According to the report of the International Public Transport Association-UITP, the Covid-19 crisis has shown how important public transport is for basic services. During the curtailment, the public transport supply was preserved around the world to provide transportation for frontline workers.
We all recognize the importance of evidence-based decisions regarding all aspects of urban transport and their impact on quality of life. In terms of safety regarding Covid-19, there are more scientific studies and empirical analysis showing the performance of public transport systems compared to other public and private places.
To give an example from a few studies:
Robert Koch-Institut (Germany): Data from an article published in Epidemiological Bulleting 2020 shows that only 0,2% of traceable outbreaks in Germany are related to transport and involve fewer people than those in the commonly affected environments per outbreak.
Santé Publique France (French Public Institute for Health Information), data collected between May 9 and September 28, 2020: Only 19% of Covid-1,2 clusters are linked to transport (land, air and sea). It mostly stems from workplaces (24.9%), schools and universities (19.5%), health facilities (11%), temporary public and private events (11%) and family gatherings (7%).
Analysis by the UK railway safety organization (RSSB) has shown that the risk of catching Covid-19 when traveling by train is 11.000 in 1 trips. This is equivalent to less than 0.01% chance of being killed in a traffic accident. With a face mask this decreases to 20.000 per 1 trips, ie 0,005%.
The report also argues that cities and countries are responding to short-term emergencies, but that should go beyond that now, the UITP argues that we must ensure the survival of public transport and seize this unique opportunity to reshape the future of our cities for the industry, economic and social life. Public transport as a vital pillar report that it is strongly linked to environmental improvement both in the short and long term with many other challenges (climate, health, social inclusion, road safety, etc.) that cannot be met without a clear priority. Although they did not have the experience to deal with the health crisis, they showed that they reacted extremely quickly and showed a great sense of responsibility towards their staff and the society they serve. Acknowledging that it is a new area of action for the UITP, numerous scientific studies and empirical analysis show that public transport is much less risky than other public places or private meetings. Based on scientific findings and practical experience available today, the UITP report shows that public transport takes appropriate measures to reduce these risks to a manageable and acceptable level by passengers. UITP stressed that additional efforts are needed to strongly communicate the benefits of public transport to society and restore citizens' trust.