Sustainable Mobility for All
Sustainable Mobility for All
The Global Mobility Report 2017 (GMR) is the first-ever attempt to examine performance of the transport sector globally, and its capacity to support the mobility of goods and people, in a sustainable way. The GMR is built around three components: (i) four global objectives that define “sustainable mobility”; (ii) quantitative and qualitative targets for those objectives, drawn from international agreements; and (iii) indicators to track country-level progress towards those objectives. It covers all modes of transport, including road, air, waterborne and rail.
While the ambition is clear, realism is equally important. Because the sector is scant on indicators and data, this first edition concentrates on structuring the space—the vision—and taking stock of indicators and targets—not yet actually tracking progress toward sustainable mobility. Among all possible transport indicators, it identifies both actual and desirable indicators. Actual indicators consist of those endorsed through the SDG indicators process and those commonly used by practice leaders in transport. This data for over 180 countries will be presented on-line in a user-friendly format via “country mobility snapshots”. The methodologies and data for other indicators will be developed over time.
Both actual and desirable indicators form the basis of the “Elementary Global Tracking Framework for Transport” (GTF). It is envisaged that the GTF will be used to track actual performance towards sustainable mobility in support of the 2030 Agenda. The GMR will be refined and updated every two years.
How can transport help economic, social and environmental advancement in a manner that benefit both today’s and future generations? This GMR posits that it is no longer enough that transport just provides “access” to jobs, markets and opportunities. Mobility should have four attributes: it should be equitable, efficient, safe and climate responsive. Achieving these four objectives will ensure that mobility needs of the current generation will not be met at the expense of future generations. In other words, that mobility will be sustainable.
Equity and inclusivity are at the heart of Universal Access. This objective accounts for distributional considerations and places a minimum value on everyone’s travel needs, providing all, including the vulnerable, women, young, old, and disabled, in both urban and rural areas, with at least some basic level of access through transport services and leaving “no one behind.”
In rural areas, where the vast majority of poor people live, limited connectivity is a critical constraint. Based on the current rural accessibility index, about 450 million people in Africa—or more than 70 percent of its total rural population—are estimated to have been left unconnected due to missing transport infrastructure and systems. In urban areas, where an additional two billion people are expected to be living in cities by 2045, the growth in population is far outstripping the growth in public transport, thus limiting access to economic and social opportunities. Urban transport systems and services need to be upgraded—and in some cases planned from scratch—in an integrated way, that ensures the balanced access of urban residents regardless of income, mode of travel, gender, or disability status. Urban mobility should foster and enable cities to flourish, without creating over-dependence on any particular mode of travel.
Women’s mobility is of concern in both rural and urban areas. Although there is no database on public-transit-related crimes, there is evidence that security issues constrain women’s mobility. The lack of personal security, or the inability to use public transport without the fear of being victimized—whether on public transport, walking to or from a transit facility or stop, or waiting at a bus, transit stop, or station platform—can substantially decrease the attractiveness and thus the use of public transit.
The Efficiency objective seeks to ensure that transport demand is met effectively and, and at the least possible cost. Since efficiency cuts across multiple aspects, the GMR arbitrarily defines the boundary for this objective from a strictly “macro-economic” perspective: the optimization of resources—energy, technology, space, institutions, and regulations—to generate an efficient transport system or network. There are no internationally agreed global targets for efficiency, but there is a belief that the international community should invest in better understanding and measuring this objective—a critical aspect for the future of mobility.
New technology will help improve the efficiency of transport systems. Yet, a recent global survey on digital readiness shows that the transport sector is less ready to embrace digitalization than other sectors. Positive global trends include improvement in logistics performance and fuel economy during the last decade, both of which contribute to reducing the aggregate cost of goods as well as fossil fuel energy consumption. But institutional and regulatory barriers—especially in land-locked developing countries and their transit neighbors—continue to prevent reduction in transport costs.
The Safety objective aims to improve the safety of mobility across all modes of transport by avoiding fatalities, injuries, and crashes from transport mishaps. There are internationally agreed global targets for road and air transport safety.
Road transport claims the bulk of transport related fatalities worldwide: it accounts for 97 percent of the deaths and 93 percent of the costs. On roads, the fatality risk for motorcyclists is 20 times higher than for car occupants, followed by cycling and walking, with 7 to 9 times higher risk than car travel, respectively. Bus occupants are 10 times safer than car occupants. Rail and air are the safest transport modes. Globally, 40 to 50 percent of traffic fatalities occur in urban areas. Evidence suggests that the highest fatality rates occur in cities in the developing world—the proportion of fatalities in urban areas is high and rising in low- and middle- income countries. The GMR stresses that unsafe mobility in any of these transport modes can pose significant public health risks, and can lead to social and economic losses.
The Green Mobility objective aims to address climate change through mitigation and adaptation, and to reduce both air and noise pollution. It is related to SDG13 of the 2030 Agenda which aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, and is anchored in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Its targets will be designed to achieve a net-zero-emission economy by 2050, and improve other dimensions such as air quality and climate resilience by 2030, as set forth in the SDG targets.
In 2012, transport was the largest energy consuming sector in 40 percent of countries worldwide, and in the remaining countries it was the second-largest energy consuming sector. In one projection, energy related CO2 emissions are expected to grow by 40 percent between 2013 and 2040. The sector already contributes 23 percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and 18 percent of all man-made emissions in the global economy.
In a future where mobility is sustainable, cities and remote communities in rural areas will all be connected to jobs, markets and opportunities, so that “no one is left behind”. Transport will become the lifeline for all, including vulnerable groups as transport services will reach them all. Transport networks will be seamlessly integrated to meet mobility needs through motorized and active modes (such as walking and cycling). Landlocked developing countries will have swift access to the sea and, together with small island developing States, will be fully integrated into the global economy. It will be a future in which transport-related fatalities and emissions are fully minimized.
The GMR will prove to be a valuable multi-purpose tool for policy makers, investors, practitioners, and experts in the transport sector as they work to realize this vision.
Chapter 1 Conceptual Framework
Chapter 2 Universal Access
Chapter 3 System Efficiency
Chapter 4 Safety
Chapter 5 Green Mobility
Annex 1 Elementary Global Traking Framework for Transport
Annex 2 Transport Related SDG Targets