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Celebrating 10 Years of Collaboration On Public Transportation from WRI & FedEx

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WRI and FedEx are celebrating a decade of collaboration and accomplishments through the Mobility and Accessibility Program (MAP).

In 2010, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and FedEx partnered to create what is now MAP, with a goal to help transform major public transportation systems across the world, making them safer, more efficient and more sustainable for millions of users.

As megacities from Mexico City to Beijing contend with intense congestion, pollution and sprawl, our work to benefit people and the climate is driving positive change: reducing carbon emissions, increasing pedestrian and road safety, and delivering more reliable, affordable service. Mobility challenges are tackled with the Avoid-Shift-Improve approach: first, prioritize avoiding unnecessary trips; then, shift to more sustainable transport modes; and finally, improve efficiency and performance of all modes.

Mass transport services are critical to providing better mobility and accessibility, helping people take advantage of opportunities in jobs, education and the marketplace, building more equitable societies and more productive local economies. By providing essential data and analysis, convening stakeholders and nurturing local networks, MAP is catalyzing improvements in the quality of public transportation in Brazil, India, China and Mexico.

Our global collaboration over the past decade has improved transportation systems across nearly 70 cities and three continents, directly impacting 18 million people and preventing over 1 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

  • In Brazil, where buses account for almost 90% of all public transport use, the MAP QualiÔnibus group has focused on boosting ridership, increasing revenue, expanding social equity and more recently, helping public transportation recover after ridership dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Informed by FedEx-inspired customer surveys, city governments are better able to pinpoint opportunities to improve service in areas that riders prioritize, such as improved bus rapid transit (BRT) lanes, funding bus shelter upgrades with advertising, and increasing security presence at stops and on buses.
  • In China, MAP started with a focus on electrification of buses, with extraordinary results. After just three years of collaboration, Shenzhen electrified 100% of its bus fleet and launched a new BRT system to provide faster, cheaper and more efficient services to an average 3.1 daily riders. Other projects, such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS) pilots in Beijing and Guangzhou are linking shared mobility (car- and bike-sharing) and mass transport in trip planning, incentivizing users to make sustainable transportation choices through convenience and discounts.
  • In India, the urban population is expected to reach 540 million by 2025, requiring 130,000 additional buses to accommodate this growth. Bus Karo, now active in 63 cities, is an ongoing project with transit professionals to expand transit data collection, leverage the data for improved transit operation, and increase equity and accessibility. Bus Karo also launched a competition for young entrepreneurs in 2018, providing support and funding to three winning projects, including converting diesel engines to electric, installing tailpipe filters to reduce local pollution and establishing a new bus line with an online reservation system.
  • In Mexico, MAP has provided guidance on 10 new BRT corridors and reshaped the bus system in Mexico City to cut travel time in half and efficiently transport 1.5 million passengers daily. Beyond the capital city, MAP has provided guidance on the national level to create a new technical and financial Support Program for Mass Transportation (PROTRAM), establish national road safety and public transport policies, and propose a National Public Transport Policy to inform management and operation of networks across the country.

With continued partnership and collaboration, MAP and FedEx look forward to another decade of success though leveraging innovation, utilizing research and data, and transforming public transport systems to serve people equitably and secure a sustainable future.

Learn more about our partnership and results here.

Originally published on the World Resources Institute blog.

Related: WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

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