The Mamba project doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Clearly, a lot of innovation is already going on in the Baltic Sea Region when it comes to sustainable mobility services for rural areas. An important part of the Mamba project is to collect and analyze these good practice examples from across the region and make them easy to find, compare and learn from through a public database. This will be developed and hosted by Trelleborg municipality, a Mamba partner, during 2018-2019. Take a sneak peak below on some inspiring examples, including ride sharing applications, Mobility as a Service systems, Transport on Demand services and mobile care providers.
MinRejseplan and Plustur – two ways to maximise mobility in rural, Northern Denmark
The mobile application ‘MinRejseplan’ or My travel plan, is a Mobility as a Service (MaaS), or rather a combined mobility solution currently being developed by the Transport Authority of Northern Denmark (Nordjyllands Trafikselskab) …
… as an improvement of the existing app rejseplanen.dk which only includes public transport options. The aim is to improve mobility and access to services for residents in rural areas where public transport is limited to rush hours – while reducing dependence on private cars. The new mobile app will guide users to the most convenient and cheapest mobility services available on a selected route from A to B – public as well as private options (e.g. carpools, shared cars, ferries, taxis, and transport-on-demand busses). In a future version of the app, users will be able to pay the whole trip in one go, regardless of how many service providers are involved. As part of the project, the Transport Authority also started a collaboration with carpooling provider GoMore to ensure that carpooling is a viable option for travelers in the region. The long-term goal is to enable the use of MinRejseplan in all Danish regions.
In addition to MinRejseplan, a Travel on Demand (ToD) solution called Plustur is now available across Northern Jutland. Plustur is part of MinRejseplan, but is booked (online or by phone) and paid separately– as the first or last part of someone’s journey. The idea is to offer public transport on demand to remote residents so they can get from their homes to the nearest bus stop or train station without using private cars and taxis. The price is 22 DKK per ride and you would normally go in a mini-bus together with others. As ToD solutions tend to be costly, the transport authority is pleased to have 50% of the costs covered by a state grant.
Mobilsamåkning builds social capital and reduces CO2 emissions across rural Sweden
This ride sharing initiative started bottom-up in the village of Tolg in south-east Sweden where residents felt the need to increase transportation options to and from their village – while reducing CO2 emissions.Read more
By developing an app, ride sharing bookings and payments are made very easily, while revenues for drivers are digitally reported to the tax authorities. To date 33% of the residents in Tolg use the system. This in turn has enhanced the social capital of the village as people now have more opportunities to spend time together (in the cars). As a result, several local development projects have been initiated and villagers sense that their village has become more attractive.
The Mobilsamåkning service is now implemented and available in 13 rural communities across Sweden and is currently being tested in Holland. The main challenge reported from other villages trying to set up the system, has been to get villagers accustomed to driving their neighbors instead of just driving on their own. Many people still prefer that freedom. Successful implementation of Mobilsamåkning requires a broad consensus from villagers, bottom-up, on the necessity and benefits of ride sharing. It also requires some funding from the municipality to set up the system and to work continuously on marketing to get a solid number of active users onboard.
Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) makes life easier for residents in the Turku region, Finland
According to the regional transport authority Föli, Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) is a form of public transport on demand which is open to all, with bus routes based on the needs of customers,
… instead of operating on fixed routes and schedules.The customer places a call directly to the phone number of a specific DRT bus and arranges the transport with the driver. The driver then decides the route. DRT capacity is limited, so if many requests are placed the bus driver might not have time to fulfil all requests. DRT is operated with low-floor minibuses, which are easy to board. Upon request, certain bus lines can also make short detours along their routes, up to a few hundred meters, within the limits of their timetables. Another nice mobility option for coastal residents in Turku is the water bus. It is a small ferry that operates regularly during the summer season on the same premises as regular buses.
To improve the mobility services for residents in the municipalities of Schüttorf and Wettringen, locals founded Bürgerbus or the Citizen Bus Association in 2006, bought a minibus and engaged volunteer drivers to transport mainly elderly and youth between the municipalities. The citizen bus has around 40.000 users and operates on a fixed schedule Monday through Friday.
The Samaritan Association of Latvia (LSA) provides home care for elderly across rural Latvia by using specially equipped cars with caravans including a power generator, hot shower and toilet, a kitchen, washing machine, equipment for foot care and haircutting, etc. In Latvia there are several service-to-people solutions in place, e.g. blood donor buses, dental and primary care buses for children, and library buses.
Local governments in the Bielsko District have created a common union, linking transport at the municipal, county and voivodeship levels. By merging their public transport services they can bring more people from rural to urban areas. To date around 150.000 residents use the services, including in areas where private carriers do not operate because the services are not profitable.
One important goal of MAMBA is to include users and grassroots organisations in the design of new mobility solutions for rural areas, to make sure that users get what they need. Through workshops and study visits, users and other stakeholders will be able to try out and evaluate local pilot actions and Mobility Centres. Results and learnings from these events will be collected in a manual for self-organised mobility, addressing grassroots initiatives throughout the Baltic Sea Region.
Are you a user or developer of a rural mobility service, please contact us to learn how you could contribute – and check out our Events page!