May 18th, 2015
Beginning in January 2016, the City of Bergen plans to introduce an extra fee for those who pass the toll road during rush hours. At a recent breakfast meeting for planners and the public, the city’s Commissioner for Urban Development, Climate and Environmental Affairs, Henning Warloe, introduced the idea that ride-sharers can get exclusive toll refunds.
The project “Spontaneous ride-sharing” and the Bergen Chamber hosted a breakfast meeting on May 12th, in cooperation with the CARE-North plus project. Around 30 participants heard of practical experiences with ride-sharing and how the political level in the City of Bergen can help support ride-sharing as a remedy for reducing the traffic in the city centre.
The airport director, Aslak Sverdrup, is an enthusiastic ride-sharer and one of the few leaders in Bergen that “walks the talk” on this subject. He also has plans regarding how the airport in Bergen and other cities can be designed to promoting ride-sharing, for example, by establishing meeting points and car parking for this purpose.
The project “Spontaneous ride-sharing” is headed by Arild Eggen at the Public Roads Administration. Eggen shared experiences made so far and further efforts that are necessary for the project to succeed. It is important that politicians start to see ride-sharing as a part of the way of travelling in the future. Therefore, it is a great pleasure that one of the leading politicians in Bergen, Henning Warloe, supports the idea by proposing to give economic benefits to ride-sharers on Bergen’s toll road.
Following the meeting, there was good local media coverage and an ongoing debate about this subject was initiated. Hopefully, Bergen will be the first city in Europe to lower fees for those travelling with two or more people in a car!
The meeting opened with the preview of the new teaser about ride-sharing. The film is in Norwegian, but the massage is easy to understand. Just have a look here!
May 7th, 2015
The construction of ten new on-street mobility stations, car sharing stations located in neighbourhoods with high parking pressure, is scheduled to begin next week. The implementation of these on-street parking stations is part of Bremen’s strategy for reducing parking pressure in the city as well as expanding versatile mobility offers in the city that lead to more environmentally-friendly mobility behaviour. The implementation of these stations, which are to be equipped with a total of 24 car sharing vehicles, will bring Bremen closer to achieving the goals defined in its Car Sharing Action Plan – 20,000 car sharing users by 2020. The construction of five additional stations is planned for the second half of 2015, for a total of 15 stations to be built in 2015 alone.
To accompany the launch of these new stations, Bremen’s car sharing mascot Udo (short for “Use it. Don’t own it”) has made his “big screen debut” as part of a new public awareness campaign about the convenience of car sharing:
April 22, 2015
Last week, on April 15th and 16th, project partners, stakeholders, planners and politicians from the North Sea Region as well as the public were invited to attend the CARE-North plus Final Conference “On the Move – Transport Strategies for the North Sea Region” in Bremen.
With over 70 participants, the conference was well attended and addressed the issue of transport strategies for a low carbon future in an intense and diverse way. Some of the highlighting contributions to the conference included: a presentation from Susan Zielinski (Managing Director at SMART, University of Michigan), who drew a global perspective on challenges and solutions for sustainable transport. Marcelo Cintra do Amaral, the director of urban planning in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, highlighted their innovative perspectives that gained them the global Sustainable Transport Award this year. Filip Watteeuw, the deputy mayor of Ghent, shared insights from his work, where a car-sharing action plan similar to Bremen’s is to be implemented.
During the conference’s breakout sessions, specific topics of sustainable transport such as bicycling culture, electric and shared mobility, scenarios on future mobility were discussed in smaller groups. These sessions were held by project partners and served as an in-depth look at project results and how each partner deals with mobility challenges through innovative approaches in their region. The sessions were followed by a short speech by Dr. Joachim Lohse (Minister of Environment, Construction and Transportation in Bremen). Finally, the ten sustainable mobility recommendations generated by the CARE-North plus project consortium were presented using items and objects symbolically underlining the importance of these messages.
Day one of the conference ended with a casual “rolling” evening reception on Bremen’s Party Tram, showing that CARE-North plus seeks to apply thematically appropriate mobility and entertainment to all aspects of the project.
On the second day, car sharing and the question of how to reduce the number of cars in cities was the point of focus. Participants could share different experiences and gain knowledge from successfully established and growing car club projects (e.g City of Aberdeen) as well as start-up concepts (e.g. City of Warsaw) from various European cities. In the afternoon, the conference participants were able to view practical examples of on-street car sharing stations and learn more about their implemented in Bremen.
All in all, the conference created a forum for a valuable exchange of ideas and concepts.
The presentations given at the conference are available to download here in the Download Area of the CARE-North plus website.
To read a review by Robert Gordon University of some of the presentation and documentation methods at the conference, visit the RGU Visualisation blog.
March 24th, 2015
Terschelling is a Dutch island in the Wadden Sea and has around 4800 inhabitants.
