New concept in Flanders “Mobihubs”
By Jeffrey Matthijs, Autodelen.net and Angelo Meulemann, Taxistop
Mobil.punkt, mobipunkter, mobipunten = shared mobility opportunities
A “mobipunt” is a transport hub based at a neighborhood level where different types of sustainable and shared transport modes are available. In Bremen and Bergen they are called “mobil.punkte” and “mobilpunkt”. Translated into English it could be something like a “mobility point”. This mobility hub can have multiple functions but some are essential. To install a “mobipunt” for example, it is necessary to have at least some car-sharing parking spots and bicycle parking. Furthermore, the hub should be near a public transport stop and easily accessible for everyone. It’s important to take into account mobility issues such as wheelchair-friendliness and the safety aspects (for instance, making sure it’s tidy and well lit).
The main goal is to provide and promote local multi-modal transport opportunities. To be truly effective, a city (or village) should have a network of several mobility points. In order to integrate these hubs into route planners, the Flemish “mobipunt” concept suggests that every mobility point has its own name which clearly refers to the neighborhood in which it is located.
More than (shared) mobility
The most important functions of a mobility point are about mobility options. Apart from the essential elements, it’s wise to consider other modes such as carpool (aka ride-sharing) parking, taxi opportunities and bike-sharing.
A mobility point is about more than just mobility. Autodelen.net and Taxistop wrote a white paper on the best possible mobility points. We also worked together with an artist who managed to capture our ideas as a nice illustration. In a perfect world a mobility point would also provide a meeting place for neighbors, a little neighborhood store, a locker to deliver packages or store a bike helmet away while using a shared car.
A mobility point can be organised everywhere. It is possible to install one in a neighborhood but they can also be applied to business parks or near a shopping centre. The bottom line is that it is adapted to the needs of a specific situation. In a business park, for instance, it is important to have sufficient carpool options and maybe a bike-sharing system for easy travel from the mobility point to the office.
We love international cooperation!
Taxistop and Autodelen.net visited the sites of mobility points in the City of Bergen and Bremen during the current Interreg SHARE-North project. Furthermore, an internal workshop on the subject was held with all nine project partners. This turned out to be very interesting and useful for developing the “mobipunt” concept further. Together we fine-tuned the concept with ideas such as public toilets, safety considerations, child seats for shared cars, bicycle pumps, and much more. With this information Autodelen.net and Taxistop launched the idea on 7th of September in a national newspaper. Several local governments contacted us immediately showing a keen interest in installing a mobility point in their city. This is a good start to integrate the concept into Flemish legislation but as we love the transnational transfer of knowhow, we dream of integrating it into the whole North Sea Region!
Check out the mobipunt concept paper for more information! MobiPunt Concept Paper – English
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