First meetings of the Business Advisory Groups
The members of the German Business Advisory Group expressed a positive opinion on the research design of USEmobility that was considered as new and innovative. No comparable studies conducting similar research on ‘swing users’ are known to the members.
The research question of USEmobility is: What reasons lead in practice to a change in mobility behaviour and what are the implications for policy and provider?
The members of the German Business Advisory Group were asked how they evaluate the USEmobility approach and the interim survey results of USEmobility. They found the research proactive that using novel approach.
They recommended dedicating particular interest to people who have changed their place of residence to develop measures for more eco-friendly mobility. However, one should distinguish between what can be influenced and what not. It is equally important to know how to prevent that people go away from public transport and how to attract new people to use public transport. The result of analyses of specific routes/regions will be very interesting. Also it would be interesting to know how far the environmental awareness is responsible for behaviour change.
Segmentation would be also interesting, for example, statements on eco-mobility among young people, to prepare the company for the future development. All German members welcomed an idea to conduct meetings more frequently and agree to extend the group by integrating further interesting stakeholders.
The Austrian members of the Business Advisory Group met in Vienna. They were not aware that similar surveys on motives for switching between modes of transport exist. However they are familiar with studies on motives of using certain means of transport. They pointed out that the USEmobility-study shows that changing the means of transport is often connected to a change of residence. This insight was new to the participants. It should be used to attract interest on public transport by offering welcome-packages or trial tickets to new residents. There is not enough attention paid to the role of information and marketing in the process of changing mobility behaviour. The USEmobility survey will be useful to design marketing instruments more effectively.
Role of the Business Advisory Groups
The USEmobility project team involves experts from outside of the consortium to compose a small Business Advisory Group. The experts represent the business side and are high level decision makers from different transportation companies, transportation associations for public transport and corresponding ministries that agreed to be involved as an advisory body in the project. The aim of the group: to discuss the project outcomes, to support the USEmobility team with the market experience and dissemination of project results.
Each of the USEmobility-countries is represented in the Business Advisory Group with 3-6 representatives that meet at national level. Until now two meetings took place: in Berlin (13.10. 2011) and in Vienna (15.11. 2011).
Meetings in Belgium, Hungary and Croatia will follow in spring 2012.
A meeting of the whole Business Advisory Group should take place at the international fair for transport technology InnoTrans in Berlin in September 2012. The members will be also invited to the workshops in June 2012, to discuss the future visions for environmentally friendly mobility and strategic recommendations of the project.