Expert article
Edit 02 March 2021
by Zsuzsa Kravalik UIA Expert

SASMob Journal 5: Quality time and anguish: slowing down during the pandemic

Future of commuting in Szeged seen by 12 years old Irma
SASMob is approaching the end of its journay to develop city wide innovative partnership for sustainable commuting. In this 5th Journal, UIA expert Zsuzsa Kravalik introduces how the project coped with Covid-19 restrictions and how it adapted its activities to the restrictions, introducing new surveys and employee awareness raising tools, while omitting visits and festivals.
She points to the positive impact SASMob project played in reforming urban development processes in Szeged and how the city embraced a more sustainable and more people-centred future. As a tangible example, the project manager from partner SZKHT gives testimony on their company level achievements, the company bike tour, the amazing results of the paid leave initiative for bikers and their engagement for the sustainable future of Szeged.

Executive summary

Implementing an innovative project requires continuous adaptation and accommodation to the new situations, challenges. It is especially true for an innovative project in urban mobility in times of a worldwide pandemic and national lockdowns, centralised national decisions on parking fees and public transport services. The pandemic created a situation which requires greater flexibility than ever in managing the SASMob project. Events and activities became uncertain, planning for them became more complex and implementing activities required more time. Therefore, project partners have requested and received an emergency prolongation for 6 months from the UIA Permanent Secretariat, which will hopefully allow the partnership to finish all project activities in a correct and efficient way. As much as possible.

The last 6-8 months were spent with re-engineering. A long planning process preceded the 6 months extension claim. Some of the activities had to be postponed, some went online, while also new elements were added to reflect and support the smooth adaptation to the new circumstances. Such was the successful employee survey on the lockdown measures which provided some important insights for directors and HR managers on the coping strategies of the employees. Also, there were events and activities which were deleted altogether, such as the visit from the Austin Metropolitan Government. As an example, the car-pooling objectives will not be met also due to health considerations, while the 5% rise in home working were easily met due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Adapting to the changed situation, to the cancelled city wide events, festivals, campaigns made the partnership of SASMob to contemplate on long term sustainability: What will be the future of the SASMob cooperation, how will it be possible to maintain the momentum, the joint work without the framework what the project itself provided.


The pandemic - like so many companies themselves - moved the SASMob project to self-reflection, to evaluate its results and effects. As the events and organizations became quieter, there was more time for long-term planning, reviewing and analyzing the impact of the project. This is also supported by the planned surveys and re-measurements scheduled within the project. 

Turning towards self-reflection and towards the future both in terms of internal company management and in city management: What will be the role of public transport and how will it be able to reflect the changing needs of commuting of the future. Also the meaning of commuting and of that of the workplace will have to be redefined in the future, as Sándor Nagy, vice-mayor of Szeged expressed it:

I truly believe that the number of per capita relocations will decrease in the future, simply because many of our activities will get virtual. The Covid-19 pandemics is a good example for this. Societal answers to the pandemic only accelerated existing processes towards virtualization. It gave a glimpse of future to a wider population. Home working also existed before but now there were more people on a larger scale homeworking. But in the future there will be definitely less traffic.

General impressions of project implementation

Mobility management at company level has matured over the last 2,5 years of project implementation. As the project manager from SZKHT project partner has put it: SASMOb was needed to create a momentum, the framework, to develop fora for joint thinking and joint actions.

The measures we introduced at company level towards sustainable mobility are very popular within our company, such as the bike-breakfasts, the company recreational bike-tour or the additional paid holiday for frequent bikers. This year we rewarded 99 of our employees with an extra paid holiday, because they used the bike for commuting for more than 50% of all working days. This is a great achievement and we are determined to keep these motivational actions alive even after the end of the project lifetime. I feel that it required more energy to initiate these actions than to maintain and run them. For example to establish the legal and organisational background for the paid extra day off, to define the director’s instructions, that required attention and time. To maintain this opportunity, our lock system automatically monitors our employees cycling habits, so it is easy to run this sustainability option open for the employees. Or equally for the rentable bicycle fleet we only need a yearly check-up on the bikes to run the service. (Viktor Ganyecz, SZKHT)

SZKHT was one of the most active and most innovative players for mobility management at company level. They were one of the main drivers for behaviour change in the city. It also shows that the success of the project largely depends on how the employees and mobility managers experienced the project. At SZKHT the project was a clear success, with a very high level of involvement. Nearly a hundred employees were cycling for more than 50% of the total working days - is a clear sign of success.

Strong commitment from employers is essential to the successful realization of hard and soft mobility measures. It is easier to achieve if if the company/ employer branding is in line with the project goals, such as with IT companies or with the city utility company (SZKHT). Companies with strong employer branding can be very successful in promoting more sustainable mobility modes in everyday commuting.

