This morning the UITP (International Association of Public Transport) and ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation) met to sign the very first Memorandum of Understanding between the two structures. The agreement will see the two work more closely on policy initiatives in order to strengthen the voice of sustainable urban transport.
ECF and UITP have worked together for several years, both members of the SLoCaT Partnership (Sustainable Low Carbon Transport) and ECF being part of the UITP Combined Mobility Platform, and decided to take the relationship a step further. Both organisations will work closer together to achieve more sustainable and active mobility in Europe and support each other’s missions to “Double Cycling” and “Double Public Transport”. For Europe, this would mean 15% of all trips to be cycled and doubling the modal share of public transport by 2025, which would result in more liveable and performing cities, contribute to green growth, and fight against climate change. Both parties see the benefits of an enhanced partnership to establish a stronger lobby position when talking to the European Institutions or the United Nations.
Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General ECF: “It is an important year to work together on the COP 21 and create impact in the process of the Sustainable Development Goals.” With over 80 members across more than 40 countries, the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) unites cyclists’ associations from across the globe, giving them a voice on the international level. Our aim is to get more people cycling more often by influencing policy in favour of cycling.
Alain Flausch, Secretary General UITP: “Signing this Memorandum to kick off the European Mobility Week 2015 marks a timely occasion to further strengthen ties between the public transport and cycling communities united to call for more sustainable mobility choices worldwide.” The UITP describes itself as a passionate champion of sustainable urban mobility and is the only worldwide network to bring together all public transport stakeholders and all sustainable transport modes. They have 1,400 member companies giving access to 16,000 contacts from 96 countries. The members are public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, research institutes and the public transport supply and service industry.
The signature today starts a more intensive collaboration process for the development of policy messages on economic benefits of sustainable mobility, public health, transport policy, and urban mobility data collection.
This alliance has to be a positive step towards increasing cycling and cycling infrastructure, as well as helping integrate sustainable transport, for example with a bike ride to the rail station for a commute, and a further bike ride or journey by bus at the station of destination, or helping as part of travelling to one of the long distance cycle networks. The old cliché “there’s strength in numbers” applies and will help to get the messages of increased cycling and increased public transport heard.
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