HiReach is a 3-year Research and Innovation Action (RIA) from 2017 to 2020 funded under Horizon 2020. The project falls under the topic of ‘Improving accessibility, inclusive mobility and equity: new tools and business models for public transport in prioritised areas’.
HiReach builds on the potential of bundling and mixing dispersed, special and non-coordinated/optimised trip requests and needs from different vulnerable user groups to favour inclusive and participative mobility rather than exclusive/special and geographically-limited mobility.
The vulnerable user groups within HiReach include:
- People with temporarily or permanent reduced mobility
- Children and young people
- Elderly people
- Migrants and ethnic minorities
- Low income and unemployed
- People living in rural and deprived areas
By combining different attributes of available transport concepts and bottom-up initiatives with new operational schemes and IT applications, HiReach explores viable business models for small scale, modular and easily replicable mobility services (e.g. community transport services, ridesharing, minibus/van pooling, etc.) that can be provided at affordable prices and/or with minimum subsidies.
HiReach fosters social innovation processes through an in-depth (micro)analysis of capabilities and attitudes of different social groups and their direct involvement as co-users and co-owners of the proposed solutions.
Their involvement is put in relation with the HiReach mechanism for exploring, generating and testing new solutions based on creative concepts of startups and innovative entrepreneurs. To secure the viability and scaling-up of new business models, HiReach provides open source tools, guidance and support to developers as well as testbeds for new inclusive mobility solutions jointly prepared by startups, policy makers and local communities.
The legislative and regulative implications of newly developed collaborative economy solutions are also be assessed in order to find the right balance between peer-to-peer/self-produced services vs commercially operated services, including the role of marketplace providers.
Main pillars of the HiReach approach
HiReach is developed in three main steps whose activities, tools, outputs and stakeholders are summarised in the figure below.
HiReach conceptual architecture and workflow