The historic city of Burgos in northern Spain has a population of around 180,000. The Burgos implementation area is located on the outskirts of the city, where mobility is characterised by high levels of private car use. Although SmartMove focuses on public transport schemes in rural areas, the Burgos implementation area is an important contribution, as a semi-urban, "in-between" area. Many lessons can be learned from Burgos with a potential for replication all over Europe.
The city of Burgos has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with some of the small surrounding villages being incorporated into the urban area. The residents of these former villages expected to see an improvement in infrastructure and facilities, in particular with respect to public transport. Unfortunately, their expectations were not met as the public transport system has limited resources. Public transport operates mainly within the city limits, along the main city axes, and services run according to complicated timetables. They therefore tend to be used by “captive riders”, meaning people who for some reason are unable to travel by car.
The city prepared a mobility plan in 2005 and a cycling plan in 2010.
The aim within the SmartMove implementation area in Burgos was to support intermodal trips – mainly in combination with bicycles – and to improve the frequency and availability of short-distance links to the existing bus network.
From spring to fall of 2015, SmartMove engaged select Burgos residents in active mobility consultancies, a form of face-to-face marketing in which campaigners dispense tailored advice, maps and other information to help people shift from car use to public transport in their daily travel. A key focus was on “feeder transport networks” that link households to bus lines and the bike sharing system.
In Burgos, SmartMove campaigners focused on two distinct groups: 250 workers who commute to an industrial area on the outskirts of town and 250 students at the local university. An additional 400 people were engaged in the campaign in so-called “active measures”.
For more details about the actual activities please watch the above short video or read our news item.
SmartMove participants in the Spanish town of Burgos changed their travel behavior significantly, with 22 percent reporting increasing their use of public transport following the campaign there.
Post-campaign interviews showed that the campaign made a big impression on those taking part:
The increased public transport use corresponded to an average shift of 2.6 car trips per week to public transport, or a reduction in CO2 emissions of 22 tonnes per year.
TheBurgos campaign achieved its results quite efficiently. Uniquely among the SmartMove campaigns, Burgos’s targeted people who had taken part in previous mobility campaigns. Campaigners had a population of people disposed to taking part in such activities and, crucially, had their names and contact details in an existing database.
The Burgos campaign wrapped up quicker than the other SmartMove campaigns, and had netted 77 percent of the targeted number of participants in its first round of contacts.
Local project partner University of Burgos concluded that the SmartMove method is effective and that further reductions in car use and CO2 emissions could be achieved through an extension of the AMC to other areas of the city.