Launching event of Mobility Center and “Transport-on-demand” in Vidzeme
Launching event of Mobility Center and “Transport-on-demand” in Vidzeme (Latvia) on 4th of March in municipality of Mazsalaca county and on 12th and 13th of March in municipalities of Alūksne county.
Since the Mazsalaca county and the Aluksne county are two pilot areas in Latvia, where service “transport on demand” will be tested, meetings with local people and stakeholders were organized in March 2019. At the same time, the meeting was both an informative event launching event and an opportunity for citizens to ask questions about unclear things, as well as advising the project team on improving the service they were planning. The meetings were also filmed by television company and the story was broadcasted in national news afterwards. See the videos here: Mazsalaca county and Alūksne county.
In both counties, it is planned that the “on-demand” service will be piloted differently and coordinated by the newly launched Mobility Center. Its coordinator will accept both public calls and join destinations of trips on a single route, as well as transferring information to the service provider. In order to register as a user, local inhabitants living in the pilot areas must fill in a special form.
Locals who attended the launching event agreed that the problems with public transport exist indeed, therefore everyday life is rather hard. This is particularly critical in situations where it is necessary to get to a doctor or hospital, or the bus stop is located several kilometres away and is not in a walking distance to go to the regional cities or even capital city.
Similarly, citizens admitted that such a service would greatly ease everyday life if it could be used to go daily shopping or to visit, for example, a library to exchange books. The opportunity to call for a trip to attend a cultural event in the region was of particular interest and especially returning trip after the event. This would be an option for locals to actively participate in public life.
The project team has repeatedly acknowledged that ‘on-demand’ transport is a flexible form of transport services, it does not run on specific schedules and routes, and is designed specifically to enhance the welfare of the citizen – it is built according to the needs of the citizen. This means that, even when the trips have started, citizens are encouraged to give their ideas so a useful way of traveling in the countryside can be created.
“Transport on demand” model could solve the problem, which is especially relevant in the border areas, where the number of passengers is not sufficient, and it affects the public transport system. However, as the representatives of the Vidzeme Planning Region point out, no citizen can be punished for where he chose to live, and it is unacceptable that daily needs should be adapted to the bus schedule.
Transport on Demand takes you:
… From the place where you are,
… To a place where you want to go,
… At a time that suits you,
… with people you know.
Photos: ©Vidzeme Planning Region, Launching events and meetings with locals and project stakeholders in both pilot territories