UPPER: EIT Urban Mobility working to unleash the potential of public transport in ten European cities

EIT Urban Mobility is proud to contribute to the implementation of UPPER, a new EU- funded project working to strengthen the role of public transport as the backbone of mobility in cities.

UPPER (Unleashing the Potential of Public transport in EuRope) is a 48-month project funded under the Horizon Europe Programme of the European Commission. The project aims to strengthen the role of public transport as the flagship of sustainability and innovation of mobility in cities. To achieve its ambitious goals, the project brings together organisations representing all key actors of the public transport ecosystem.

Why we need a public transport revolution

Cities play a pivotal role in achieving the European Green Deals ambitions of climate neutrality by 2050. To accelerate the transition towards climate neutrality in cities, UPPER is facilitating cooperation among public transport authorities, operators, and users by offering a physical and digital environment to test measures, update existing Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), and optimise public transport offerings. The overall goal of participating Living Labs and Twinning Cities is to increase the use of public transport by > 30 % and the user satisfaction by > 25 %, leaving nobody behind in the process. The project is strongly linked to the goals of the Cities Mission in supporting the transition towards zero-emission mobility.

Implementing 84 measures in 10 cities

UPPER will implement a combination of measures looking to push people out of private cars and to pull them closer to public transport. These measures will increase the share of public transport and cover different market segments. A big spotlight in UPPER will be on participative governance and involving citizens, ensuring decisions are made based on the needs of different target groups using public transportation.

Gareth Macnaughton, Innovation Director at EIT Urban Mobility: “In our current Climate Crisis, we take seriously that 20% of global GHG emissions come from transport. Electrification of private vehicles is not enough to contribute to climate neutrality. Convincing people to change habits and ditch private cars for shared mobility should be about making the entire experience as dependable, positive, safe, and comfortable as possible.

Thus, the 84 pull and push measures will act on different levels to enable the shift from private to public transportation:

  • Mindset and culture
  • Urban mobility planning
  • Mobility services ecosystem
  • Road network management
  • Democratic governance

The measures will be tested in the UPPER Living Labs (Valencia, Rome, Ile de France, Oslo, and Mannheim) and the UPPER Twinning Cities (Lisbon, Leuven, Hannover Region, Budapest and Thessaloniki) across Europe and will be adapted to the local context and objectives. While in Rome, UPPER will test the inclusion of new mobility services in multimodal interchange nodes; in Île-de-France (one of) the measures will focus on promoting the use of public transport in large events; in Mannheim UPPER will establish participative governance and dialogue formats to address special needs of citizens.

The UPPER measures will be supported by the UPPER Toolkit (U-TWIN, U-SIM, U-NEED, U-GOV, U-KNOW, U-TRANSFER and U-SUMP), seven IT tools combining social and technological innovation that will be demonstrated in the UPPER Living Labs and Twinning sites.

EIT Urban Mobility will contribute to a successful replication and transferability of the project’s results by developing a business strategy that will allow participating partners to make use of UPPER’s results in the long-term. 

Who is part of the UPPER project?

The project gathers a strong consortium of 41 partners from across the public transport sector. It is coordinated by UITP and will run over the course of four years.

Read the full press release here: https://www.uitp.org/news/unleashing-the-innovation-potential-of-public-transport-as-backbone-of-urban-mobility-upper-project-launches/