The Tisza banks occupied by pedestrians

The time arrived to organise and plan the mechanisms to maintain and to sustain the results and achievements at city-level. With a well-functioning framework the future running of the system might not require that much of resources.

Szeged is the first Hungarian city which deals with workplace mobility at city level and thus it is a pioneering city with pioneering experiences. (Szabó Noémi Mobilissimus) 

The main innovation in the SASMob project was the creation of a cross-sectoral (public and private) partnership, which has been very successful and very beneficial for the City. At the same time, the coordination and the unification of the common work processes took a lot of effort . However, these efforts invested efforts pave the way to sustainability of the created structures. It is jointly believe by partners that the strongest element of the project is the company network established.

SASMob can build on the strong network of companies working side by side on mobility management. This is the strongest element of the SASMob network. To be a mobility manager at company level became an accepted position, officially recognised task within HR management.

Commitment towards sustainable mobility has been transformed into action with "painful consequences" for car drivers. Strong commitment from the employers is essential to the successful realization of hard and soft mobility measures. The commitment of MUA has been transformed to action. Municipality of Szeged have shown a good example to all employers in Szeged and eliminated 400 free parking lots reserved for municipal employees around the municipality building, schools and other public offices in the inner city. This is both a symbolic act and a practical one to curb car traffic in the inner city of Szeged.

Most relevant progress since last summer

Szeged long term sustainable development policy making was supported by both virtual and real-time events. The Szeged visioning tool helped citizens to imagine a different, more sustainable future Szeged in 2050, through a virtual reality map which gave glimpse into the future of Szeged. The tool gives an insight into the future of urban live in Szeged, in four themes: climate protection, mobility, technology and urban design. It provides a visual testimony on issues such as robotics supporting elderly people, the future of plastic and urban workshops besides commercial shops in 5 different locations in the city. Although the tool became more educational than participative, as it has been imagined, it is still a great opportunity to raise awareness on different sustainability options people have in the city of Szeged.

sustainable future Szeged from 2050
 

On the side of real-time events citizens of Szeged has occupied the urban spaces on the banks of the river Tisza. Reclaiming the rivers and riverbanks from the car traffic during summer months is a living trend in Europe and this summer Szeged also joined the group of cities organising its festival and green city events on the riverbank. The riverbank of Tisza has been transformed to an urban promenade which has been filled with activities, programmes, concerts, late night cinema performances and other events to promote sustainable living.

And unfortunately, here we have also to talk about the areas of shortcomings within SASMob project implementation. Because there are indeed some shortcomings and arrears within project implementation. No matter how hard Szeged has designed control mechanisms and monitoring processes, developing an App from scratch overstretched the project time-frame and is causing further delays and shortcomings in project delivery. From hindsight it is clear that the project could have bought and fine-tuned existing Apps from the market for measuring sustainable commuting efforts. The present version of the Greenformers to work app will have limited usability - it will serve only within workplaces, but not for the whole city - while the reward system has not been developed yet.

It is clear that regardless the time spent on software development, the use of the App will not be easy, and commuting tracking will not be automatic. The software development process has had some strong consequences on project impetus: it slowed down internal actions within the companies and also negatively affected the spirit within the partnership.

During the autumn of 2020 the beta testing of the Greenformers to work app has started and a couple of SASMob project managers had spent great deal of time testing the App, however it is only expected for March-April 2021 that the App can be introduced at company level at all. This is exactly the last moment to produce tangible results and produce enough data for monitoring purposes within SASMob project lifetime.
 

Another quite typical shortcoming in mobility management regards the utilisation of generated data. The sensors on the Szeged bridge and on the public transport vehicles collect and aggregate data on traffic flows in a more and more accurate manner. The project produces up-to-date information from the sensors on current traffic processes, and the lockdown measures created a great opportunity to verify and fine-tune the sensors and this should serve as the basis for smart city management. However, the utilisation of these data has not been conceptualised. It is necessary to understand, interpret and utilise the generated information wisely. So far SASMob has not created processes for data utilisation other than verification of current trends. A great opportunity is to correlate accident occurrences with weather, light and traffic management conditions and see how these factors influence the number of accidents.

The most relevant progress within the last 6 months can be grasped at dissemination and knowledge transfer level. Knowledge transfer became one of the strongest elements of the project implementation in this period, which is not a surprise, turning towards the end of the project lifecycle.

SASMob has supported UIA on understanding monitoring and evaluation efforts within the project and discussed project level activities with the Ecorys research team. With CSES consultant and associate Dorottya Sallai project team members discussed project implementation and supported DG Regio on the planning of 2021-2027 period European Urban Initiative programming.

