UITP launches new project to unleash public transport’s potential

Posted: 27 January 2023 | | No comments yet

The UPPER project, which will run for four years and be coordinated by UITP, will seek to put public transport at the centre of the mobility ecosystem.

UITP launches new project to unleash public transport's potential

Credit: UITP

To accelerate the transition towards climate neutrality in cities, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has announced the launch of the UPPER (Unleashing the Potential of Public transport in EuRope) project.

Cities play a pivotal role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050, which is the goal of the European Green Deal – and the new EU-project UPPER is seeking to put public transport at the centre of the mobility ecosystem.

UPPER aims at spearheading a public transport revolution that will strengthen its role as the flagship of sustainability and innovation of mobility in cities.

The project will be strongly linked with the goals of the Cities Mission and supports the transition towards zero-emission mobility, which will become the cornerstone of climate neutrality by 2030. It is coordinated by UITP and will run over the course of four years.

“To strengthen the role of public transport as the backbone of mobility in cities is of the utmost essence to address pollution, emissions and congestion. UITP is proud to coordinate UPPER and work with our members, the project partners, the [European Commission (EC)] and CINEA, and the wider mobility community, on this important project that will benefit not only public transport users, but society as a whole,” said Umberto Guida, Head of Projects Strategy at UITP.

What does the future of public transport look like?

Implementing 84 measures in 10 cities

UPPER will implement a combination of measures looking to push people out of private cars and to pull them closer to public transport in cities across Europe. These measures will aim to increase the share of public transport and will cover different market segments.

A big spotlight in UPPER will be on participative governance and involving citizens, ensuring that decisions are made in concert with and cater to the needs of different target groups.

The 84 pull and push measures will act on the five ‘innovation axes’ that condition users’ choices:

  1. Mindset and culture
  2. Urban mobility planning
  3. Mobility services ecosystem
  4. Road network management
  5. Democratic governance.

The measures will be tested in the UPPER Living Labs (Valencia, Rome, Ile de France, Oslo and Mannheim) and the UPPER Twinning Cities (Lisbon, Leuven, Hannover Region, Budapest and Thessaloniki) across Europe and will be adapted to the local context and objectives.

The overall goal of Living Labs and Twinning Cities will be to increase the use of public transport by 30% and user satisfaction by 25%, leaving nobody behind in the process.

The project is looking to ease cooperation among authorities and operators and offer a physical and digital environment to test the measures, update the existing SUMPs, and optimise the public transport offer, in line with passenger needs and patterns.