Car-sharing as a response to the problem of cross-border travel in the Jura Arc

The 'Jura Arc Car-Sharing' project is an example of cross-border cooperation. It represents an efficient response to dealing with the challenging problem of mobility in this mountainous, traffic-congested region by making car-sharing attractive.

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Car-sharing area © Édouard Prost Car-sharing area © Édouard Prost

" The increase in car-sharing that has been observed since this project was implemented shows that it has reached its intended audience and that it offers an appropriate response to the challenge of mobility in a mountainous region. In addition, the project's cross-border dimension provides an opportunity to develop a genuine partnership among those in the Jura Arc sharing common interests. "

Édouard Prost, Deputy Director, Haut-Jura Regional Natural Park

The Jura Arc is experiencing an economic boom and, as a consequence, an increase in cross-border car traffic as people are recruited from places further and further away from their place of work. Every day, tens of thousands of people leave the Franche-Comté region by car to go to work in Switzerland. In nine out of ten cases, there is only one person in each vehicle. This high concentration of car traffic has several negative consequences for the region: frequent traffic jams, road safety concerns in the border villages en route, a shortage of parking spaces and emissions of greenhouse gases. It also results in a significant financial cost for commuters.

A cheaper and more efficient plan with indirect benefits for employment

Car-sharing is a service that is easy and inexpensive to implement, compared to other types of public transport services. The 'Jura Arc Car-Sharing' project, launched in July 2010, has led to a 50% growth in car-sharing in the region over the last three and a half years. This equates to approximately 1 000 new car-sharers, the majority of whom previously travelled alone, who have been able to reduce their journeys, their travel budget and their carbon footprint. For businesses participating in the project, the modal share of car-sharers has reached 20 % and the average occupancy rate per vehicle (over 2.5) has surpassed the average in border regions (2.07).

This car-sharing incentive program has also had the indirect effect of supporting employment in the region by bringing the needs of its inhabitants and businesses closer together. Several mechanisms were developed to provide a service that is simple, flexible, free and accessible at any time: a call centre and website to simplify contact between car drivers, management of car-sharing and park-and-ride areas in border regions, clearly identifiable on interactive maps on the website. Along with these measures, other initiatives within participating businesses (preferential parking, management of timetables, etc.) have enabled car-sharing to forge ahead. By responding to the region's mobility problem, this project indirectly benefits local employment. The project will not create direct employment, but it will enhance the professional prospects of residents of the Jura Arc region by making local businesses more attractive.

An example of cross-border cooperation

The French and Swiss regions that invested in this project successfully adopted a common approach using joint mechanisms to respond to a shared problem. There were several tasks facing this mountainous area at the height of an economic boom: decongesting the major highways, reducing the ecological impact of road traffic and its consequences for people, businesses and public authorities, and boosting the development potential of businesses and regions. By means of cooperation and exemplary partnership, the various project partners have been able to rise to these challenges, and to such an extent that the project has since been expanded and used as a model for a similar project in Lake Geneva.

Total investment and EU funding

The 'Jura Arc Car-Sharing' project received a total investment of EUR 585 904. The contribution from the European Regional Development Fund is EUR 142 882, under the heading of the 'France-Switzerland INTERREG IVA' Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The project is expected to continue into the new programming period, making it possible to build on results, experiment with new solutions and broaden the scope of the project to all border areas in the Jura Arc region.

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