MOMENTUM seeks solutions for new mobility challenges
Momentum experts have compiled the initiatives, challenges and plans of our four different case studies in the cities of Madrid, Leuven, Regensburg and Thessaloniki. Even though each city faces different challenges, all municipal administrations share the wish to assess the future potential of emerging transport solutions. Each case study is analysing another mobility challenge, influenced by the behaviour of inhabitants and commuters, pre-existing transport rules and even external factors like weather and climate conditions.
In comparison to traditional means of private and public transport, new transport solutions are driven by novel technology and new business models. Recent technological advancements enable car sharing, mobility as a service (MaaS), as well as new ways of transport, such as shared bikes or e-scooters – the so-called micro-mobility solutions.
Nevertheless, new opportunities to get from A to B can create another set of challenges for traffic managers, municipalities and city planners. A well-known example of policy responses by some cities was the introduction of regulation for e-scooters in reaction to their increased popularity throughout 2019. Since cities will face other emerging transport solutions, the MOMENTUM project aims to answer essential questions:
How can cities be prepared for emerging transport solutions? Which tools and policy recommendations support administrations, city planners and traffic managers to predict, embrace and cope with these new solutions?
The 170.000-inhabitant Bavarian city provides extensive bus services to commuters and inhabitants. Regensburg aimed to integrate emerging mobility solutions, such as autonomous vehicles, as well as sharing of electric vehicles (EVs) and bikes, which just started recently. In 2021, 600 shared bicycles will be available throughout the city. Therefore, the main questions for MOMENTUM are:
- Shared mobility services claim to reduce the need for owning a car. What are the impacts of shared mobility services on car ownership, car traffic and air quality?
- What are the optimal pricing strategies of the bike-sharing system?
The city of Leuven has initiated alternative mobility solutions, such as round-trip car sharing and station-based bike sharing, for its 100,000 inhabitants. Currently, both mobility offers are still in their infancy, thus, Leuven is setting up mobility hubs, a physical location, which will combine several shared mobility solutions. Around 50 of these so-called “Mobipunten” will be installed throughout the city. The centralisation of services will help citizens to find these emerging transport solutions. Thus, the project assesses several key questions among others:
- What is the optimal size of the shared fleet at these ‘Mobipunten’?
- How will they affect car ownership and modal split?
Madrid is home to around 3.2 million inhabitants, thus the Spanish capital is significantly larger than the other cities in the project, hence mobility offers are much more diverse. At the time of the analysis, five free floating bike sharing providers, 16 e-scooter companies, as well as five electric car sharing companies with 2.600 electric cars existed in Madrid.
MOMENTUM is taking a closer look at three districts with different implementation levels of shared mobility, ranging from the central district with access to shared mobility to districts without any access. The novelty of the MOMENTUM assessment is the implementation of shared mobility services in the forecast models. The inclusion of these variables is important, as mobility planners are struggling with freely available mobility solutions, such as e-scooters and pedelecs, simply because of their continuous change of location. Thus, MOMENTUM aims to answer various questions:
- To what extent is shared mobility used as a substitute to private car trips?
- To what extent is shared mobility accessible to all citizens?
- To what extent shared mobility services can improve public transport accessibility?
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece with its 325.000 inhabitants. Until the metro system is finished, buses are the main mode of public transport in Thessaloniki. In addition to the potential of emerging transport solutions such as bike-sharing, taxi services are offered by a pilot, which is implemented by the EU-funded “Galileo 4 Mobility” project. MOMENTUM will take a closer look at the results of the Galileo 4 Mobility project by measuring its impact in the central and peripheral suburbs. Thus, MOMENTUM aims to answer the following questions:
- What is the role of ridesharing in the transport system of the city?
- How should the ride-sharing service framework be designed in terms of operating hours and available areas?
- What are the impacts of bike sharing and micro-mobility in transport planning?
City planners across Europe are facing several challenges concerning the use of these solutions. MOMENTUM is assessing the potential of emerging transport solutions to alter travel patterns of users in urban environments. Additionally, the consortium will analyse how the new solutions could be integrated in current and future traffic management plans.
If you are interested in a more in-depth analysis of our examples, please feel free to check out our deliverable looking at the specification of the MOMENTUM test cases.