As in the nearby SmartMove region of VON, the SmartMove campaign in the Wittenberg District has had to work extra hard to engage its target households in active mobility consultancy (AMC).
The Wittenberg District, which lies in the east part of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, counts as one of Germany’s most sparsely populated regions. Local partner NASA (Transport Service Sachsen Anhalt GmbH) is focusing its AMC on an hourly bus line, number 303, connecting Wittenberg’s two most populated areas. It also targets two feeder lines, numbers 363 and 363, that are available to passengers only through advance reservation.
NASA focused is recruitment on 600 households, sending them invitations in the post beginning in spring. In addition, it printed up 6,330 leaflets with reply cards, and distributed these during various events. However, by the conclusion of the campaign in mid-October, just 45 households had agreed to participate in the AMC, with 33 sending in orders for information materials.
For the success they did have, NASA credits its preparations before the AMC started. NASA held discussions with all the main stakeholders in area transport – town mayors, transport experts and representatives of the bus company in advance. This helped in the public promotion of the project and also gave insights into the barriers to public transport use: the main one was that residents did not know how to order the dial-a-bus, how much tickets cost, or where their nearest bus stops are.
In collaboration with the transport companies, NASA created personal information materials that were given out during various active measures. These included presentations during community market days and several information evenings.
Despite drawing only a few households into the AMC, NASA said that the SmartMove project’s personalized marketing approach has raised awareness about public transport. It also inspired several newspaper articles, radio interviews and Internet posts. The direct approach and tailored information of SmartMove addressed residents’ personal needs and resulted in positive feedback from them.