CIVITAS The coronavirus has changed our personal life strategies and modes of operation: the way we have fun, the way we pay attention to the joys of everyday life as well as the way we work and travel. This is also the case with further trainings, exchanges of views and professional forums. If you miss conferences and face-to-face meetings, you need to find another way to learn about best practices and urban initiatives. The Civitas Association, a network of European cities thinking together for cleaner and more sustainable transport, has presented the best, most lovable European initiatives of 2020 in an online publication, in city videos, instead of study visits.

In the videos, city leaders and professionals testify about their goals and achievements. We can gain insight into the everyday traffic situation of cities, changes and developments beyond the constraints of different cultures and customs. Among the 7 European cities, Szeged also presents itself with the summer Tisza bank events and the SASMob project, which promotes sustainable work. The use of our public spaces is always a matter of conflict: apparently where cars and pedestrians engage for dominance. The Szeged project and related small-scale initiatives have shown that the needs of the people are not set in stone, they can and should be shaped with clever words, try-out uses and examples.

Here you can find the e-publication on Szeged

The knowledge provider partner in SASMob partnership, Mobilissimus became the main driver of transferability outputs, presented SASMob results on many conferences and in expert journals. Mobilissimus has been presenting SASMob in many conferences, such as ECOMM 2020 conference. Workplace mobility practices taken from SASMob were presented at the International Transport Science online conference, and walkability elements of the project were presented at Magyar CIVINET online meeting.

Implementation challenges table

To maintain normal working conditions and normal working processes during the pandemic. This is the greatest challenge for many of us. Employers and employees, companies and municipalities have created new survival strategies to cope with the unprecedented challenges of lockdowns and restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

SASMob received some extra 6 month time of implementation from the UIA Secretariat to fulfil most of the actions which are possible to finish. Re-scheduling, postponing, changing, cancelling, re-shaping, re-shuffling, re-designing - these are the words of the last 6 months of activities. The overall objective remained the same: to boost sustainable mobility in Szeged. However the activities goal remained the same: to move online what was manageable and introducing new items, where it could promise new insights and added value.


 

Challenge
Observation

Challenge

Leadership for implementation
Challenge level

Observations

Financial and managerial insecurity had a strong impact on project implementation with some partners being occupied with core, more fundamental tasks or being more precarious. 

Work package leaders are self-propelling, concentrating on finishing the prescribed tasks. 

Political support has not faded, there are still strong implementation leaders within the partnership who are ready to innovate, to put in new energy.

Example setting is key for leadership: MUA to abolish payment exemption for more than 400 public servants’ parking lots in city centre.

Challenge

Public procurement
Challenge level

Observations

Public procurement is more foreseeable and better scheduled towards the end of project implementation

Public approval is lengthy for structural changes in urban space (new playground, new bus/tram stop) requiring the cooperation and consent of many authorities, departments.

Challenge

Integrated cross-departmental working
Challenge level

Observations

Good, personal ties among civil servants, cross-departmental working is ensured through informal meetings

City management units can put project-based, unpredictable small investments on sidetrack in sight of large-scale infrastructural planning and licencing tasks

Horizontal working relations between SASMob partners are well-established and functioning well

Challenge

Adopting a participative approach
Challenge level

Observations

Learning by doing for participatory processes

Networks and processes for participative, co-delivery actions with employer partners has been put in place, however participative actions with citizens are still lacking

Long term city visioning process became more educative than participatory

Challenge

Monitoring and evaluation
Challenge level

Observations

Covid-19 has a strong effect on target values for the result indicators, which requires continuous adjustments

Effects of internal project delivery monitoring is moderate while inertia of project delivery is high. It is difficult to change the course of project implementation

Evaluating project achievements will play a clear role in planning the long term sustainability of the project

Challenge

Financial sustainability
Challenge level

Observations

Build up the business case for the mobility planning service of the University of Szeged

Develop an integrated Mobility Service Desk at Szeged Public Transport company. this could be co-financed by the city of Szeged, however future co-financing would be required from private companies

Challenge

Communicating with target beneficiaries
Challenge level

Observations

SASMob and the message of the project is well-known within the participating companies, but city-wide visibility actions are delayed due to late delivery and restricted functions of project Apps.

The continuous delay of the Greenformers to work App hinders the delivery of actions and the communication with target beneficiaries.

Communication manager has been replaced, reducing knowledge gap and quick adaptation to tasks, processes is required

Challenge

Upscaling
Challenge level

Observations

SASMob is regarded as an important city-wide network which aims quality of life and sustainability of the city. Employers are eager to join the network.

