New report highlights importance of walking for public transport success

Posted: 6 May 2024 | | No comments yet

Walk21’s policy brief emphasises that integrating walking and public transport is essential for reducing car traffic and improving urban liveability, aligning with its mission to advocate for the right to walk globally.

New report highlights importance of walking for public transport success

In a recent policy brief by Walk21, the international charity dedicated to ensuring the right to walk, the integration of walking and public transit emerges as crucial for reducing car traffic and enhancing urban liveability. The report highlights that public transport’s success relies heavily on walkability, given that most journeys involve significant walking segments.

The report underlines the fact that public transportation inherently requires walkable urban environments since it cannot reach passengers’ exact destinations directly. Thus, cities excelling in walking infrastructure and public transport usage notably reduce car traffic, showcasing a symbiotic relationship between these transport modes.

Jim Walker, Director of Walk21, said: “Nearly everyone accesses public transport on foot. By investing in the experience of both walking and using public transport, we reduce private car use, its associated carbon emissions and improve the fiscal viability of public transport services, all the while enhancing urban efficiency and liveability.”

The report’s integration strategy prioritises three key areas:

  • Enhanced walking infrastructure: Developing safe, accessible and enjoyable walking routes to and from public transport hubs
  • Promotion of health benefits: Advocating for the health and cost advantages of walking and public transportation over private car usage
  • Perception of convenience: Creating a perception that walking combined with public transport is more convenient than using a car.

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Cities like Madrid and Zurich serve as models, prioritising sustainable transport systems. Paris, highlighted in the report, showcases success with walking comprising over half of all trips, closely followed by significant public transportation use.

In addition, the study highlights that walkability directly impacts the accessibility of public transit, making it more appealing to a wider population. A pleasant walking experience can triple the acceptable walking distance to public transport, making it a more attractive option for commuters.

In conclusion, the report‘s findings suggest that integrating walking and public transportation is pivotal for sustainable urban mobility, reducing car dependency and fostering healthier, liveable cities. The report advocates for multi-stakeholder collaboration and policy interventions to prioritise walking and public transit as primary modes of urban transportation.

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