The international organization of public transport UITP welcomes the ‘Fit for 55 package’ package as a key delivery mechanism for achieving the goals of the European Green Deal.
«The initiatives will contribute to an overall reduction of emissions in the transport sector, where CO2 emissions have continued to grow over the past decades – UITP says -. The ambitious objectives that the EU has set for itself cannot be attained without making public transport a priority and encouraging modal shift. Energy taxation directly impacts the costs of sustainable mobility provided by public transport companies across Europe. With its revision of the Energy Taxation Directive (2003/96/EC), the European Commission incentivises the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels and makes use of an opportunity to support the public transport sector».
UITP on Fit for 55: public transport backbone of sustainable mobility
UITP applauds the Commission’s decision to keep public transport and rail in the list of essential services for which Member States can apply reduced taxations rates.
These measures will help ensure that public transport remains affordable and reinforce the role of public transport as the backbone of sustainable mobility. The shift to alternatively fuelled vehicles in the public transport sector is well underway and will only accelerate in the coming years, UITP underlines.
However, the set-up of infrastructure for clean and zero-emission buses remains a barrier that UITP has been urging legislators to address.
In its proposal for an Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (AFI) Regulation, the Commission states that Member States should include infrastructure development for clean and zero-emission buses as a critical element in their National Policy Frameworks.
UITP also welcomes the changes to the definition of ‘alternative fuels’. While allowing for more differentiation based on environmental performance, the way the list is modified ensures regulatory stability for the public transport sector. Public transport operators and authorities are counting on the current list of alternative fuels to fulfil the procurement quotas for clean buses in the Clean Vehicles Directive and are already investing accordingly.
“These proposals show that the European Commission recognises the key role public transport plays for daily mobility. Public transport has tremendous benefits for the climate, for quality of life in cities and social cohesion. The initiatives in the ‘Fit for 55’ package are an important step in supporting cleaner mobility, and therefore our sector”, says Minna Soininen, President of UITP European Union Committee.