100 electrical cars, Nissan Leafs, have been made available for the inhabitants as part of one of the biggest car sharing projects ever to take place on an island.
The car sharing project and living lab solution has been initiated as an attempt to combat the high number of private cars on the island. Car sharing is cheaper and uses less valuable public space than the ownership of private cars. The latter aspect is particularly relevant on an island!
The inhabitants of the island can use a special app to make their reservations. Tourists, on the other hand, can book a car when they make reservations for the ferry to the island. It’s the first time a whole island can use a fleet of cars. Charging points will be realized all over the island to make the use as easy as possible.
For more information, you can contact Roos Geelhoed, Provincie Fryslân, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 18th, 2015
On March 11th, 2015, Autopia and Taxistop invited 25 “great minds” to create scenarios for autonomous cars and recommendations about how to remain on track with regard to sustainable mobility should autonomous vehicles become part of daily life in the future. The workshop, held in an art museum, was a continuation of the “Autonomous Transport Scenario Workshop” hosted by the city of Bremen in January 2015 with the aim of creating awareness for the subject in Flanders.
The 25 “great minds” were selected from different backgrounds. As the impact of autonomous cars could go far beyond the topic of transportation, philosophers, economists, and politicians were also invited in addition to transport planners. Among the participants was a member of the Flemish Parliament, a professor of entrepreneurship, a representative from the Belgian automotive association, public transport, the national railway, one member of each of the major political parties and transport researchers.
Jeffrey Matthijs (Autopia) opened the workshop with a general eye-opening presentation about the current status of the autonomous cars developments. Angelo Meuleman (Taxistop) presented outcomes from the workshop in January. After these presentations, Michel Bauwens gave a keynote presentation about an economic transition towards a peer-to-peer economy. Michel Bauwens is founder of the peer-to-peer foundation, and an international authority. He is listed at #82, on the Post-Carbon Institute (En)Rich list,http://enrichlist.org/the-list. In the same list you can also find Mahatma Gandhi, and at nr 1 E.F. Schumacher.
The purpose of inviting Michel Bauwens was to inspire ideas about how a society and its priorities can also change. A changing society also impacts transport and vice versa.
At the workshop, 3 different groups were invited to draw their utopia: their most likeable future scenario. In every group, words such as equality, open data and shared mobility were very often used. In one group, a comparison with the energy market was made. After opening the market, the power of energy companies stayed very much concentrated and transition towards green production was very slow. However, today, we see more and more decentralised production by cooperatives in several countries. Consumers are regaining autonomy and transition is increasing.
During the second portion of the day, the groups wrote down policy recommendations to be taken on a short or longer term. Some of the recommendations for policy makers regarding how to deal with developments in autonomous transport were:
- A condition to enter the market: Data about mobility patterns, road infrastructure has to become public.
- It’s not just about cars: always focus on modal shift and do not forget to integrate a modal shift to walking, cycling and public transport in future plans.
- Give pilots a chance: create the right legal and technological conditions and focus on shared use of the cars.
It is planned to publish a report that summarises the main themes of the day.
February 18th, 2015
Participants at the first Breakfast at Sustainability’s meeting of 2015, hosted in Brussels on February 4th, concluded that it is not enough to "like" sharing, it is important to integrate it as a serious component of urban transport planning. The challenges and successes of European transport sharing initiatives were discussed, including bike sharing, car sharing and transport pooling.
Pamela Mühlmann Coordinator in ICLEI’s Governance and Social Innovation team stated: “We’ve seen how local governments work with citizens to achieve long-lasting, sustainable outcomes that benefit their communities. Ideas and concepts highlighted today have the potential to assist the implementation of transport sharing projects across Europe”.
Speakers at the event included: Patrick Auwerx, European Platform on Mobility Management (EPOMM), on “What does sharing mean in a mobility network?”; Jan Vermeulen, Mayor of Deinze and Chairman of the Flemish Cycling Embassy, Belgium on “A promising approach for sustainable mobility”; and Michael Glotz-Richter, CARE-North plus, City of Bremen, on “Car sharing in Bremen, a real success story”.
February 4th, 2015
In January, transportation experts, researchers and planners came together in Wremen, on the shores of the North Sea, for a three day, in-depth scenario workshop on autonomous transportation. While vehicle manufacturers and research institutions are hard at work creating and testing first iterations of autonomous vehicles for various settings and purposes for the market in the near future, this is a topic that has been largely untouched on by transportation planners and politicians. As the internet has revolutionised the way we communicate today, developments in autonomous transport have the potential to drastically change the way people and goods are moved and may shape the cities and regions of the future in unimaginable ways. The workshop, organised by the City of Bremen, brought participants together to learn more about current research being conducted around driverless vehicles and to discuss potential benefits, risks and opportunities of automated transportation on urban, rural and freight transport as well as how such developments could influence jobs and the market economy of the future and potential legal implications.
