and make sure that nobody is left behind. The employees have the right to privacy – the collection of data and the use of surveillance systems (e.g. cameras inside stations and vehicles) must be fully transparent.

The joint recommendations are based on the report published in October 2020 which analyses the impact of digital transformation on jobs, working conditions and competences in the urban public transport sector. UITP and ETF have been working for many years on this topic and decided to join forces on a joint project to study the impact of digitalisation on employment and working conditions in urban public transport.

You may download our join recommendations, available in DE, EN, ES, IT and PL here.

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