Transport sector is ‘off track’ to sustainable mobility

A new report shows that the transport sector is not on track toward achieving sustainable mobility. Congestion, accidents, inefficiencies and pollution continue to plague the entire sector.

The Global Mobility Report covers all transport modes and tracks progress toward sustainability mobility around the world in four areas: universal access, efficiency, safety and green mobility.

And its findings are quite damning.

Some 450 million people in Africa – or more than 70 per cent of its rural population – have been left unconnected to transport, thwarting efforts to achieve universal access.

The figures aren’t any better with respect to efficiency: transporting a container of avocados from Kenya to the Netherlands, for example, requires 200 interactions and more than 20 documents, at a cost equal to that of shipping. More efficient supply chains would increase farmer income from between 10 to 100 per cent.

Safety also remains an unresolved challenge. Nearly 1.3 million people die on the world’s roads every year, with tens of millions left seriously injured. And among young people aged 15-29, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death.

Finally, transport continues to be a major source of emissions. The sector currently emits 23 per cent of all energy-related greenhouse gases, and its CO2 emissions could grow by 40 per cent by 2040.

“The world is off track to achieving sustainable mobility,” said José Luis Irigoyen, Senior Director of the Transport & ICT Global Practice at the World Bank. “The growing demand for moving people and goods is increasingly met at the expense of future generations.”

According to the UN’s Economic and Social Affairs department (UNDESA), sustainable mobility is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as it enables access to services and opportunities while advancing economic and social developments that will benefit today’s and future generation.

Good public transport, for its part, has a huge impact on urban economies, said Alain Flausch, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP). “It expands labour markets, offers more opportunities and better accessibility.”

The Global Mobility Report was produced by the Sustainable Mobility for All initiative (SuM4All) – a worldwide consortium of over 50 leading organizations in the transport sector.


Image credit: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank via Flickr

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