Welcome to the website of the association of European Metropolitan Transport Authorities (EMTA)
The Association of European Metropolitan Transport Authorities (EMTA) was created in 1998 so as to form a venue for exchange of information and best practices between the public authorities responsible for planning, integrating and financing public transport services in the large European Cities. Ten years after its creation, it now brings together 29 such authorities, responsible for improving the mobility conditions of some 70 million European city dwellers.
Their role is often not very well known by the public, metropolitan transport authorities are the key decision bodies for all the issues related to public transport, and thus mobility, for the following reasons:
- large cities are not viable without public transport. The high density of inhabitants and jobs makes space a very scarce resource. As a consequence, public transport, which is the most efficient mode of transportation in terms of space consumption per traveller, is the best answer to mobility needs in densely populated areas. The major disruptions which occur in large cities when public transportation fails to deliver its services (accidents, strikes) are the best illustration of this strong dependence
- large cities suffer heavily from congestion and nuisances caused by the excessive use of private car. Pollution, noise, accidents are particularly acute in large urban environments and affect the lives of thousands of people
- metropolitan areas often have very complex institutional frameworks, involving different levels of authorities in charge of urban planning and transportation policies (municipalities, metropolitan area, region and sometimes even national governments, especially in the case of capital cities). Therefore, co-ordination and coherence of policies is a very crucial aspect to ensure that citizens can have access to an integrated and high-quality network of public transport
- public transport networks are usually complex in large cities, requiring a strong integration. Metropolitan areas usually have several public transport modes in operation (bus, tramway, metro, regional rail services, sometimes water services). It is also frequent to have different companies operating parts of the public network of a metropolitan area. Integration of modes and of operators (physical integration of services, integration of fares and of information, etc.) is therefore a fundamental task of transport authorities so as to be able to offer travellers a seamless trip
All these characteristics highlight the importance, as well as the complexity, of the missions of public transport authorities in large cities.
This website presents the organisation, the missions and the latest news of the public transport authorities of the European metropolitan areas (section Cities), the publications of EMTA, most of which can be downloaded from the site (section Publications), some recent news about EMTA and public transport in Europe (section News), and lastly some useful links to other national or international organisations active in the field of public transport (section Links).
I hope that you will find some useful information on EMTA’s website.
Ruud van der Ploeg
Secretary General of EMTA