Jun 14, 2016

Modest participation but good impact in Wittenberg

Ten percent of respondents shifted trips from car to public transport

As in the other SmartMove implementing region of VON, Germany’s Wittenberg region had difficulty mustering participants, with just 209 households taking part. But those who took part seemed to have taken the campaign’s messages to heart, with an impressive 23 percent increasing their use of public transport.

The Wittenberg District lies in the east part of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt and counts among the country’s most sparsely populated regions. Local partner NASA (Transport Service Sachsen Anhalt GmbH) focused its active mobility consultancy (AMC) campaign on an hourly bus line (#303) connecting Wittenberg’s two most populated areas. It also promoted two on-demand bus lines that serve as feeder services by connecting residential areas to the main bus line.

NASA’s first effort at outreach involved a mass mailing of leaflets to more than 5,500 households. Just 40 of these netted willing participants, so NASA canvassers rolled out a multi-pronged campaign to reach people by approaching them in pedestrian areas and weekend markets and making formal presentations to various groups of people.

Eventually, 209 households were reached (about 4 percent of attempted contacts). According to NASA’s post-campaign survey of participants:

  • 90 percent felt better informed about the public transport than before the campaign;
  • 23 percent increased their usage of public transport; and
  • 23 percent said they intended to increase their use of public transport.

Ten percent of respondents shifted trips from car to public transport, with an average shift of 2.8 trips per week. This corresponded to a reduction of CO2 emissions of 11.3 tonnes per year.

NASA reported that the objectives and quantifiable targets had been reached in the campaign, and that the AMC had proven an effective tool in achieving positive modal shifts and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

As in the VON region, implementers in NASA counted the communications surrounding the campaign as a significant achievement. It gave people an opportunity to give suggestions regarding public transport needs and NASA reported, “The very constructive remarks are leading to intensive deliberations between all stakeholders and will contribute to a user-friendly evolution of the public transport.”