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|Better mobility for free?|
Many Europeans use a car for going to work, shopping and leisure activities. This traffic results in congestion, air pollution, noise and accidents. The EU has financed several research projects on how to minimise the number of car trips without curtailing people's mobility.
Strategies such as better information on available public transport, co-ordination of car pooling and awareness campaigns can reduce the number of car trips. EU research in mobility management has demonstrated and evaluated a range of new mobility management concepts, strategies and tools.
Different mobility management strategies have been demonstrated in a number of cities across Europe. One example is the newly established Media Business Park in Potsdam, Germany. Here mobility management has been introduced in order to improve accessibility by sustainable means. When the Business Park is completed in 2010, it will house 437 companies with 11,000 employees and 614 private residences. An important element of the mobility management project is to make information available about all sustainable modes.
One new measure is a free shuttle bus between the rapid transit station and the Business Park. The fixed annual cost of the service is shared among the developer, the companies, and the local public transport operator. The new system has within 3 months caused at least 7.5% of the car drivers to change their travel behaviour, so that they now use public transport from home to work "regularly" or "frequently".
This and many other initiatives are described in the Final Report of the MOMENTUM project, which can be found on the European Commission's web site http://ec.europa.eu/transport/extra/home.html.
Based on experiences from demonstration projects in a number of European cities, several best practice guides have been prepared. They include a user manual for initiators and managers of new mobility management schemes, and a brochure for policy makers and the owners of major traffic generating sites, such as companies and hospitals. Also a CD-ROM has been prepared defining the different elements of mobility management.
The Commission is continuing to support projects developing the concept of mobility management by in-depth assessment of selected policy options and by demonstrating the feasibility of mobility management in practice. Mobility management is being tested in 30 different settings.
management directly underpins the objective of encouraging a more rational
use of the car, identified in the Commission's recent Policy Guidelines
of the White Paper on a common transport policy. This document also highlights
the need for urban and land-use planning policy to avoid unnecessary increases
in the demand for mobility e.g. between home and work locations.