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Work with cities to accelerate climate action: invest in public transport

Mayors, workers and city residents unite to call for more investments and a just transition to urgently expand and electrify public transport.


The Future Is Public Transport is a campaign co-led by C40 Cities and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) to support the improvement, expansion and electrification of urban public transport. It was launched in 2021 during the pandemic by a coalition of mayors, unions, civil society organisations, and business operators.


Public transport connects us – to our loved ones, our communities, our jobs and our cities.


Throughout the pandemic, public transport systems and workers have kept our cities moving for the millions of essential workers and city residents who rely on services every day. But public transport is facing its own crisis: falling ridership has exacerbated already huge funding gaps. The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that we need urgent investments in public transport to deliver safe, reliable and affordable services for the millions of residents living in our cities.


Workers, mayors, union leaders and city residents across the globe are uniting to call on world leaders to make transformative investments, in order to double the proportion of public transport journeys in cities and advance a just transition to zero-emission public transport by 2030. Without this transformation, it won’t be possible for countries to deliver on the urgent goal to halve emissions this decade and limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C.



Transport is responsible for a quarter of global CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels. The expansion and de-carbonisation of public transport is one of the most immediate and powerful levers the world has to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Enhancing public transport and designing cities around it in order to reduce car dependency could contribute 20-45% of the total global emissions reductions required to limit global heating to 1.5°C. 


Our campaign urges global leaders to push for positive change, framing public transport as a climate, economic, social and health solution, and to invest in a green and just recovery that creates millions of jobs and confront the climate crisis.


In 2023, the group of voices behind the campaign grew to a broad set of 20 organisations  from the world’s largest city-alliances, international climate initiatives, transport authorities and operators, supply-chain businesses, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, healthcare professionals to citizen groups.