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Advanced Measures for Companies to Increase Public Transport Use of their Employees (BENEFIT)

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BENEFIT was designed to help companies (public and private) and their employees make the switch from private car to public transport by using awareness raising activities and highlighting the advantages of public transport. BENEFIT aims for a modal shift from the car back to public transport. Awareness raising activities were planned and selected according to an efficient strategy: 1. Inform about public transport! 2. Motivate and give incentives to new and existing public transport users! 3. Organize necessary improvements and new services! BENEFIT was implemented in 7 cities : Brno, Zilina, Bistrita, Sofia, Maribor, Bologna and Palma de Mallorca. The cities establish local working groups, consisting of traffic experts and representatives of public transport operators, e.g. trade unions, chambers of commerce, public transport companies, universities. Their goal was to create sustainable strategies for using public transport.

Results

  • 250.367 employees and students were reached by awareness campaigns! 14.435 mobility packages were handed out! 129 local stakeholder organisations were reached through the participation at local stakeholder forums!
  • BENEFIT has generated almost 8.000 new public transport users in the target areas. This is an increase of 4,9% (from 160.690 public transport users to 168.570)!
  • The average consumption of fuel decreased in the project cities by 9%. In total, about 2.110.000 litres of fuel per year, which means around 5.170.000 of kg CO2, could be saved because of the BENEFIT outputs and their impacts on mobility behaviour.
  • Local Stakeholder Forums generated a discussion not only about the implementation of the BENEFIT project's measures but also about strategic objectives that target areas should achieve by 2016, thus encouraging the participants to define action plans.
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Lessons learned

  • Establish a Local Stakeholder Forum! Good cooperation between all stakeholders involved is extremely needed. Local politicians should show their commitment with the project from the very beginning. Members participating in the stakeholder group should have technical skills and good knowledge of the sector. They should drive politicians to the right way, showing technical criteria and arguments in order to allow politicians to make good and effective decisions.
  • Bring in additional income! In times of financial crisis it is smart to define income-oriented mobility measures and use them to supplement public transport service enhancements and promotions. For example, many BENEFIT partner cities designed new parking policies such as introduction of parking fees in target areas. This brings in additional income to invest in the improvements of public transport services.
  • Think outside of the box! The use of social networks and new online media proofed to be very cost-effective. This kind of promotion is especially important when targeting a young audience (pupils, students) since this target group relies on online sources for information and interaction. Offering incentives and using original marketing tools also works very well when promotion is focused on young people.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

Austrian Mobility Research / Forschungsgesellschaft Mobilitaet Gemeinnützige GmbH
Schönaugasse 8a
8010 Graz
Austria
Contact point: 
Name: 
Robert Pressl
E-mail: 
Tel: 
+43 316 81 04 51 13
Name: 
Claus Koellinger
Tel: 
+43 316 810451-66
Name: 
Jörg Kastelic
Tel: 
+43 316 810451-36

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In brief

Duration:
01/09/2008 to 31/08/2011
Contract number: 
IEE/07/736/SI2.500401