The results of the scenario workshop will be presented at the upcoming “On the Move” CARE-North plus final conference and published in the form of a paper soon.
Register now! There are still places available at the CARE-North plus Final Conference!
The conference will take place on
April 15-16th, 2015
in Bremen, Germany
at the centrally located Maritim Hotel Conference Centre.
The conference will highlight comprehensive, strategic and practical approaches to urban and regional transport/accessibility generated in and for the North Sea Region and offer a surprise or two. The event will feature a series of guest speakers, including Susan Zielinski , Managing Director of SMART (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation) at the University of Michigan and Marcelo Cintra do Amaral, transport planner of the City of Belo Horizonte (Brazil), which was awarded the Sustainable Transport Award for its ambitious BRT and cycle plans in January 2015.
You will learn about sustainable mobility solutions directly from the CARE-North plus partners as they share their experiences about developing a cycling culture in their region, making the most of the potential of electric mobility, discussing scenarios about long-term trends that will change the face of mobility in the future and much more!
On the second day of the event, we will dive deeper into the world of shared mobility and discover the opportunities (and some discussion points) car sharing presents for cities of all types.
Participation is free but registration for the event via the CARE-North plus website is requested. Register here!
You can download the draft programme below (see attachment).
We look forward to your participation!
Questions? Feel free to contact us at: email@example.com or +49 421 361 59427.
January 19th, 2015
The Belgian umbrella organisation for car sharing, Autopia, created an innovative and successful concept from a simple idea: It all started with a little survey in 2013 concerning the car fleet of local governments. The result was that these fleets are far underused. On average, three out of four governmental cars are driven less than 10,000 km/year. Four out of five of these vehicles are not being used outside of office hours. These results led to the concept of sharing governmental fleets with outside of office hours and on the weekend with residents from surrounding neighbourhoods.
The beauty off the system is that it is suitable for smaller cities where traditional car sharing providers are reluctant to operate, due to economic limitations. With this system, there is no need to invest in expensive new cars. Additional benefits included that the shared cars are mostly more environmentally-friendly vehicles (40% electrical and 15% CNG vehicles) and the introduction of sharing of governmental fleets serves as general promotion of the car sharing philosophy.
In larger cities (where a car sharing provider is already based) that desire to implement such a sharing scheme, Autopia leaves it first to the car sharing provider. Why? By putting city cars into the providers’ fleet on the weekend, the car sharing provider is able to offer more cars at peak moments which is good for offering better services and a variety of vehicles.
At the moment, 10 Belgian small-town governments are sharing their own car fleet with citizens with the support of Autopia. Four larger cities are working together with the car sharing provider cambio to share their governmental fleet. In the following video, the scheme for sharing a fleet of a small village (Schoten, 8.000 habitants) is explained by the counsellor and a user:
So, whether your city is big or small, there are no more excuses for not providing car sharing in one form or another. Start today by giving the good example to your citizens and share that fleet!
January 13th, 2015
AVIRA is a Belgian acronym for “Autodelen Voor Iedereen met Rolstoelvriendelijke Auto’s” (Car sharing for everybody with wheelchair-friendly cars). The name also stands for harmony, balance and a positive view of life. This is exactly what the concept is aiming for. The goals of car sharing concerning the environment and sustainable mobility are being linked to the goals of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
How it works
A wheelchair-friendly car is far underused and mostly only one or two people use a single adapted car. To optimise the level of use, the cars can be shared with other disabled persons and the nearby living neighbours. In this way, disabled persons become better integrated in their neighbourhood and the cars can be used by different people. This is the perfect match between goals in terms of fewer cars, fewer CO2 emmissions, more space, more use of public transport and goals concerning social inclusion and accessibility for disabled persons. The Belgian umbrella organisation for car sharing created a method to introduce this concept in an easy and structured way. Organisations, care centers and persons with disabilities get full support from Autopia to introduce this innovative car sharing concept in their neighborhood.
Environmental and social impact
Currently, around 10 wheelchair friendly cars are being shared in 5 pilot projects. One project has been running for 1.5 years and the results are better than expected. 35 people are using two adapted cars, amongst them 17 neighbours. 70% of the users living in the care center say that they have more contacts with neighbours since the project began. There is still a lot of work to ensure AVIRA can make a real impact on society. The Belgian law has to be adapted to this car sharing system (insurance-, tax- and administrative issues), the volunteers system requires additional structuring but governments, care centers, neighbours and persons with disabilities are very enthusiastic about the idea and making these changes. Autopia is aiming for 30 running AVIRA-projects by the end of 2016 in Belgium and pilot projects in at least 3 other European countries.
If you are interested in starting this kind of project in your own country, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The people from the first AVIRA-project (care center “Pegode”) made a movie about their experiences with AVIRA-project to promote the concept in Europe. Enjoy this heartwarming video!