“how to meet the double challenge of ecological transformation and social justice”

Lrecent news – protests against speed limits, the “yellow vests” movement, the advent of low-emission zones mobility (ZFE-m), and more recently rising fuel prices – has been an opportunity to become aware of the sometimes explosive tension between ecological, social and economic imperatives.

More than 13 million of our most vulnerable fellow citizens are hit hard by the transformation at work of our mobility system, outrageously dominated by the model of the individual car owner.

Dependence on the car, significant distances to employment and essential services of daily life, old and energy-guzzling vehicles thus punctuate the budgetary concerns of many households, often forced to give up part of their mobility.

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People who are vulnerable in terms of mobility are however often much more sober than the average: by objective or perceived constraint, they resort more to public transport, cycling or walking, all modes of travel that are as economical as they are ecological; out of conviction, they show above-average sensitivity to environmental issues.

Tangible and intangible investments

The “inflation bonus” and the reduction at the pump reconfirmed this summer are costly attempts to keep the automobile ship afloat – we estimate these measures at more than 7 billion euros to date – by locking citizens into fossil fuels . More generally, they are part of the preponderance of financial mechanisms that are supposed, with more or less success, to support the ecological transition of mobility, starting with aid for retraining. In the opinion of the actors in the social field, these systems are far from being the only way to meet needs.

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Other material and immaterial investments seem to us to have clear priority. The reinforcement of the public transport offer must come, in the city as in the peri-urban territories, to meet the real needs of the inhabitants, by widening the amplitudes of the timetables and by effectively connecting the living areas and the employment and service areas.

In sparsely populated areas, the massification of the service and shared car is a largely underestimated response to the challenges of demotorization, even partial, of households. Its advent will necessarily go through the integration of the car into the public mobility system, and therefore through assumed public-private partnerships.

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