Jun 10, 2016

VON campaign inspires 12% to change travel habits

SmartMove credited with opening dialogue between transport providers and rural residents

SmartMove’s campaign in Germany’s VON region had difficulty mustering participants, with just 139 taking part after two mass mailings and follow-up phone calls during the spring and summer of 2015. However, the feedback following the active mobility consultancies (AMCs) was positive, with 91 percent of participants saying they became better informed about public transport.

In VON, the AMC campaign focused on a bus line (#147) connecting the rural areas Herrnhut, Bernstadt and Schönau-Berzdorf to the district centre of Görlitz. Before the campaign, the mayors of all these communities got involved, and numerous press releases were sent out and a notice posted on the webpage of the area transport association. One of the positive outcomes of the campaign’s publicity was that virtually all residents, whether or not they took part in an AMC, learned more about the local bus service.

Key impacts of the AMC campaign, based on follow-up interviews of participants, were that:

  • 91 percent felt better informed about the public transport; and
  • 14 percent of car owners said they felt motivated to reduce their car use; and
  • 12 percent stated that they already increased their use of public transport thanks to the campaign.

The reduced car use stemming from increased ridership on public transport means a reduction of CO2 emissions of about 3 tons per year in the VON region, according to SmartMove project partner ZVON.

Another impact of the campaign was that it gave local public transport users an opportunity to give feedback and suggestions for improvement to local authorities and transport operators.

ZVON stated that the campaign results demonstrated “clear potential” for AMC campaigns to leverage a sustainable modal shift in transport, including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.