Transport is at a cross roads. As people around the world are enjoying rising standards of living and entering the middle class, the demand for mobility is growing faster than ever. In the developing world, where public transport systems remain rudimentary, this translates directly into an ever-growing appetite for private cars. Estimates suggest that up to 1.2 billion cars will be on the roads by 2050. Under a business-as-usual scenario, this trend would bring unprecedented levels of congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and noise pollution. By 2030, annual passenger traffic alone is set to increase by 50%!
The ability to meet the growing need for mobility while minimizing negative impacts will be essential to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is because transport is central to every aspect of our lives. Without reliable and sustainable transport systems, young people cannot attend school (SDG 4), women cannot access opportunities for employment and empowerment (SDG 5), and global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (SDG 13) cannot be achieved. In the face of climate change, transport also serves as a lifeline to vulnerable communities affected by natural disasters - enabling the injured to receive medical treatment and humanitarian cargo to reach those who need it most.
Two SDG targets are directly transport-related.
- Target 3.6
By 2020 to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.
- Target 11. 2
Aims to, by 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations - women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.