Jul 2, 2015

Take-up seminar in Thessaloniki

Rural Sustainable Mobility and a Proactive Marketing Approach

Public transport services in many rural and peri-urban areas are threatened by increasing private car use, changing demographics and reduced budgets.

Within the SmartMove seminar it was explained how the Active Mobility Consulting (AMC) marketing approach, combined with proactive mobility measures, can help to reverse a trend of declining public transport use in rural areas. Several successful campaigns were presented by project partners during the seminar.

As part of the SmartMove project, eight rural and peripheral regions in Europe have prepared and are in the process of implementing and evaluating local AMC campaigns. This approach to promoting public transport seeks to establish a dialogue with customers,  providing public transport operators with insight into the demands of current passengers and the views of those who do not use public transport. If it is shown that the non-use of public transport is caused by physical factors – e.g. the location of bus stops or inconvenient timetables – transport operators will be able to adapt their services in order to attract new passengers and ensure they retain existing users.

The following concepts and topics were explained and discussed at the SmartMove seminar:

  • Active Mobility Consulting (AMC) – a proactive marketing approach. Don’t wait for customers to approach you; approach them with tailored mobility advice.
  • Feeder System promotion – enhance and promote the transport feeder systems that enable customers to travel that “first mile” to access main public transport services.
  • Active Measures – help potential customers to overcome barriers to sustainable mobility choices – e.g. public transport training for the elderly; smartphone apps; e-bike test days.

The SmartMove seminar addressed partners from puplic transport operators, local authorities and municipalities, universities as well as political stakeholders dealing with the topic, among others.

The one-day seminar provided the theorectical background to the SmartMove approach, case studies on AMC campaign designs from project partners in Austria, Germany and Portugal, as well as opportunities for discussion and knowledge exchange.