FEPS and the PES Group in the committe of the Regions are organising a series of lunch debates with an invited audience in Brussels, bringing together political experience and outside expertise to challenge existing perceptions and open up to new ideas. The latest debate, on Thursday 10 November, focused on traffic, a challenge for cities and regions all over the EU.
The third seminar of this lunch debate cycle, timely debate, just after the EU white paper on “Transport 2050” has been introduced, aimed to show the positive effects this could have on our societies but at the same time identifying potential difficulties for implementation and reaching emission reduction targets.
Antonio COSTA, Mayor of Lisbon (Portugal), rapporteur on the European Commission’s White Paper on Transport, opened the debate by underlining the fact that transforming transport is a very important part of overcoming climate change. He would like to see in the very near future more fully integrated ticket systems and a shift towards collective transport. He underlines the need to transform transport with the least social costs possible.
Laurent DAUBY, Director of knowledge and membership services at the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), supports the white paper as it is a step in the right direction, but recognises challenges for implementation. He outlines that the use of public transport is not growing as fast as car use so to reduce our carbon footprint of urban mobility by 20% by 2025 will be difficult. He highlights the need for a clear modal shift to ensure people use the car less and instead use public transport, walking or cycling.
Concerning alternatives, such as electric cars Dauby believes that at the moment they are best when used for taxis or car sharing services to avoid heavy costs of having to cover the whole area with charging infrastructure.
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