Remote regions in central Europe share the same risks and issues related to being at the periphery of main transport networks. Inadequate and under-used services, excessive costs, lack of last-mile services and proper intermodality, poor communication and information to users and car commuting are the challenges that many central European regions face.
The SMACKER project will address those disparities to promote public transport and mobility services that are demand-responsive and that connect local and regional systems to main corridors and transport nodes.
The SMACKER partners will assess main barriers and address them by providing solutions that draw on the best international know-how.
Soft measures (e.g. behaviour change campaigns) and hard measures (e.g. mobility service pilots) will be used to identify and promote eco-friendly solutions for public transport in rural and peripheral areas to achieve more liveable and sustainable environments, better integration of the population to main corridors and better services feeding main public transport. SMACKER will help local communities to re-design their transport services according to user needs and encourage people to use them.
On 23 March, Prague-Suchdol held its 5th Local Mobility Forum online with focus on cooperation between the City of Prague and Central Bohemia region within sustainable mobility and development. Challenges related to increasing suburbanization and car commuting and possible solutions were discussed. The event was attended by 30 stakeholders.
On March 1, optimisation of PT offer for Chwarzno-Wiczlino pilot area (Poland) was launched! Frequency of PT lines operating in the area will increase as well as the accessibility of the peripheral area to the City centre and main transportation nodes. Posters, an animated movie and a "welcome kit" were distributed to residents to encourage the use of PT, and a competition with rewards was launched!
ETP activities on track! With the Transational training event of last November, useful material is available for ETP followers for collecting ideas and learning new approaches helpful for the next stage: the State of the Art report. This is a first step towards the definition of an Action Plan to create new DRT services or improvig existing ones. Next ETP technical training in June 2021!
RMO presented the situation of mobility in East Tyrol and the project SMACKER to Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation and Washington CORE. Facing similar challanges, it emerged clearly from the meeting that mobility can be managed and changed only with tight cooperation and collaboration, and that it is important to learn from each other and to exchange experiences.
The online DRT service of BKK is available since 14 December through https://telebusz.bkk.hu/. Passengers can send their request through PC or smartphone, the platform is available in Hungarian and English. Despite COVID, more than 200 participants registered in December and currently there are 6 (partly) demand responsive lines operated by BKK in Budapest!
Murska Sobota SMACKER team successfully conducted the first hybrid pilot testing of the DRT-service in Pomurje! The system is up and running and fully functional. In cooperation with the University of Maribor, smart tablet stands for added accessibility and a seamless user-experience was developed. The service will be launched in spring 2021!
SMACKER partner Prague-Suchdol is working on motivating people to use public transport, cycling and walking instead of private cars. Within the many discussions and events, a Car Free-Day was organized on September 19 within the European Mobility Week. The central area of Suchdol was opened to pedestrians and cyclists who could participate in a wide range of activities with focus on sustainable modes of transport and healthy life style!
On November 10, the first SMACKER scientific event on "DRT in low population density areas" was held and more than 80 participants took part from Europe, Australia and the Caribbeans!
Join us at our online scientific event on Demand Responsive Transport! The webinar will take place on 10 November 2020, you can learn about DRT and its potential role as feeder for high-capacity transport services, experiences from Australia and touristic areas in Europe, DRT’s role in SUMPs and SMACKER pilot regions plans for DRT implementation. Read the Agenda and REGISTER today!
SMACKER findings on policy levels and legislation resulted in scientific article “Demand responsive transport policies for rural areas of six Central European countries” published and presented at 19th International Conference on Transport Science (ICTS) that took place in September in Portorož (SI). Find out more at ICTS homepage.
Austrian SMACKER partners RMO and BOKU will attend the 7th Austrian tourism mobility day on October 7 in Linz. This year topic is "Sustainable mobility in tourism, experiences and results of projects co-funded by the European Commission". SMACKER will participate to the discussion on last mile of tourism mobility.
Three new FLUGS e-carsharing stations are now open in Austrian East Tyrol and the fourth station will start operating at the beginning of October. Thanks to a cooperation between carsharing providers and public transport companies, it is now possible to use both offers with one membership, a single app for planning mutimodal trips is also being tested.
The call is extended until September 30! Several cities and organizations already joined SMACKER and shared experiences and technical knowledge in developing DRT solutions in peripheral and rural areas! We offer to more participants the free assistance of an expert and dedicated training events both online and in-person: look at the presentation letter and the technical notes. Apply now at this link!
The development of the online service request system in Budapest has started in August 2020. The procurement was successful, four bids were received and the contract was signed with the winner IT developer company. The expected launch of the online service request platform is late September 2020!
