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From an environmental perspective, the main policy objective with regard to the transport sector today is to cap or reduce the use of private cars and increase the share of public and active mobility (such as cycling or walking). Policy objectives may further seek to promote cleaner public and private vehicles – ideally with zero emissions. Together with land planning, related policies may also seek to reduce the need for motorised mobility or transport. 

Policy measures in the transport sector can be divided roughly into (i) demand-side measures aimed at influencing travel decisions and (ii) supply-side measures seeking to provide a credible alternative to private cars. Among the demand-side measures are policies aimed at making cars – in particular, those that release the most CO2 and nitrogen monoxide – less attractive (for example, parking policies or road-user charges, but also attitude campaigns and the pedestrianisation of selected streets). Among the supply-side measures are policies and initiatives aimed at providing well-planned, sustainable and attractive public transport services, as well as policies that seek to increase the modal share of active mobility options.

Both demand-side and supply-side measures have been inadequate throughout the EBRD regions partly due to (i) low administrative capacity in cities, (ii) weak enforcement and (iii) a low revenue base. These shortcomings must be addressed as part of an effective policy mix aimed at tackling the main environmental challenges linked to the urban transport sector.