Mobility Management supports Social Inclusion
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Dear reader,

we proudly announce the opening of the call for papers for the ECOMM 2013. Deadline for submission is 10 December. There are many exciting innovations – please have a look at the brand new ECOMM 2013 website.

But now, to the main theme of this e-update.
Our car dominated societies unfortunately create unfairness and social exclusion: the car dominated infrastructure can give huge disadvantages to those that do not always have access to a car. And exactly these population groups often are impacted the most by the negative effects of car traffic, such as noise, air pollution and pedestrian-hostile street environment. A good description can be found in the British study Fairness in a Car Dependent Society, Mobility Management helps to both lessen car dependeny and negative impacts of the car and through this, strongly supports social inclusion. We highlight some inspiring projects and initiatives throughout Europe that demonstrate how MM supports social inclusion.



Neighbourhoods towards employment

In 2009, the French government launched a national call for projects aiming to improve the mobility of inhabitants of disadvantaged neighbourhoods and of unemployed people (Quartiers vers l'emploi : une nouvelle mobilité, Neighbourhoods towards employment). The call aimed to foster the cooperation between public transport authorities, operators, associations, employers and other actors in order to improve public transport services and to develop smart mobility services. a A global budget of 25 M€ has co-financed 48 projects with more than 200 actions in urban areas of all sizes:
  • more than half of the projects have training modules on (sustainable) mobility;
  • over a third of the projects have created mobility platforms with the aim of providing information on all modes of transport (e.g. Quartier Yélo, FR);
  • one third of the projects proposed improvements or created new lines of public transport;
  • another third of the projects offered bicycle rental services.
Subsidies have been decreasing progressively in order to make the projects financially sustainable. The programme finishes in 2013 and the final report will be created later. Preliminary results suggest that training unemployed people in mobility matters, brings about a positive dynamic that makes them more able to get a job.



Together on the move

The travel behaviour of immigrants seems to be a largely neglected area of statistical information and research. A state of the art report, created within the context of the IEE-project TOGETHER, synthesises the information available on the travel behaviour of immigrants and links it with the possibilities for energy efficient travel. A few findings:
  • Immigrants have fewer cars than the domestically born populations
  • Immigrants make fewer trips and traveled distances by car are shorter
  • Immigrants, especially women, use the bike less.
Overall, the data show that immigrants travel more sustainably. But the lower car ownership and travel rates seem to be caused by the lower income and higher unemployment rather than by a willingness to travel more sustainably. MM can help to maintain or even improve their sustainable travel behaviour in the future. And more: Mobility is a precondition for social and professional inclusion and sustainable transport modes can be a good option for them to make mobility affordable and accessible. For this, TOGETHER has developed teaching and training materials targeted specifically to immigrants. It is about energy saving and sustainable transport, safe walking, safe cycling, public transport and greener car use. The materials will be translated into 6 languages. The English materials can be downloaded here.



Making public space and public transport accessible for all

Source: ISEMOA picture database

Source: ISEMOA picture database

About 35 to 40% of the European population for various reasons have a reduced mobility and therefore encounter all kinds of barriers in public spaces or on public transport (see Accessibility - why we need it for a description and recommendations for improvement). On average, these “people with reduced mobility” (PRM) make shorter trips (6.7 instead of 9.2 km/trip) than non-PRM (see Benefits of improving accessibility, available in 13 languages). Because public space and public transport is often not accessible for wheelchair users, blind people, children’s pushchairs and people with heavy luggage – many of such trips have to be made by car.

Recently, two European projects have each developed a quality management system (QMS) to help local and regional authorities to improve the accessibility of their public space and/or public transport.
  • The QMS developed within the Mediate project (2009-2011) has its focus on public transport (PT). It consists of a list of accessibility indicators to measure the accessibility of PT and a self-assessment tool to assess the strengths and weaknesses of PT and to define improvement actions. A Good practice guide supplements the QMS and offers inspiration to authorities and transport operators in their planning and implementation of measures to improve the accessibility of PT.
  • ISEMOA (2010-2013) concentrates on the accessibility of the whole door-to-door mobility chain with all sustainable transport modes. The ISEMOA QMS has been tested and approved in 18 test-sites. The core of the ISEMOA QMS consists of a moderated audit process during which people with reduced mobility as well as representatives of the transport department, (city)planning department, welfare department, PT operators, etc., assess the strengths and weaknesses of the accessibility work in the municipality, city or region. This is done with the help of an ISEMOA auditor. If you are interested to become an ISEMOA auditor, check out the website for the location of the next auditor training, which will take place in 15 countries in winter 2012 and spring 2013.



Aging comes in five profiles

Source: ISEMOA picture database

Older people are often considered to form one big homogeneous group. Nothing is less true. Within the GOAL project five different profiles of older people have been outlined based on a variety of quantitative and qualitative sources (see report Profile of older people). These profiles provide mobility determinants, allowing us to identify current and future transport needs of older people. Based on this, GOAL will develop an action plan focussed on the development of innovative solutions of transport needs of older people in the future.



Social inclusion means transgender people too

A survey by Transgender Europe (TGEU) reveals that 79% of transgender people experience harrassement in public and 43% of them feels less well treated in the streets. This is why the organisation has presented a statement on realising social inclusion through sustainable transport at the CIVITAS training workshop on social inclusion in Coimbra in March 2012. TGEU urges authorities in charge of mobility management in European cities and towns to take action to make public space and public transport more safe and secure for transgender people. The report offers best practices and concrete recommendations.



Peers teaching peers

Whatever the target group, peer-to-peer teaching has many benefits. One of these is that ‘the teacher’ better understands the difficulties ‘the student’ experiences and can accordingly adapt the way of teaching . This is especially beneficial when teaching vulnerable groups in society. It is only logical that many MM training programmes apply peer-to-peer teaching. Some examples:
  • In the project Northern Community Ambassadors Scheme local people have been trained to promote rail services to people from socially excluded communities.The ambassadors offer information at public places, give presentations to groups and guide people during practical try outs of the railway. Women of a foreign origin benefited the most, as the ambassodors helped them to learn how to travel independently,
  • In Flanders, senior Public Transport Ambassadors are on their way to teach other older people how to use public transport. The project was inspired by the Dutch example in Breda in 2009 (read more) and proved to be a big success. 30 PT-ambassadors trained about 2900 peers in 92 workshops from January to September 2012 (read more). The practical sessions were the most successful: 90% of the participants who never or only seldom used PT, stated to have learned a lot of new information. An equal percentage now has the feeling they know better how to use public transport and more than half of them (56%) was willing to actually try out PT on their own.



Other inspirational initiatives

  • Since the beginning of 2012 the Leuven Bicycle school (BE) teaches adults how to ride a bike. The course consist of four modules: practical training (5 to 8 lessons), biking on the road (with traffic regulations), biking in the city and biking in daily life (learning how to do small trips, how to map out a route, …). In total 74 participants, mostly immigrant women and older people, have attended the practical cycle courses. Of this group, 70% kept attending the 5 to 8 cycling lessons resulting in 90% of them being able to ride a bike.
  • Within the context of CIVITAS ELAN, the city of Zagreb has made a fun and educational video about safety for elderly people on public transport. The main characters are two older people showing how they deal with the challenges that occur when taking a ride with a tram. The video is in Croatian but images explain more than words...



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