EUROCITIES joined with Transport & Environment, Energy Cities, the European Environmental Bureau and the European Public Health Alliance, plus individual city signatures from Bonn, Brussels, Dublin and Milan, in writing an open letter to Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Frans Timmermans, and European Commissioner for Transport, Ms. Adina Vălean.
The letter highlights the role that the EU Recovery Package can play in the protection and renewal of public transport, as well as supporting the development of infrastructure for cycling and walking. The co-signatories of the letter call for:
· Green public procurement: new and extended services must be met with zero-emission vehicles. Under the ESIF and CEF frameworks, a grant scheme should be introduced to support cities to achieve and ideally overachieve targets set in the Clean Vehicles Directive for zero emission buses, refuse collection trucks, municipal vans, and install the required infrastructure.
· A portion of the CEF Digital budget be devoted to modernising public transport by, for example, making high-speed internet available onboard, improving the efficiency of multimodal ticketing, and developing real-time passenger information systems.
· Support the development of cycling and walking: Cities are facing mounting pressure to provide mobility solutions in the wake of the pandemic. Many are countering this pressure with emergency measures to promote cycling and walking. A grant system should be made available immediately so that cities can construct permanent safe cycling infrastructure and widen footpaths as soon as possible. The EU recovery package should also boost cycling and the availability of public e/bike fleets in Europe with a multi-billion euro investment commitment.
The letter can be downloaded and read below.