Great transferability opportunities through CIVITAS peer-to-peer video, UDN meetings, UIA SASMob video and Mobilissimus professional outputs

Implementation challenges explained

At the end of the implementation period, with so many insecurities, with broken timelines and cancelled events it is difficult to maintain the spirit of the partnership. When companies are struggling to maintain their work force and to smoothly run their businesses, sustainable commuting was put behind within the agenda for some. Indeed safe commuting became the most important issue for many companies.

Financial and managerial insecurity had a strong impact on project implementation. Some partners are more occupied with maintaining and providing the core services - such as running public transportation in the city or just occupied with more fundamental tasks. Also project meetings are also not so vivid, the good working relationship among partners have also faded in lack of joint actions.

SASMob project was deeply hit by the pandemic, since it changed the world of commuting completely, changed the needs for travel and the attitudes toward the different transport modes. SASMob had to go back to the goals and objectives originally formulated and reshape the remaining implementation tasks.

The long delays with the preparation of the IT Job application is a frustrating factor within project implementation. One which contributes to some of the partners being less eager and less willing to work jointly within the partnership. Unfortunately no leadership can find remedy to speed up the IT development process and this is a frustrating situation for the whole partnership.

A clear example of leadership and setting a good example has been proposed and implemented by Szeged municipality. The city administration maintained free parking lots for their own employees and guests around their premises. This privilege has been abolished. For more than 400 parking lots in the city centre the MUA abolished payment exemption, which is a clear sign of commitment and setting an example.


  1.  

Public procurement issues become more foreseeable and better scheduled as approaching the end of the project implementation. However public approval processes can be lengthy for structural changes in urban space, such as designing and approving a new playground or designing a new bus/tram stop. For such infrastructural investments the approval process with many authorities and departments involved can be lengthy. Project based investments are difficult to include in the "normal", business as usual workflow of the municipality and thus those streamlined investments usually enjoy priority over project-based investments. This is a difficult task to overcome and requires high negotiation skills from project managers.

Smooth integrated cross-departmental working within the municipality is ensured by the personal ties among civil servants and many informal networks. However this is more difficult in the time of the Pandemic with remote working to maintain. This aspect of office life is one of the worst affected areas by the Covid- 19 virus pandemic. Partners organised online social gatherings to maintain horizontal collegial ties. Bottlenecks in project delivery can be solved by upgrading the challenges to higher level decision making level, i.e. to the vice mayor, at which level sequence of tasks to be accomplished can be easily solved.

At the same time working relation among SASMob partners are well-established and well functioning. The internal, organisational logic of the participating companies are well established, people know each other and know to whom to turn to for advice or help. 

Implementing participatory processes involves a lengthy learning and education period. It requires a different state of mind from the usual authority mechanisms and processes. SASMob project is a great opportunity to shape internal municipal working mechanism and to involve more and more partners to co-design and co-develop measurements. SASMob is a very good learning process for the city to get acquainted with participatory processes and not only ask for opinion but also to share responsibilities, and divide tasks with both citizens and companies. Szeged municipality together with the public and private partners are learning participatory processes by developing participatory actions.

One such participatory element was the long-term visioning for the city. Szeged Municipality started a large-scale visioning campaign, co-designing the future of the city together with the inhabitants, with sustainable mobility being an integral part of this process. The webpage szegedvision.hu has been prepared. However in the making it became more educative than participative. It offers a sustainable alternative for the city in a visual format, however it is not a platform where people can discuss important issues in a structured way on the future of the city.

Networks and processes for participative, co-delivery actions with employer partners has been put in place. The SASMob partnership became a strong network in which partners are learning from each other, helping each other and delivering mobility actions and programmes together. This is how Viktor Ganyec, project manager of SZKHT has put it:

What we develop, invent or try out at the company level is always done as part of the SASMob cooperation and is available and freely utilized by SASMob partners. For example our parklet, which was thought by many to be very fashionable, creative and very well received, can be borrowed freely within the partnership. If another company is hosting an event, we will be happy to lend it to them, as well as our sustainability programs or our public cleaning cars can be used. This is also the advantage of SASMob, to think and act together. This makes it always easier to be visible and effective.

Monitoring of project delivery has been incorporated into the Application Form structure. Different monitoring tasks and deliverables have been included in every single work package; thus responsibility of monitoring activities is shared among work package leaders. At the end of project lifetime, all work package leaders are occupied with monitoring and evaluation activities and how best can be their part of the work be finalised and disseminated. 

Approaching the end of the project, it would also be good to see how SASMob delivers in terms of the proposed indicators. The output indicators are not well integrated into the work package structure and thus their monitoring, delivery and necessary assessment is not well integrated into the everyday working mechanisms of project implementation. However at the end of project implementation more and more attention is given to the indicators. Delivery of project results is also highly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore we had many meetings with the management team to discuss and updated the indicators and target values in order to capture project results.

