Highlights of the 15th ECOMM in Toulouse
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Dear reader,

Last month, over 300 mobility professionals and experts convened in Toulouse for the 15th edition of ECOMM. According to EPOMM president Neil Scales, this may well have been the most important conference EPOMM has ever held, as it focused on the unique opportunities that the economic crisis of the past three years has presented for mobility management. In this e-update, we give an overview of the event's highlights. All presentations can be downloaded from the ECOMM website. Have a look at the event's pictures here. We look forward to seeing you (again) next year in Frankfurt!
Save the date! 16th ECOMM in Frankfurt: 12-14 June 2012.



Economic recession: A New Dawn for Mobility Management

For the past three years, the impacts of the economic crisis have increasingly affected public transport budgets throughout Europe, with many projects being cancelled or delayed. Rising fuel prices have led to a significant rise in transport costs. These difficulties however present a unique opportunity for convincing both travellers and decision makers of the need for healthier and more economic and efficient transport modes. Rising fuel prices for instance, have led motorist to use carpooling and car sharing schemes they would not have considered using before.

Several ECOMM presentations focused on costs and benefits of Mobility Management and on the new job opportunities that arise from it, like mobility animators in France (G. Lucas and L. Verchere-Tortel, mobility advisers in Brussels and France or travel training as a new task for people working in public transport. Bodo Schwieger and Tobias Kipp (Team Red, Germany) made a comparison of infrastructure and Mobility Management costs. Monitoring and evaluation are essential to the demonstration of the effects of Mobility Management measures, as Dan Blanchet (iBase Systems, UK) argued. Several presentations were related to this topic, for instance how to use MaxSumo; real time monitoring of the public transport passengers' perceived quality (ENERQI project); improving cities' sustainable transport policies by benchmarking and quality management; evaluation of klima:aktiv mobil (Austria) and effizient mobil (Germany).



ECOMM 2011 facts

ECOMM 2011 was hosted by Tisséo, the Public Transport Authority of the Greater Toulouse. In the spirit of combined mobility, T isséo not only manages the public transport network in Toulouse, but also other services, like on-demand transport, carpooling, car sharing, public bicycles, mobility counselling and assistance for company travel plans.
The French were the main attendance of ECOMM 2011. Besides this, Sweden sent the largest foreign delegation to ECOMM with 40 participants. Belgium came in second with 22 participants. The winner of the ELTIS award for the best paper was Belgian too: Gregory Moors from the Brussels Capital Region was awarded for his presentation of the network of Mobility Advisers that runs in the Brussels Region and thus created a new sustainable job.



Innovation was central

This year's ECOMM was very innovative in its formats, not only with plenty of interactive workshops, but also by encouraging participants to post their feedback on Twitter. In the EPOMM lounge, a twitter wall was set up to display all 360 tweets on Ecomm 2011. 20% of ECOMM participants (66) joined in, reaching an estimated 4000 followers all over Europe. Another interactive and very appealing format was the "Rendez-vous Toulousian" - a session of speed networking. 19 best practices from the Toulouse region were available for an 8 minute, one-on-one talk about their experiences.
The host also made an accompanying conference newspaper, its three editions can be downloaded here.
However, in spite of the innovation, not everybody was entirely happy about the ECOMM - to see the arguments you can join an interesting discussion on allinx. allinx



Going further with Pecha Kucha

After experimenting with the Pecha Kucha presentation format on last year's ECOMM, EPOMM took the concept even further by holding three successive Pecha Kucha workshops. The rules are simple, but strict: show a PowerPoint presentation of exactly 20 slides that are each projected for exactly 20 seconds. The presenter is thus forced to use mainly pictures and just a minimum amount of text - and to focus on the essential. This year's Pecha Kucha sessions were the best attended and again proved that these rules result in much clearer and conciser presentations that are pleasant to watch and listen to. Questions were saved for the poster session that followed each Pecha Kucha session.




As rich as the field of Mobility Management is, as rich were the contents of the presentations on ECOMM. In the opening session, a remarkable presentation was made by Jean-François Toussaint (IMRES, France) on how we, as a species, are starting to reach the limits of our physical and mental capacities, our demographic growth and energy consumption. In the panel discussion, Esther Van Zeggeren (KPN Business Market, the Netherlands) mentioned the efforts that were recently made in the Netherlands to promote teleworking and other forms of smart working (see also our e-update on the New Way of Working). Other speakers showed that even on the topic of carpooling, much remains to be said. André Bruns (RWTH Aachen University, Germany) talked about the challenge to link the 60 competing carpooling matching services in Germany together. The university also did extensive research on the needs of the users of these services (presentation by R. Farrokhikhiavi) [link to presentation]. In France, the city of Moissac tries to give hitch-hiking a new boost (presentation by A. Corbineau and A. Jean). Sharon Lewinson from RideShark Canada explained how their carpool matching service tries to keep their users coming back to the website by making them earn points by commuting sustainably and rewarding them with gifts and lucky draws.

In the closing session, the discussion focused on ITS and multimodal information. David Robles Fosg, Google's Strategic Alliances Manager, gave the audience an insight in the future of mobility information. The aim is to make the information surface when it is relevant, even when you are not looking for it. If you are looking for a restaurant on Google Maps, for instance, the system could point your attention to the availability of a bus connection nearby. Or when the weather is good, it would suggest to hire a public bike. Today, we are already well on the way to this vision of the future, for instance with the Google Transit application that already contains PT information for about 600 cities. In our e-update on ITS , you can find out more about multimodal transport information and smart ticketing.



Input from the European Level

Several European projects on Mobility Management submitted a paper for ECOMM 2011. Presentations were made by Travel Plan Plus , SMOOTH mobility, BENEFIT, EcoMobility SHIFT, PIMMS TRANSFER, and LIFE CYCLE and ACTIVE TRAVEL NETWORK. The ENERQI project presented their innovative system for monitoring public transport user satisfaction in real time.

Recent achievements of EPOMM-Plus were also presented by EPOMM president Neil Scales. One of them is the brand new city modal split database that shows and compares modal split data from European cities. And thanks to you, dear readers, the EPOMM e-update has reached the threshold of 13.000 subscribers! A separate presentation was devoted to the EPOMM Quality Label. As education is the foundation for Mobility Management as a serious profession, EPOMM wants to provide a solid base for training and education in Mobility Management. With its Quality Label, EPOMM intends to promote Mobility Management trainings throughout Europe, to give existing trainings international recognition and publicity. It should contribute to EPOMM's mission to become the international institute for Mobility Management. More information: training@epomm.eu or the MM training group on Allinx.



ECOMM 2012 in Frankfurt

Next year, ECOMM will be held in Germany. More information is available at www.ecomm2012.eu. Cities can still apply to host ECOMM in 2013. Deadline for application is 31 October.



Upcoming events

  • EPOMM Network meeting in collaboration with PIMMS TRANSFER"
    4-5 October 2011 - London, UK

  • UITP - Urban Governance: Getting people on board
    5 - 7 October 2011 - Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Which policy frameworks support sustainable mobility? What solutions exist and which ones will emerge? What should an efficient urban mobility governance look like? This UITP conference seeks to answer these questions and will be a unique opportunity to share and promote good practices in the fields of urban governance and demand management. Speakers include representatives from transport authorities, operators and municipalities across Europe such as Anneli Hulthén, Mayor of Gothenburg, Sophie Mougard, Director of STIF, transport authority for Paris and Ile-de-France, and Geoff Inskip, chairman of PTEG.

  • CIVITAS Forum Conference
    17-19 October 2011 - Funchal, Portugal

For more events, please visit the EPOMM Calendar.


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