Public transport is experiencing enormous and immediate challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, as ridership plunges. But it is also serving a crucial role in connecting health care workers and other essential workers to their jobs. The crisis has revealed, whether you are a rider or not, just how much society relies on public transport.

On April 24, more than 400 participants tuned in to WRI’s latest webinar in the “Build Back Better” series. This latest installment, hosted by WRI Ross Center’s urban mobility team, focused on how cities and countries can ensure the long-term health of public transport, and why investment in sustainable transport must play a key role in post-COVID-19 economic recovery around the world.

Sergio Avelleda, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities Director of Urban Mobility, was joined by Adriana Lobo, WRI México Executive Director; Daizong Liu, WRI China Ross Center Director; Maruxa Cardama, Secretary General of SLoCaT (Partnership for Sustainable Low-Carbon Transport); and Beth Osborne, Director of Transportation for America. Ben Welle, WRI Ross Center Director of Integrated Transport & Innovation, moderated the discussion.

Speakers emphasized that the pandemic has made very clear the importance of ensuring that public services like transport are accessible to everyone. As local, state and national governments look to rebooting urban economies in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, economic stimulus plans must include support for public transport to preserve its vital service – and to reap the benefits it can provide in terms of fast job creation, emissions reduction and safer roads. 

Read more in the accompanying blog post authored by Sergio Avelleda and Ben Welle.

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