What is financial sustainability for SASMob? The Smart Alliance will survive on the long run, if private companies will be interested to contribute to joint actions and to cooperate and coordinate their mobility and commuting actions. Clear communication and openness from the local municipality for co-decision will enhance this move. SASMob project design includes 2 streams for sustainability: mobility planning and mobility service point. The University of Szeged has been active in building up their own local knowledge for mobility planning and developed a university course. Since the University of Szeged is also responsible to search and involve new employers into mobility planning, they have a good feedback about the acceptance of the service they propose. The University is building up the business case for the mobility planning service of the University of Szeged.


The managerial tasks for the SASMob alliance will be entrusted to the Szeged Public Transport company, thus public transport services and other sustainable modes of transport can be coordinated. This managerial task will be co-financed by the city municipality itself, however it also requires future co-financing from private companies. The running of the Mobility Service Desk is being developed at the moment.

 

Communication with target beneficiaries is the crucial and one of the most difficult task among SASMob actions. The challenges of communication within SASMob remained in the last few months, aggravated with the fact that even the planed large scale city events had to be canceled. If target beneficiaries are considered as employees within the partner organizations, then communication is continuous, messages are clear, actions are intriguing. However some of the project actions and result indicators require target beneficiaries understood as the citizens of Szeged. For this target group SASMob is not visible, actions are sporadic and are not clearly distinguishable from other city festivals and programmes. The large scale communication, which was planned through the IT URBAN app (renamed as Greenformers to work App) has not been achieved.

This is largely due to the continuous delay of the Greenformers to Work App, which is still in the testing phase and which will have reduced number of functions.

One of the success stories within communication activities was the large scale drawing competition jointly  organised by Szeged Transport Company, Polus Szeged and the Municipality of Szeged among children and youngsters. It was a great success with entries from kindergarten to college age. The aim is that these drawings will decorate public transport vehicles in the city.

Entry to drawing competition to be displayed on PT vehicles

 

The communication manager of SASMob has been replaced, which creates an immediate knowledge gap in management, however we hope in quick adaptation to tasks and processes.

SASMob is regarded as an important city-wide network which aims quality of life and sustainability of the city. A network which is worth taking part at, and thus companies are eager to join the network, which is a good sign in terms of upscaling and sustainability. Réka Erdélyi, SASMob project manager:

In our experience, most employers in the city are aware of the importance of employer-based mobility planning and have started implementing measures independently. The city is very happy to provide SASMob, as a framework for all these endeavours and give an official platform for networking and sharing experiences. We are sure that mobility planning will gain more and more attention in the future and we also believe that teleworking will become more wide-spread. All these measures and cooperation are put in place in order to create a more liveable city with less pollution and stress related to traffic and commuting.

SASMob has also created some high-visibility outputs in term of transferability. The unheld CIVITAS peer-to-peer workshop which had to be cancelled has been transformed into an e-publication which also included a great video on sustainable mobility actions in Szeged.

Mobilissimus became the main driver of transferability outputs, presented SASMob results on many conferences and in expert journals. This knowledge transfer supports the local and national upscaling of the project as well. This article, in Hungarian is summarising the effects of Covid-19 on public transport services, financing and public acceptance of safety on board. Within the document the efforts made by SASMob Szeged are put into European context.

What will bring the last spring for SASMob and for Szeged?

It seem we cannot change the heading for this Journal from the previous one. What will happen during the next few months will largely depend on the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of the proposed actions require personal contacts, meetings and gatherings. Actions, such as the car-sharing app or the bike to work campaign expect the need to commuting to work. Restrictions to slow down the spread of the virus will also change the course of mobility needs and opportunities and can influence result indicator measurements. Project managers have to constantly adapt to the changing situation.

The views of Réka Erdélyi, project manager of SASMob on the future challenges in front of SASMob are clearly showing this uncertainty and the needs for constant adaptation:

We are constantly reviewing our project deliveries and assessing our indicators in line with the circumstances and trying to adapt the whole project in order to be a useful and successful one, despite the changed situation. Nevertheless, prospects are uncertain and regulations change day by day, which makes the planning processes almost impossible.

We expect future results and activities in 3 fields: 1) project result evaluation 2) further knowledge transfer and hopefully at last 3) the large scale introduction of the Greenformers to Work App within the partner organisations.

1) Re-assessment of project results

Baseline data was obtained at two levels within the SASMob project: a city-wide large scale representative survey was conducted and commuting patterns were collected at employer level within the partnership. SASMob project planned to monitor change during the project lifetime by re-assessing travel patterns and behaviours at the end of the project delivery period. The first level of data gathering happened at city level: a city-wide transport survey has been conducted during 2018. It showed a hitherto rising liking to travel by own car from previous years’ level.

