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The missing LINK

Thursday 3 July 2008, by quattrolibri

We recently presented our observations on multi-modal transportation at the European Forum on Intermodal Passenger Travel in Cologne, Germany. The website of the LINK FORUM provides very useful resources on the topic of inter-modal transportation. The download area features the presentations given during the 2-day conference held on June 17 and June 18.

Our presentation “The Other View” can be downloaded here.

The core part of our presentation is that strategies aiming at fostering the adoption of public transportation must first address the non-rationality of some transport modes.
A rational message alone is not sufficient to alter non rational behaviour, as exemplified by the SMOKING KILLS labels on cigarette packs.

What is the missing link?

There’s a missing link between the “make it tough” and the “make it work” measures : “make it fun”
  • Make it tough: is about increasing the chores of driving, willingly or not (congestion charges + high fuel prices)
  • Make it work: is about ensuring the viability of an alternative to private transport (clean, efficient etc)
  • Make it fun: is about gradually changing habits, creating desires and rewarding the adoption of public transport.
We recommended to our client to focus on “make it fun” in order to induce a gradual change, in order to get infrequent users to discover and value an alternative mode of transportation.
We recommended to first create a context in which users discover the usefulness of key features of public transport systems such as urban journey planners, multimodal information systems etc.
This playful approach is the base for urban games, where
  • the city is the playground,
  • the transport system takes a key role in the gameplay.
  • Gamers win more and faster by playing on the public transport network.
We found an echo to our presentation during the conference. The “make it fun” approach was implemented in Zurich. Willi Dietrich gave us a few examples.

Stats corner

  • Road congestion costs 1% of EU GDP (120 bn€)
  • About 20% of the fuel consumed on German roads is lost to congestion
  • 43 000 road deaths in 2006 in the EU (27 countries)
  • CO2 emissions increased by 30% for the transportation sector in the EU between 1990 and 2005
  • by 2020 an estimated 60 airports will be heavily congested in Europe
The last word goes to thank P. Hönninger for the flawless organisation.

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