With all recommended safety measures in place, the risk to health from the coronavirus pandemic within public transport is very low. To this extent, UITP has released a new Policy Brief which discusses the situation in public transport with COVID-19.

The COVID-19 crisis has shown how essential local public transport services are to keeping our cities moving. During the global lockdown measures, public transport was maintained to ensure the mobility of essential workers – and now with economic activity returning in parts of the world the demand for mobility is growing.


public transport covid safe
source: ATM Milano

Public transport and Covid-19: no evidence of danger

UITP makes clear that «Despite the lack of scientific evidence to hand, many governments and select media have called for people to avoid public transport, leading to an impact on image, reputation, and passenger behaviour. The benefits of public transport are fundamental to achieve strategic city objectives and we must recognise that the sector is ready, committed, and reliable with data grounded in science. In terms of safety in relation to COVID-19, there are more and more scientific studies and analysis – ranging from Sante Publique France and the Robert Koch-Institut, to the RSSB and Science Magazine – showing the adept performance of public transport systems. The wearing of masks on board, the continual disinfection of high-contact surfaces and frequent air renewal and good ventilation are essential to maintaining that safety. Public transport’s stakeholders are committed to restoring trust and reassuring passengers. Public transport has taken the coronavirus pandemic very seriously by implementing all necessary cleaning, safety, and deployment measures».

UITP: it’s time for strong policy for public transport

«Now is the time to devise visionary solutions and strengthen policy-making that fosters inclusive, sustainable, and resilient cities leading to the urgent implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals», says UITP: Additional efforts must be made to showcase the benefits public transport offers to our societies, listen to the facts and to restore the trust of citizens along the way. This should be a shared responsibility involving the political authorities, the public transport agencies, and citizens».

Public transport and Covid-19

“Public transport demonstrated its resilience by reacting adequately to an extreme situation and continually evolving throughout the global coronavirus pandemic. The sector has faced stigmatisation without any verified argument to back it up and so we must show the factual research conducted around the world to counter these false criticisms. We know that public transport and active mobility play a key role to building back better, so we need to ensure the progress and success of public transport by seizing a unique chance to shape the future of our cities, for everyone.” Mohamed Mezghani, UITP Secretary General.


Related articles