Middle-sized cities across Europe struggle with the financial sustainability of public transport. In Eastern Europe public transport is losing ground in favour of the car – the City of Szeged in Southern Hungary faces a steady decline in public transport usage despite significant infrastructural developments.
A positive change has been observed: the share of cycling has increased in Szeged, however at the expense of Public Transport, leaving the level of car usage unchanged (23%). Behavioural change is slower in cities like Szeged where cars are symbolically associated with the social status.
There is increasing pressure on the Municipality’s Public transport expenditure becausestate contributions are decreasing and ticket sales are dropping both in numbers and value.
Public transport systems are slow to respond to changes in travel patterns so data-based design is key to optimising the system to handle the highly changeable usage and to satisfy the needs of citizens.
The City of Szeged aims to keep and increase the sustainability of its public transport system by attracting car users to use public transport through smart fare strategies.
The SASMob project builds a data-driven and responsive IT-system through the partnership of public entities, private businesses and transport providers in Szeged to progress towards environmentally friendly urban mobility.
The project will encourage cross-sector cooperation between businesses and the City of Szeged to co-design and tailor sustainable commuting solutions for employees, the biggest car-dependent mobility group. It will be called the SASMob Pledge.
It will develop a data management process to analyse the complex urban mobility behaviour through data collected by smart phone applications which will be called the SASMob Response.
Three unique, innovative actions will be implemented during the project:
Set a first of its kind governance system in the EU to achieve private sector’s commitment for low environmental impact mobility, which we call the Employers Mobility Pledge of SASMob. It is a strong contractual scheme with measurable performance commitment from employers.
Assemble an overarching toolbox for behavioural change campaigns, by bringing excellent European practices under one umbrella.
Build a cutting-edge mobility tracking system to optimise transport planning, using a patent of Szeged Technical University.
SASMob aims to offer an integrated, intelligent and responsive solution to promote sustainable urban mobility.
- Municipality of the City of Szeged
- Szeged Pólus Development Non-profit Ltd - Non-profit organisation
- Regional Environmental Center - Non-profit organisation
- Urban Management of Szeged Municipality Nonprofit Ltd - Non-profit organisation
- 1 higher education and research institute: University of Szeged
- Szeged Transportation Ltd - Transport provider
- Centre for South-Alföld Transport Ltd - Transport provider
- EPAM Systems Ltd - private company
- IT Services Hungary Ltd - private company
- Pick Szeged Ltd - private company
- CAS Software Ltd - private company
The SASMob integrated and responsive approach will accelerate progress towards a broad and low-environmental impact mobility contributing to many aspects of urban life:
Achieve a decreased mobility footprint in Szeged:
- Energy consumption and CO2 emission reduced by 25% during SASMob project
- 15% increase in calories burnt by walking and cycling
- Car usage decrease to 19% in modal split
Establish a responsive, sustainable transport system:
- 12% rise in satisfaction level with public transport services (PTS)
- 10% in utilisation level of PTS
- 5% decrease in public transport budget deficit
Achieve behaviour change of citizens
- modal shift changes by 20% towards sustainable travel modes
- 1,000 registered players for the Gamification App
Improve company culture
- seven companies to develop Commute and Telework Deals
- 16 new companies joining the Smart Alliance and signing the Mobility Pledge
- 30% of employees using the Mobility App
Gamification and car sharing provide opportunities for social interaction, while sustainable mobility solutions (cycling, walking especially) enable people to feel more at home in their local community.
June 2018: IT JOB launched - Adapting the Austin Mobility Challenge toolkit for SASMob Employer Mobility Pledge, tailored to the needs of the City of Szeged for a strong contractual framework of behavioural change at the workplace level.
September 2018: Signed Mobility Pledge Contracts - Based on the elaborated framework and consultations with the first employers, they will sign the Mobility pledge binding the organisations to their own commitments and sustainable mobility action plan
November 2018: Creation of IT URBAN - A system is created for collecting all data inputs (from public transport and modal split sensors progressively extended to crowdsourced applications). The data will be used in the SASMob Response, a tool to design different optimised higher quality urban transport
December 2019: Creation of lT TRANS - We will pilot innovative transport services responding to analysed needs based on public consultations to create an optimised transport service delivery.
September 2020: Transfer Workshops - Small-scale demonstration events organised to facilitate roll out towards cities with similar demographic and socio-economic background.
December 2020: Annual Mobility Certification - enlargement of Mobility Pledge, welcoming new employers, widening mobility partnership. As a recognition of mobility achievements of the engaged companies, Szeged will hand out Annual Mobility Certifications to the best performing Employers.
"In the past years Szeged has developed the public transport and the cycling infrastructure to let people choose which sustainable mode they prefer for their journeys in the City. If we want to convince them to board a tram or a bus or to ride a bicycle, in the future we will have to talk to them directly where they commute to, at the workplace. Better understanding of mobility possibilities and requirements will lead to more satisfied passengers and more liveable cities."