EcoMobility is travel through integrated, socially inclusive, environmentally-friendly, and healthy transport options, including and combining walking, cycling, wheeling, and passenging (using public transport). EcoMobility improves citizens’ quality of life, increases travel choices, and promotes social cohesion. The role of seamless transport in EcoMobility is crucial. If a city can offer a coherent, sustainable seamless transport system, quality of life in the city itself will improve immensely.
The infrastructural and psychological barriers for implementing seamless transport can be overcome through integrated and innovative design and policy solutions. Inconvenience or the lack of accessibility is a major barrier to sustainable mobility. Cities have started providing incentives to use sustainable transport modes, for example, providing bicycle parking at transit stations, or allowing passengers to take bicycles on public transport, encourages trips to be made by both modes. Soft measure such as information, communication, and organizing services enhance the effectiveness of measures such as ecomobile urban planning and infrastructural provisions.
Intermodality is the crux for seamless transport and EcoMobility. ITS solutions encourage intermodality and allow seamless travel by providing real time travel information for different modes. Integration at a time table level is an incentive to use transit because it makes the use of the mode more simple and convenient. Providing integrated fare structure increases ridership on transit.
Solutions such as fuel tariffs and congestion charging encourage car drivers to consider other modes. The urban connectivity and improved door-to-door journeys that seamless transport systems provide are necessary components for the development of an ecomobile city.
ICLEI has taken up EcoMobility as a main challenge in various member cities and started the EcoMobility Alliance initiative. In the EcoMobility Alliance, cities share knowledge and develop tools to achieve their goals to improve mobility. The EcoMobility Alliance provides cities with support in devising their own plans and projects, while also facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges and a joint program of activities that promote shared knowledge and the exchange of innovative ideas. ICLEI acting as the Alliance Secretariat regularly liaises and motivates the Alliance Cities, and coordinates and implements peer-to-peer exchanges that make the Alliance a rich experience for its participants. As cities develop their individual transport systems to become increasingly seamless, they share their progress and techniques with one another, thus helping one another become more sustainable.
Mobility issues must be viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining economic, technological, political, and psychological components. Combined knowledge can lead to faster and innovative solutions, and can help cities manage existing capacity more effectively and identify the areas for improvement.
More information on the EcoMobility Alliance: http://www.ecomobility.org
Mr. Santhosh Kodukula
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability