A brief introduction to the concept of active mobility consultancy

Active mobility consultancy (AMC) campaigns are a form of direct marketing in which citizens are directly approached in order to collect feedback about their experience of public transport use, or, if they do not use public transport, to inform them about the available travel options.

The project aims to promote the use of public transport via this personalised travel marketing approach. The "active" in active mobility consultancy refers to direct communication with individuals, as well as the organisation of additional educational activities.

In the active process of sharing information about public transport, it is not the passengers who have to inform themselves about services, but rather the public transport operators who have to supply their (potential) customers with information tailored to their individual needs. In the AMC campaigns, existing and potential public transport passengers are supplied with customised information in order to reduce the subjective barriers to using rural public transport systems.

In addition to written information and personal contact, AMC campaigns include practical passenger trainings, public participation in planning, and guided tours for public transport feeder schemes. The AMC campaigns can also be an opportunity to collect first-hand information from passengers, on the basis of which the public transport offer can be adjusted to passengers’ requirements.

How to implement AMC campaigns

A typical AMC campaign comprises a number of stages. Each campaign is adapted to the local context: it may be carried out household by household, or at local events, or using a combination of the two.

The AMC campaign in Waldviertel - Wachau (see examples) followed the steps outlined below:

  • Residents were sent information about the launch of the campaign via post.
  • Selected members of the target groups were called by telephone.
  • Information packages were sent out by post, along with forms for requesting personalised information.
  • The request forms were returned by residents (after phone call reminders, if necessary).
  • The requested information materials were sent out by post.

For more details please download our Guidelines on the SmartMove AMC concept.

The history of active mobility consultancy campaigns

The concept of AMC campaigns originates from the pre-election door-knocking campaigns common in the United States. Such campaigns have been adapted to motivating consumers to change their behaviour in terms of mobility, energy consumption, water use, recycling etc. When applied to encouraging changes in mobility behaviour, the goal is to strengthen relations with existing customers and to attract new ones. The personalised nature of the campaigns also makes them an excellent means of collecting feedback from both groups in order to improve services.

To date, AMC campaigns have been carried out mainly in cities (e.g. in Vienna, Linz, Salzburg and Mödling in Austria). In urban settings, such AMC campaigns have resulted in an increase of between 15 and 25 percent in public transport use in the target groups. Within the SmartMove project, the concept will be applied for the first time in rural settings in a large number of pilot regions.

Source: Reinhard Hössinger and David Wurz-Hermann, BOKU
Photo credit: PORTAL