Apr 29, 2015

Marketing moves

With plans finalised, SmartMove partners launch campaigns in May in eight regions

True to its name, the SmartMove project has been on the move during the first quarter of 2015.

The project held its first public uptake workshop in January in Krakow, attracting 40 participants from local authorities, transport operators and others. The event showed what active mobility campaigns can do to boost patronage on rural and suburban public transport.

The participants shared similar stories about the challenges of periurban public transport. Patronage is low and getting lower and revenues are going the same direction. In some cases, services had been cancelled; in many others they were on the brink.

The AMC approach offers a proven, low-cost way of getting more patronage from existing services. It’s also a way of stimulating discussion between communities and local authorities that can lead to needed investments.

As SmartMove coordinator Oliver Roider, a professor at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, remarked, AMC campaigns “are a first step to see how you can attract more riders with a given supply that is far from ideal”.

After the training, SmartMove partners stayed in Krakow to work out last details of the AMC campaigns that will be carried out in SmartMove’s eight pilot regions. Partners were encouraged to follow a common methodology – one developed by the pilot project in rural Austria in 2009.

Since the Krakow workshop, partners have been finalising plans and laying the groundwork for campaigns to begin this month and to conclude in a few weeks’ time. Selected plans from Burgos (ES), Almada (PT), Kreis Euskirchen (DE) and other project regions are presented in this newsletter.

In all its pilot regions, SmartMove activities promote “feeder” systems that help enable rural travellers to access sparse rural bus and train lines. BiTiBi, a sister project of SmartMove within the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, promotes feeder systems involving bicycles and trains. You can read more about it here.