Throughout the summer, the Murska Sobota team worked hard to get the first DRT-service in Pomurje started. Negotiation with the bus service provider was successful and a reliable back-end office operator was found, now all the hotels in the resort town of Moravske Toplice are on board and will actively promote this innovative service among their guests. We can’t wait for the first test run this autumn!
The Bologna Local to Think Global training was successfully delivered online on 16 July by SRM in collaboration with the Association of Engineers of the Bologna province. More than 180 participants attended the webinar focused on the role of DRT for increasing the accessibility of the peripheral areas and their connection with TEN-T. SMACKER pilot findings were also presented to the audience.
The call is open! We want to share SMACKER experience with other organizations interested in developing DRT solutions in peripheral and rural areas and help them in writing an Action Plan! We offer to participants the free assistance of an expert and dedicated training events both online and in-person. Look at the presentation letter and the technical notes. Deadline is on September 8, apply now at this link!
On May 27, Gdynia held an on-site LMF meeting in Chwarzno-Wiczlino with the aim of identifying key bus stop improvements for PT users and the areas predestined for the DRT concept. The improvement of bus stops quality and of the frequency and transparency of PT offer will lead to future possible offers such as DRT, which came out as the most preferable option among respondents.
The call of the Enlarged Transfer Program (ETP) will soon be online! The ETP will involve external stakeholders interested in working on the definition of new DRT services and/or the improvement of existing ones, they will have the opportunity to learn from SMACKER results and to be involved in SMACKER events and webinars: STAY TUNED!
MCPS organized an online Local to Global training on May 26, around 25 key stakeholders took part and the main focus was on sustainable mobility and public transport from the local and global perspective, user needs, nudging activities and the expected impact of the pilot action in north-western part of Prague metropolitan area.
The presentation on the SMACKER approach of nudging initiatives for triggering behaviour change towards sustainable mobility is included in the conference proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society, available at this link.
The SMACKER Project Partners met virtually on 14 May for the 3rd project Plenary Meeting and Steering Committee. The Project Officer and the Financial Officer joined as representatives of the Joint Secretariat. An intense working day to review the activities and results and to mutually update on consequences of COVID-19 emergency. Next meeting will be in Maribor (SI) in November!
Multimodal mobility is a key for better framework conditions in the Osttirol region in Austria. The development of 5 new e-carsharing stations in 4 municipalities is ongoing and start operating in autumn 2020. Residents and tourists will gain experiences on how the combination of e-carsharing and public transport can enhance mobility in rural areas.
In February, 200 users of DRT lines in Budapest were interviewed about their travel habits, satisfaction, preferences and needs.Came out that users are satisfied with the service, but do not like the call based service request. On the joint LMF and LTG training, results were discussed with experts and the importance of an online service request was confirmed.
Visitors to the Pomurje region, Slovenia, mostly reach their destination by car and use it as their primary mean of transport, mainly because tourist attractions and spa resorts are not easily accessible with public transport. The Slovenian pilot aims at establishing a sustainable connection between the spa town of Moravske Toplice and Expano, by the Sobota Lake.
Building competences of stakeholders on public transport accessibility with special emphasis on Demand Responsive Transport is at the core of Local to Global Trainings. The trainings bring global best practices and initiatives to regional level where they are coupled with specific circumstances of each pilot area.
The city district Prague-Suchdol started cooperation with students of the University of Life Sciences on SMACKER. The team visited a class at the Faculty of Engineering to present its pilot activities and provide instructions for conducting surveys on users mobility needs in Suchdol area, whose results will serve as input for MCPS pilot action.
On February 6, Gdynia held a meeting with Chwarzno-Wiczlino District Council on SMACKER; data collected on mobility preferences and behavior of residents of Gdynia’s pilot area were discussed, as well as a catalogue of possible pilot solutions with focus on optimisation of existing PT, better passenger information and possible implemetation of DRT in pilot area.
For the implementation of SMACKER pilot actions, the understanding of political and legal framework is essential. This report provides an overview of political and legal framework related to public transport of the EU and into legislation of six partner countries – Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. Insight in regions’ specifics delineates different basic conditions in which SMACKER pilot actions will be implemented.
Bologna pilot will run from June 2020. The DRT service network in the Apennine area was designed involving the stakeholders through the Local Mobility Forum (LMF), which is participated by local authorities and touristic and economic operators. LMF ensures a constant support providing ideas and suggestions for developing the pilot action, guaranteeing the contribution of non-experts (Community of Interest), practitioners (Community of Practice) and policy makers during all the pilot phases.
SMACKER released a “Review of service level and technical level for rural and peripheral areas”, an analysis of the literature on existing Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) services in the Central Europe area, taking in account the lessons learned from previous and ongoing European projects and last implementations. Good and bad practices are analyzed, with a particular attention to technical developments and solutions, including possible adaptation of technologies planned for other purposes.
In this section you can find SMACKER most relevant deliverables.