Creating transportation systems that work for people and our planet

C40’s Mass Transit Network is focused on infrastructure as well as the physical and operational integration of transit. Actions within this network include supporting cities to choose the right mass transit solution, improving and enhancing public transport infrastructure and services and helping cities deliver strong connectivity and intermodal connections.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown sharply into focus the key role that mass transit systems play in city mobility, and has created significant issues for the funding and operation of systems. C40 is collaborating with the International Transport Workers Federation to highlight the importance of continual funding for mass transit through the Future is Public Transport campaign. 

Cities can make targeted enhancements to mass transit, such as introducing bus rapid transit systems on main transport routes and improving transit service quality by reducing crowding, increasing service frequency, renovating major stations for improved security and adding stations in underserved areas. However, an ideal mass transit system extends beyond its stations, vehicles and corridors and is fully integrated within the larger network, from intercity railways to public bike schemes and neighbourhood walkways. In fast-growing cities, where multiple systems are being planned and implemented at the same time, these systems will need to be coordinated in order to reduce redundancies and maximise the synergies between modes of transportation. 

Focus areas:
  • Choosing the right mass transit solution 
    Supporting cities to identify priority links for zero emission mass transit corridors; compare the benefits of mass transit systems (rail, subway, bus rapid transit, light rail transit and other alternatives such as ferrie, cable cars and e-buses where appropriate) and prepare emission neutral and financially sustainable projects.
  • Guaranteeing seamless integration and access 
    Supporting cities to better interconnect public transport modes; improve access to walking and cycling; and optimize sustainability outcomes by integrating transit into urban plans (in collaboration with C40’s Walking & Cycling Network and Land Use Planning Network)
  • Enhancing and promoting transit
    Supporting cities to promote and build higher quality public transport to increase ridership. This could include using data to better understand users and improve service coverage, frequency, safety , reliability, comfort and convenience.
  • Future-proofing mass transit 
    Supporting cities to adapt and improve the resilience of their mass transit systems to climate change and future pandemics (in collaboration with C40’s Air Quality NetworkCool Cities Network and Urban Flooding Network).
  • Paratransit and informal transit services 
    Supporting cities integrate informal services and protect their workers to ensure equitable mobility for all.
The following capacity building and technical assistance resources are available for each workstream:
  • Access to the global C40 network of city technicians and experts working on mass transit.
  • Technical assistance to measure the wider economic, social and environmental benefits of climate action on mass transit systems.
  • Access to technical advice from partners to enhance mass transit systems in selected cities.
  • Access to financing expertise to mobilise a broad range of financing instruments and business models.
  • Utilising city diplomacy to engage national and regional government support.

Cities participating in the network:
Abidjan, Addis Ababa (leading city), Amman (leading city), Auckland, Barcelona, Bengaluru, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Chennai, Curitiba, Dubai, Freetown, Ho Chi Minh City, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle, Singapore.

Partners:  ICCT, WRI, ITDP