Although SASMob will only have a limited effect on city-wide processes it is nevertheless important to see how mobility attitudes have changed in the city of Szeged during the last 3-4 years.

Thus the city-wide large-scale representative survey will be conducted anew possibly during spring. SASMob partners are cautious not to interfere with results from Covid-19 pandemic based travel behaviour (aversion of public transport), restrictions (curfews, online work orders) and national regulations (municipalities are not allowed to collect parking fees). It will be difficult to determine long term trends and changes in mobility patterns during 2020 and possibly also during 2021 both because of the short term, but also because of the long term effects of the pandemic.

The other baseline was set at employer level: during the summer of 2018 mobility questionnaires were circulated at the participating companies and based on the results of these documents the SASMob employer partners were able to create their mobility plans. Mobility planning will be conducted using the newly established Greenformers to Work app.

QR code accessed citizen's survey on sustainable mobility

A mixed tool for both awareness raising and for getting important feedback from local residents is a large scale citizens' survey on sustainable mobility. An innovative way to reaching out based on a QR code to access the easy to handle and easy to respond survey format will be available on public transport vehicles, on bicycle racks and other high-visibility areas in the city.

The campaign, called "Thanks that you move around sustainably" is aimed to shed light on the consequences of our mobility choices and by responding to the questions with the help of the slider, people get more aware of their behaviours and habits.

2) Further knowledge transfer at national, regional and EU level:

Mobilissimus is especially active in this field, both on professional and practitioners' website, and at conferences and workshops. They can smartly match their professional activities with the knowledge provider role they play within SASMob and can formulate lessons learnt on a wider perspective. Doing so, they are actively spreading the knowledge of SASMob in Hungary and in Europe. A prestigious event will be their presence at Velo city conference in Lisbon, Portugal in September, 2021, on which they will be present at a panel discussion with the title: “Alliance with employers for sustainable workplace mobility in good and bad times: the case of Szeged”

3) IT Jobs smartphone App

Even though it was expected to be finalised already at the beginning of 2020 the programming of IT Job Smartphone Application takes much more time than planned. Internal project management at Griffsoft caused delays at the beginning, while during this period the beta testing proved to be much longer than expected.

The partnership operated a developer forum with biweekly meetings to correct bugs and other issues. As Réka Erdélyi, SASMob project manager put it:

I am working in close collaboration with the IT developers in the testing of the SASMob applications. We hope to make the best out of the current opportunities with regards to the launching of these applications in order for them to become useful assets in the city's traffic management system. We are also constantly on the lookout for knowledge transfer opportunities within these changed circumstances.

We expect the large scale roll out of Greenformers to Work application to the employers. The App should be able to manage mobility planning as well, to collect employees' behaviour and perspective on mobility issues. Griffsoft will be able to assist SASMob companies to guide their employees through the registration phase and will be present in person at the company premises to support the sign up process. It is planned that the App will be presented and promoted at every company, one-a-week so that the given company and its employees get the needed attention.

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Winners contest Szeged photo

Let us move together in Szeged! Photo Contest

The “Let Us Move Together in Szeged!” photo contest was announced in the framework of the SASMob project, organised by Szeged Pólus Fejlesztési Nonpro...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
Community transport vehicles

Thanks from Szeged to the Many Users of Community Transport Vehicles

For the city to say this – to use a grossly mixed metaphor – it has borrowed the light tram from the Advent season and stuck hosts of posters with cha...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
City of Szeged

Greenformers Go and Help Applications Have Gone Live

Greenformers Go and Help have been developed in the framework of the SASMob project, by Griffsoft, one of the project partners....

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
SASmob

Traffic amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic: car traffic fell back during the first wave, then began to slowly but surely increase again

We are driving around in the city centre, looking for a place to park. Meanwhile, means of community transport are less used. The reasons include both...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
car and bus in szeged

Traffic Lights Retuned in Eighteen Junctions in Szeged to Make Buses and Trolleybuses Faster

A programme was launched in Szeged three years ago, part of which is community transport optimisation. In the framework of the SASMob Project, the mun...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
Summer SASMob festival on the river bank in Szeged, 2020

Interview with Sándor Nagy, vice mayor of Szeged

In her second zoom-in, UIA Expert Zsuzsa Kravalik explores the policy drivers and institutional challenges behind mobility projects. She interviews vi...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
picture bus

Where is Szeged’s Mass Transport Heading?

