Mobility in remote areas? Latest news about the Vidzeme pilot project shows why it’s important
Summarized statistics from the two pilot areas in Vidzeme Planning Region in Latvia show that by March 1st, 1174 passengers (508 trips) have already used ToD service. These numbers were also presented to the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments board in March 2019.
Flexibility and innovations
The project team received many interesting questions about the project implementation procedure, and it also discussed the openness of the public transport sector when it comes to change. It was jointly agreed that the industry needs to become more flexible and that legislation should work in favour of the opportunity to try out innovative solutions that do not run counter to regulatory requirements. VPR was praised for the desire to come up with creative solutions when implementing such a project in Latvia.
Local ideas are heard
Just before the Covid-19 crisis, one of the municipalities in the pilot areas, following the wishes expressed by the residents, offered to organize a separate assistant service for those residents who would need it. This service is available once a week by prior arrangement. The assistant arrives together with the transport driver, helps the resident to get dressed, accompanies him on a visit to the doctor, helps to shop, as well as then brings the shopping bags home.
The role of mobility in times of crisis
At a time when the situation has changed dramatically, and mobility is even more limited, this type of service is particularly crucial for people living in remote areas. That is why it was decided that the service will still be offered. The driver and residents must comply with all safety and hygiene standards. It has been observed that residents behave very responsibly and evaluate the need for a trip.
The number of completed trips has decreased, but as the MAMBA project manager in Vidzeme Planning Region Ms Līga Puriņa-Purīte says: “We have decided not to cancel the ‘transport on demand’ service so as not to leave the locals alone in the already harsh conditions in which they found themselves due to limited mobility already before.”