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Build Back Better: Public Transport and COVID-19 Recovery

As governments consider economic stimulus and how to reboot urban economies, now is the time to consider opportunities for investment in public transport as a key part of the solution. Public transport provides jobs (and access to jobs), helps create safer streets, and can reduce carbon emissions, among other benefits to society.

Learn more at: https://www.wri.org/events/2020/04/webinar-build-back-better-public-transport-and-covid-19

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Build Back Better: Public Transport and COVID-19 Recovery

  1. 1. BUILD BACK BETTER: PUBLIC TRANSPORT & COVID-19 RECOVERY SergioAvelleda, Director of Urban Mobility, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  2. 2. PUBLIC TRANSPORT IS IN CRISIS • The main characteristic of public transport is its efficiency in moving large numbers of people • This paradigm is being tested by quarantine measures – Transit ridership down between 50-90% in U.S. – San Francisco’s BART system losing $55 million a month, from decreased ridership and less sales tax revenue – In Brazil, reports show a daily loss of more than R$1 billion ($188 million)
  3. 3. AND IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN JUST COVID-19 • Metro, bus and rail systems facing declining ridership in many parts of the world even before the pandemic • Rise of ride sharing, lack of investment, poor quality of service all contributors • Financial constraints precede social isolation measures, and are now exacerbated
  4. 4. BUT TRANSIT HAS BECOME NECESSARY By serving essential workers in healthcare, emergency services, food services, and other sectors, public transport has become a service not just for riders but for everyone
  6. 6. SOCIAL DISTANCING & LOCKDOWNS • Reduced and suspended services – Porto Alegre, Brazil, operating with 25% of the demand, facing 70% of the costs • High fixed costs • Some operators may be on the way to bankruptcy
  7. 7. PRESERVATION OF CRITICAL CAPACITIES • Economic stimulus plans must include public transport support to preserve staff, operations, budgets – Public transit accounts for 430,000 jobs in the U.S. • Coordination of efforts by local, state, national governments needed to prevent sector collapse • Collapses could lead to increased private vehicle use, informal operators
  8. 8. TRANSITION PERIOD • Demand returns slowly, alongside gradual economic activity, and because of fear of contamination • Operations must adjust to maintain distance between riders • Balance need for safe distancing with financial pressure to increase ridership
  9. 9. NEW CONFIGURATION OF TRANSPORT 1. New revenue sources to ensure stability to transit operations 2. Create high-quality bus and transit infrastructure 3. Modernize and electrify bus fleets 4. Invest in cycling and walking 5. Get governance right
  10. 10. WHY INVEST IN PUBLIC TRANSPORT? • Public transport investments in U.S. stimulus after Great Recession generated 31% more jobs per dollar than new construction of roads, bridges • In South Korea, transport investments following Great Recession generated 138,000 new jobs (15% of total jobs cerated.) • Broader benefits as well: – Less greenhouse gas emissions per person – Less air pollution (which kills more than 7 million people annually ) – Encourages walking and biking, which improves health and local economic activity – Safer than widespread car use (1.35 million people die from road crashes a year) – Transit-oriented development allows for more efficient expansion of core urban services (water, sanitation, electricity, etc.)
  11. 11. COVID-19 TRANSPORT IMPACT Sources: Jingyuan Wang, When is the COVID-19 Pandemic Over? Evidence from the Stay-at-home Policy Execution in 106 Chinese Cities
  12. 12. SHANGHAI METRO SYSTEM Unit: 10K Passenger Trips Lunar New Year Aft 2 weeks Aft 4 weeks Aft 6weeks April 6th SHANGHAI SUBWAY DAILY PASSENGER S 2020 vs 2019
  13. 13. WUHAN LOCKDOWN Bus: 1,085K Sources: COVID-19 WUHAN URBAN TRANSPORT REPORT https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/ldHrkKq4JMoSbkZ64 Xt_Ew Cumulative Passenger Trips during Wuhan Lockdown 23rd Jan to 12th March Bu s Coac h Taxi Share Bikes Taxi: 568K Share Bikes: 2,294K
  14. 14. BIKE-SHARING IN WUHAN BEFORE AND AFTER LOCKDOWN Before and After Wuhan Lockdown 10.2km/h Average Speed 8.8 min Average Time Use of Single trip 1.42km Average distance of single trip -4.7%+29.6%+22.4% 7.5% Long Distance Trip Percentage (>3km) +130.8%
  15. 15. ECONOMIC STIMULI Transportatio n Total Investment US$5 to 6 Trillion