The latest forum topic on SASMob Szeged’s FB site was community transport in Szeged. In the second part of the Vehicle Situation series, the round tab...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
parking picture

We are all experts in free parking, just like in football. But what do real experts think?

SASMob Szeged has organised a round table discussion on a subject everyone has opinion on and is convinced they have the sorcerer’s stone – meanwhile,...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
Joint Success of SASMob Project and Regular Events in Szeged by the Tisza River

Joint Success of SASMob Project and Regular Events in Szeged by the Tisza River

Aachen, Bratislava, Helsinki, Madrid, Réthimno, Sarajevo, Szeged – these seven cities introduced their transportation solutions in an online publicat...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
SASMob Project Team

SASMob Blood Donation in Szeged University Library: Blood Is Never Enough in the Midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic

People who choose community transport or cycling instead of driving to travel inside the city are heroes. Those who give blood are heroes, too. The SA...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
SASMob Project at Szeged Environmental Management Company („Szegedi Környezetgazdálkodási Nonprofit Kft.”)

SASMob Project at Szeged Environmental Management Company („Szegedi Környezetgazdálkodási Nonprofit Kft.”)

In May 2019, covered scooter and bike shelters were built in the parking area of the Városgazda sor site of Szeged Environmental Management Company an...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Free Surprise Breakfast for Szeged’s Bikers: Thirty Thousand Choose Cycling in Szeged Every Day

Free Surprise Breakfast for Szeged’s Bikers: Thirty Thousand Choose Cycling in Szeged Every Day

In the city of Szeged, one out of every five local inhabitants chooses environmentally-friendly biking these days. An increasing number of people moun...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Both employers and employees adjusted well during the lockdown

Both employers and employees adjusted well during the lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic induced dramatic changes in all our lives. To avoid personal contacts, most companies introduced working from home. However, it ...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMob Expert Journal 4: Get an update on what has been happening in the last 6 months

SASMob Expert Journal 4: Get an update on what has been happening in the last 6 months

In her 4th journal, SASMob Expert Zsuzsana Kravalik discusses what could a mobility project working on sustainable commuting gain from the lockdown mo...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Sas mob August 2020

SASMob Traffic School, a guided sightseeing tour in Szeged, Greek dance teaching show – Huszár Mátyás Wharf swarmed with people on the Sunday of the green weekend

My big fat Greek party: this is how the programmes of the green weekend ended, at a major dance teaching show, at the wharf ramp at the Belvedere Buil...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SasMob project news july 2020

Szeged Offers Local Public Transport Tickets for Discounted Prices in the Next Three Months

Due to the restrictions introduced because of the pandemic, the ratio of public transport users has dropped to twenty percent in Szeged. The municipal...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Urban mobility
Lavish SASMob Bike Shelters in Rókusi körút, Right Next to the Phone Tower

Lavish SASMob Bike Shelters in Rókusi körút, Right Next to the Phone Tower

A total of seventy new bike stands have been installed at the HQ of ITSH, twenty of which can be used by the public. ...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Is lockdown caused by Covid-19 pandemic will support or undermine Public Transport services?

Is lockdown caused by Covid-19 pandemic will support or undermine Public Transport services?

Magyar CIVINET network to learn about SASMob experiences on home working and its consequences on workplace commuting...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMob in home office: when you must hold a conference from home, having no other way due to the virus

SASMob in home office: when you must hold a conference from home, having no other way due to the virus

The coronavirus pandemic has made life difficult everywhere and in every way – including the way we work. While earlier we just sat down in a large en...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMoB Expert Journal: Get an update on what has been happening in the last 6 months

SASMoB Expert Journal: about company investments and sustainable commuting

In her 3rd journal of SASMoB, UIA expert Zsuzsanna Kravalik guides us through the last 6 months of the project. She gives the readers a taste of how ...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Hackathon in Szeged Agora: Team Competition of IT Specialists for a Smart and Green Szeged

Hackathon in Szeged Agora: Team Competition of IT Specialists for a Smart and Green Szeged

”Help us create a green and smart city cost efficiently!” – was the motto used by the TechEmbassy to advertise the Future City Hackathon, an event org...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

City of Szeged Uses Cameras, Wi-Fi and Weight Measurement To See Where and How City Dwellers Travel

City of Szeged Uses Cameras, Wi-Fi and Weight Measurement To See Where and How City Dwellers Travel

In one year, the SASMob project will reach the end of its rollout period. One aim of the programme is for the city of Szeged and Szeged Transport Comp...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

CIVITAS Study visit in Szeged

Join our study visit to learn more about SASMob in Szeged!

