“Understanding Social behaviour for Eco-friendly multimodal mobility”  

Our aims

  • We want to identify the reasons for behavioural change towards eco-friendly multimodal mobility and forecast future potential.
  • We want to help make transport in Europe more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly.
  • We want to encourage greener European transport policies.

Our motivation

Even though private car use still prevails, the number of people using public transport is increasing. A growing number of passengers on regional railways in many European countries confirm this trend.

People expect intelligent and affordable mobility, like seamless and accessible collective transport as well as safe infrastructure for walking, cycling and private vehicle use. They also expect more flexible and greener mobility solutions Nine out of ten EU citizens believe that the traffic situation in their home area should be improved.

The trend towards eco-mobility in Europe shows that exclusively road-oriented transport policies do not satisfy citizens’ mobility needs. It is clear that a framework for affordable and environmentally friendly multimodal mobility with a vision for passenger transport is missing. An overall concept for multimodal mobility is needed.

Our approach

After collecting the results from relevant studies on multimodal transport and travellers’ behaviour, an extensive survey will be carried out in 2011 in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary and Croatia to discover the real reasons for behavioural change in mobility. Citizens who have actually switched from (monomodal) car travel to (multimodal) public transport will be interviewed. The area of investigation will be local and regional transport, which is used by most citizens for their daily travel. We believe that if multimodal transport formats (chains) are used, the railways should form the backbone of the transport system, while busses, cars and bikes work as feeders to the rail system. USEmobility applies a new bottom-up approach that directly identifies the reasons for behavioural change in the mobility of Europe’s citizens. The different factors that have an impact on the choice of transport mode will be analysed. “Hard factors” like structure, technology and communications, as well as “soft factors” like socialisation, amenity values of transport and environmental awareness, will be highlighted.

Expected results

USEmobility will show the similarities and the differences between various social groups in Europe with regards to their mobility behaviour. The project team will elaborate scenarios for future eco-friendly multimodal mobility and include demographic trends, economic and social trends, and the individual needs of the different social groups (e.g. young people, elderly people, families, people with restricted mobility, people with limited income, men and women).

In 2012 these scenarios will be intensely discussed with European passenger and customer organisations as well as with the target groups: decision makers in politics and transportation companies.

Based on the results of the analysis, a measure-mix with the best cost-benefit ratio will be suggested for the medium and long term to enable both the range of transport services on offer and the framework conditions to be better adapted to the customers’ needs. The European Commission will receive strategic recommendations for future European policy developments in the field of regional transport and for future European research into mobility issues in order to support the multimodal mobility of Europe’s citizens.

Thus a significant change of behaviour towards less energy intensive and more environmentally friendly modes of transport can be achieved.

About us

USEmobility is conducted by a consortium of 7 partners from 5 European countries:

Download the brief project presentation here. (pdf)

The project is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

Activity / area: Integration of transport modes and cross-cutting research
Topic: TPT.2010-5.
Demand/supply management and logistics for transport of passengers through increased co-modality and understanding of social behaviour.