This is one of the main messages of the eight SmartMove cooperating regions, which held their second European meeting and training seminar in Wittenberg, Germany, in October 2014. Public transport is often perceived by residents as worse than it actually is – thus simple tools such as direct marketing or small fixes in schedules can help boost passenger numbers.
Before they go door to door to promote sustainable travel through active mobility consultancy (AMC), implementing partners in SmartMove’s eight rural regions are taking stock of the chore ahead by identifying the region’s existing public transport options and local travel behaviour norms.
In Burgos, SmartMove’s intensive marketing campaigns will focus not only on peri-urban public transport but also on other new measures and services to promote sustainable mobility in areas far from the city.
Well-targeted marketing can have extraordinary impacts on public transport use: Almada, Portugal, provides an example of a direct mail campaign that coincided with a 13 percent increase in public transport patronage.
Shuttle services, park-and-ride and bike-and-ride services and pedestrian footpaths are among the tributary transport systems that can turn a weak rural bus or train line into a vital transport artery. This is the premise of the newly launched EC transport project SmartMove.
To get SmartMove under way in the Danube valley region northwest of Vienna, project partner BOKU engaged local municipalities and regional organisations, paving the way for the broad dissemination of results.
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