The SASMob team in Szeged is preparing a demonstration event to promote the project achievements and facilitate roll-out towards cities with similar d...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMoB project meets COMMUTE in Toulouse

SASMoB project meets COMMUTE in Toulouse

During my morning run along the Canal du Midi, the channel which was built to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea, a source of local...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Private partners in a UIA project: Interview with the head of BP team in Szeged

SASMoB partnership is expanding

Just over the first half of project implementation, partners within SASMob project are thinking about how to maintain the momentum, how to keep the Sm...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

What Would You Do With Fifteen Square Metres?

What Would You Do With Fifteen Square Meters?

People strolling in Széchenyi Square were given an unusual task: in a fifteen-square-metre area chalked up on the main square’s asphalt they were free...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMOB application

Smart Applications Soon To Support Szeged Companies: Employees’ Travel To Work Will Be More Efficient

At first sight, the developments worked out under the SASMob Project may seem posh entertainment gadgets – but the truth is far from that superficial ...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMob Superheroes

Here are the SASMob Superheroes!

Five superheroes are presenting themselves to the people of Szeged these days. These comic strip characters, drawn by Szeged cartoonist Roland Pilcz, ...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Széchenyi Square Swarming with Scooters and Mini Motorbikes

Széchenyi Square Swarming with Scooters and Mini Motorbikes

Promoting biking and walking was the aim of the programme organised in Széchenyi Square on Saturday. Children could test their knowledge in the mini t...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Prizes for Szeged University’s Cycling Employees

Prizes for Szeged University’s Cycling Employees

The citizens of Szeged University reached nearly 250 cycling days in the “Bike To Work!” campaign. Committed to a healthy lifestyle and environmentall...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMoB journal 2

SASMoB Expert Journal: Get an update on what has been happening in the last 6 months

In her 2nd journal of SASMoB, UIA expert Zsuzsanna Kravalik reveals an additional layer of the project’s implementation progress in what regards the m...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

“Bike To Work!” campaign

Moving at Full Speed: Szeged Proves Most Biking City in Hungary

Owing to the “Bike To Work!” campaign, nearly forty tons less carbon-monoxide was emitted to the country’s air in May. Among cities outside the capit...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMob Highway Code School

SASMob Highway Code Training: Never Too Early To Start

In a playful way, in a mini city with pedestrian crossings and intersections – this is how safe transport can be introduced to kindergarten kids and l...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMoB Scooter shelter

SASmob at the Environmental Management Company: New Scooter Shelter at the HQ

An increasing number of employees at Szegedi Környezetgazdálkodási Nonprofit Kft. (Szeged Environmental Management Not for Profit Ltd.) are switching ...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Counting SASMob

Counting the number of travellers on the City Centre Bridge

Everyone – even those travelling in a car or crossing the bridge on a trolleybus. And it's far more simple than one would think. ...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMob zoom-in

Commuting patterns explored in SASMob's 1st zoom-in

Check out the different commuting patterns within the SASMob partnership. Look at how personal choices can be geared into different mobility patterns ...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMOB stakeholders meeting

What would you do and how? Experience exchange in the SASMob Project

The representatives of the SASMob Project stakeholder companies met in Agora for the first time to exchange on the experience gained so far and to dis...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Szeged sustainable transport agreement

Signatures for Szeged: The Mobility Pledge to Support the City’s Sustainable Transport Signed

The Mobility Pledge between the city of Szeged and organisations of different sizes was signed regarding cooperation to support sustainability, speed ...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Szeged SASMOB 1st journal

SASMOB 1st project journal

In her first journal of the SASMob project, UIA expert Zsuszana Kravalik looks into the change of mobility culture that is currently being attempted i...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

How do we go to work?

How do we go to work and what would be the ideal way?

Nearly 1,500 employees were interviewed in a survey about their travel-to-work habits. Their answers show that the first priority is the time it takes...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMob at the Energy Club

The SASMob Project Introduced in Budapest

The city of Szeged was invited by the Energy Club to a conference to present the SASMob Project and the Urban Innovative Actions initiative, which ena...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMob PAvilion European Mobility Week

SASMob Pavilon in the event of European Mobility Week Szeged

The central topic of this year’s European Mobility Week 2018 was ‘multimodality’, i.e. the mixing of multiple transport modes within a single journey....

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

SASMOB project testing V-bike

Smart symbiosis in the development of Szeged’s mobility

The SASMob project brings together expert partners to transform Szeged into a smart city through its mobility actions, and members of the project team...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary

Showcasing SASMob in Sofia

Showcasing UIA SASMob Innovation

The Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility (SASMob) project and its innovative idea, the ‘Employers’ Mobility Pledge’ showcased to different stakehol...

SASMob - Smart Alliance for Sustainable Mobility

Urban mobility

Szeged - Hungary