Creating transportation systems that work for people and our planet

The Public Transport Network (formerly “Mass Transit Network”) supports cities to develop and make the case for policies that prioritise, improve and enhance public transport. The work of the Public Transport Network is complemented by C40’s campaign The Future Is Public Transport. 

The overarching goal of the Public Transport Network is to increase the share of trips made using public transport in network member cities.

An effective public transport network is a powerful tool to achieve city climate goals. Transportation accounts for one-third of CO2 emissions in C40 cities – reaching as high as 45% in some cities.1 Enhancing public transport, designing cities around it and reducing car dependency could contribute 20-45% of the total emissions reductions required to limit global heating to 1.5°C.2

Focus areas:
  • Making the case for public transport
    The network supports cities to position public transport as a vital public service for cities, their residents, workers and visitors. Public transport provides access to more and better-paid jobs and gives employers access to the skills they need. Good quality public transport attracts businesses to cities and enables them to thrive, freeing up valuable space on the streets for deliveries and services. All residents stand to benefit from public transport, including by accessing work, education, healthcare, retail, culture and entertainment, or reduced traffic congestion, air pollution and road accidents. Private transport generates social costs for the community that are 28 times higher than those of public transport.3
  • Investing in public transport
    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of public transport. Reductions in ridership, coupled with lower economic activity and steep cuts to city budgets, threatened the viability of public transport systems worldwide. Many governments responded with rescue packages to protect public transport and the millions of people who work in the sector. The continued viability and growth of urban public transport systems were identified as a key priority by the C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force. Recent C40 opinion polling in five cities found high levels of support for public transport among residents; more than three in four support national government efforts to prioritise public transport investment in COVID-19 recovery packages. Securing sufficient, resilient, long-term funding for public transport has been identified as a key area where cities require support.
  • Enhancing and promoting public transport
    C40’s Public Transit Network helps cities to make public transport more convenient and attractive, and improve public perceptions of public transport. In collaboration with C40’s Walking & Cycling Network and Land Use Planning Network, we support cities to promote and build higher-quality public transport to increase ridership and better integrate public transport systems into wider sustainable mobility urban plans. This includes using engagement strategies and/or data to better understand users and improve service coverage, frequency, safety, reliability, comfort and convenience.
  • Ensuring the inclusivity of transport services and a Just Transition
    We work closely with C40’s Inclusive Climate Action Forum to ensure inclusivity is at the heart of the Public Transit Network’s work, helping cities to fairly integrate informal transport services, protect their workers, and ensure equitable mobility for all. 

Cities participating in the network:
Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Amman, Auckland, Barcelona, Bengaluru, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Curitiba, Dubai, Freetown, Guadalajara, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Lima, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Paris, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Tshwane, Vancouver, Washington DC

Partners:  ICCT, WRI, ITDP, ITF

1. Deadline 2020: How cities will get the job done (2016)
2. Focused Acceleration: A strategic approach to climate action in cities to 2030 (2017)
3. Transport cost analysis: A case study of the total costs of private and public transport in Auckland (2006)