Three more years!
The SHARE-North project was scheduled to come to an end in July 2019. In October, the project had the opportunity to apply for an extension of nearly three years and to welcome a new project partner into the project consortium. We are pleased to announce that on December 11th, the Interreg North Sea Region Steering Committee approved the extension application!
The SHARE-North project kicked off at the beginning of 2016 with an initial timeline if three years. Since then, a strong spirit of collaboration has grown between the project partners. Project activities have been successfully implemented, actions have been initiated that have resulted strictly from the collaboration in the project. The positive impact of the project activities and the importance of and potential for shared mobility to address transport challenges and positively impact the environment and quality of life has reached high-level regional and national platforms in the North Sea Region. For example,
Throughout the project lifetime, SHARE-North partners have been exceeding goals and developing ideas that resulted from the work together. The inspiration provided opened new avenues to be explored, new opportunities and a strengthened enthusiasm to take solutions above and beyond what was initially planned.
In the extension of the SHARE-North project, an additional three years to what was originally planned, the partners will expand on existing successes, integrate new activities and welcome a new project partner into the consortium: CoMoUK (formerly Carplus Bikeplus). The UK-based NGO will bring much expertise on the impacts of shared mobility, in particular bike sharing and the various types of car-sharing. Their input will be invaluable in further developing sound, transferable policy recommendations and decision making guides for municipalities.
One existing success that the SHARE-North project is particularly proud of is the effectiveness and transferability of the mobil.punkt concept, which was initiated in Bremen (and currently continually being adapted to meet new market and user needs) and successfully rolled out in Bergen with the opening of the first mobil.punkt in Bergen and Norway in May 2018. The opening received a great deal of local, national and international media attention and has generated a wave of support for the concept, not only in Bergen but also in several other Norwegian cities.
Following a SHARE-North Summer Academy, an intensive internal event based on in-depth knowledge exchange and co-creation, SHARE-North partners Taxistop and Autodelen.net launched the concept of mobipunten in Flanders in September 2017 and have been the driving forces of the concept in Flanders but also at many other international events (also with support from Intercommunale Leiedal). Advier has followed suit and has been widely promoting the concept in the Netherlands as well. The mobilpunkte/mobipunten bring shared mobility services closer to the user in order to better meet mobility needs and are designed to address transport problems in cities and neighbourhoods such as congestion, parking pressure and forced car-ownership.
The concept has created a whirlwind of attention for shared mobility, so that the Flemish Transport Ministry, for example, has made funding available for sustainable transport activities, including mobipunten. Currently, more than 50 Flemish cities are planning the implementation of mobipunten in their municipalities! Similar interest for the concept has also been generated in the Netherlands (driven by Advier) and the UK (as a result of joint events in West Yorkshire and with SEStran). Through the broad reach of Lund University’s research, interest in mobihub/mobil.punkte has also been expressed by some Swedish municipalities.
In addition, the SHARE-North partners will develop standards and site selection criteria for mobil.punkte/mobihubs in order to ease and expedite the roll-out for new cities joining the cause. These will be based on lessons learned in Bremen, Bergen and the first mobipunten that have been implemented in Flanders. The goal is to establish an international standard for mobihubs. It is important to make sure different types of mobihubs can be established based on the local needs and it must be understood by decision makers and planers that the utility and effectiveness of mobility hubs is linked to their specific location in a neighbourhood. This needs formalising so that the learning from existing hubs informs locational considerations for new hubs.
An advising offer and site visits for delegates from cities interested in mobil.punkte/ mobipunten will be jointly developed and carried out during the extension, such as the one organised by Autodelen.net and Taxistop in October 2018 for a delegation of more than 20 public officials from Flanders and the Netherlands. The goal is for the delegates who participate to leave with concrete tools for how to proceed with implementing mobipunten in their cities.
In the extension, the project will also be continuing with the very successful initiative Green Deal for Car-Sharing (NL) and Green Deal Shared Mobility (Flanders) as well as expanding the concept to the UK. This initiative has been very successful in bringing together signatories from a broad range of stakeholder areas (e.g. national, regional, local governments, public transport and shared mobility provides, businesses, etc.) to set ambitious goals for shared mobility promotion. There is currently no set of principles to frame shared ambition for co-mobility to which partners can sign up in the UK. Without this, on-the-ground deployment is not reaching its potential and development is inconsistent, fragmented and patchy. A UK version of the Green Deal will provide a framework for clearer UK ambition to realise the public benefit of shared transport. Additional time and support will help coordinate efforts between the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and possibly other nations as well.
The Travel Plan Network (TPN) in West Yorkshire has very successfully created shared travel plans and sustainable travel support for nearly 300 businesses and employment centres in the region. As the City of Bergen seeks to expand its mobility management services and provide innovative solutions for managing commuter traffic in the region. Therefore, as part of the new activities in the project extension, Bergen plans to create a TPN for businesses and employees similar to that in West Yorkshire. WYCA will provide guidance on the creation of the network in Bergen as well as for Flanders, whose regional public transport will undergo a major restructuring in the coming years. The guidance provided by WYCA on how regional transport strategies targeting employees and commuters will be very valuable for the regions’ whose public transport providers will be undergoing a transition to a mobility as a service provider.
Further support for cities and regional governments to create Shared Mobility Action Plans will also play an important role in the project extension, particularly in the UK: City authorities understand the value and potential of shared mobility in a generic sense, but they need assistance in translating this to their own city. This involves (i) designing optimised, locally relevant articulation of how an assemblage of shared mobility solutions would help maximise policy outcomes – “what this means for our city and how it will look” and (ii) converting this to an action plan. This assistance needs to be commercially and mode impartial to ensure the public benefit of the action plan.
Sound like a lot? That just scratched the surface of what SHARE-North plans to implement in the coming years. All of the above activities and more will be accompanied by a more intensive exchange programme between the partners as well as events and webinars for external interested organsations. If you’re interested in joining the mailing list for the project, just send a short message to: email@example.com.
Here’s to another three years! Cheers!