HiReach aimed, in the first stages of the project, to analyse transport poverty theoretically and on the field as well as to explore sustainable and inclusive mobility solutions, before stepping into the final stage which addresses the development of new mobility options. Below some key recommendations are listed that can offer a roadmap for the implementation of successful strategies to cope with transport poverty. The common feature of all recommendations is the user-centric approach, which HiReach identified as essential for the success of any alternative to traditional public transport.
Recommendations for users and communities
HiReach adopts a user-centric and not a technology-push approach for the understanding and design of innovative and inclusive mobility solutions. Several community-led initiatives have been identified and the project considers the role of local communities fundamental in striving for more inclusive mobility policies.
Users can be owners, producers and consumers of inclusive mobility options. In this sense they are the first active component of every policy and can also create (as it already happens both through formal organisations and informally) self-sustaining and independent models that do not entirely rely on public interventions and/or profit-driven services.
Recommendations for this target group are:
- Start with a complete and transparent diagnosis of problems and needs
- Reclaim proper inclusive mobility policies and schemes
- Find the right balance in public-community partnerships
- Change behaviour and invest in promotion and try out
- Collaborate with other organisations, link with startups and innovative entrepreneurs
- Invest in digital technologies and supporting infrastructures
Recommendations for policy makers and public authorities
HiReach has a mandate to offer policy makers and public authorities a vision for improved mobility for vulnerable social groups and in priority areas in which innovation is spurred in order to achieve high levels of accessibility with flexible and inclusive transport solutions.
The roadmap for public administration bodies at all levels basically starts from a global diagnosis of transport capacity and demand (in terms of ´motility`), coupled with a clear vision, inter-institutional and community engagement. National and regional public authorities could create an advanced optimisation scheme and platform, integrating all forms of available publicly contracted transport and capable of managing trip requests, ideally in real time and applying dynamic routing.
Besides this planning and technological layer, it would be necessary to avoid that any target group is prevented from accessing transport for financial reasons.
Lastly, it is important that innovative enterprises, irrespective of their size, are engaged, by recognizing entrepreneurs and small-scale investors as major drivers of innovation when selecting priorities for investment.
Recommendations for this target group are:
- Secure and combine funding streams
- Develop a clear vision and strive for coordination across sectors and territorial levels
- Understand mobility needs and potential supply
- Enlarge and integrate different inclusive mobility options
- Foster Open data policies
- Develop an integrated social pricing system
- Support SMEs and innovative entrepreneurs towards existing funding opportunities that can reduce investment risks
Recommendations for entrepreneurs and investors
These (preliminary) set of recommendations are based on the lessons learned in the early stages of the project. In fact, they are based mostly on the case studies analysed in different countries, which has presented us with a number of challenges.
Firstly, given the case studies’ diversity, it is difficult to draw general lessons about market elements as in-depth information on their rationale and business models is not always available. Secondly, it can be sometimes difficult to delineate the specific intervention of the entrepreneurs and differentiate it from the other relevant players (i.e. public authorities and transport operators).
Despite this, the present review suggests some background preconditions that seem to favour and encourage the development of innovative products or services through the involvement of entrepreneurs and investors:
- Pursue combined transport solutions
- Look for additional funding and revenue streams
- Compete or collaborate for innovative public transport and inclusive mobility services
- Make use of open data