2 THE MOBILITY MANAGER: REQUIREMENTS AND EXPERTISE TO ACCESS THE PROFESSION

2.1 – Introduction and Objectives

Mobility Management is defined as the development, implementation and adaptation of strategies to make mobility more efficient, more sustainable and easier, according to the specific needs of the target groups.

Fig. 2.1 – Effect of Mobility Management

The basic principles of Mobility Management are:

  • promoting a wider use of sustainable transport solutions
  • managing the demand for car use by changing travellers’ behaviours
  • meeting mobility needs while preserving the environment

Encouraging the use of alternative and cleaner means of transportation is a key issue in mobility management: walking, (e)cycling, travelling by bus / train / shuttles / cableways / etc. but also “creative” solutions which meet the users’ demand for unusual ways to live mobility.

In practice, Mobility Managers often need to combine different transport technologies to offer multi-modal solutions that better fit each area’s features and needs.

Mobility management is an inter-disciplinary activity. It’s about finding different solutions for different problems, e.g.:

Tab. 2.1 – Activities performed by mobility management
Goal Solution
To influence the choice of sustainable transport modes instead of the own car By making alternative transport modes more attractive
To improve the public transportation services By optimizing the existing public transport offers and the infrastructures for sustainable transport
To improve cooperation and coordination between transport modes By facilitating inter-modality of existing transport solutions
To improve the accessibility to green transport options By strengthening the conditions and optimizing the information about sustainable modes
To increase the economic efficiency of the transport system By promoting a coordinated approach at the policy makers level
To reduce traffic By reducing the need, number and length of motorised vehicles trip
To preserve the climate and the environment By reducing pollution and CO2 emissions

2.2 – Who needs a Mobility Manager?

Mobility is a complex phenomenon which involve thousands or millions of individuals and raise different problems. Wherever large masses of people travel daily for working, living or leisure, there is the need to manage their journeys to ensure a smooth and sustainable experience.

  • Cities and Regions face pollution, daily traffic congestion, a huge range of target groups with diverse needs and purposes.

They need to mediate between various interests and needs in order to develop tailor-made mobility solutions

  • Large companies deal with commuting employees who often move along similar routes at the same time.

They need to change the habit of commuting by private cars without affecting employees’ comfort

  • Educational institutions have better chances to communicate best practices to homogeneous target groups.

They need to develop a future oriented awareness towards sustainable mobility by involving students and families

  • Transport providers are especially interested in mobility policies as they affect their very business.

They need to get enough customers to guarantee frequency and quality of the service by rentable costs, optimize and combine different transport solutions, regularly inform and advise their users

  • Tourist destinations face irregular seasonal flows of traffic and have to equally meet residents’ and guests’ needs.

They need to contribute to the development of flexible but efficient solutions in order to enable a successful and attractive integration of the mobility services in the touristic offers, without affecting the place’s appeal.

2.3 – The Mobility Manager’s Role

We can define the Mobility Manager as a professional that in an organisation or public administration serves the workers or general public through conceptualisation, planning, developing and operating programs and tries to face the influence the demands of the market. These actions and supportive strategies are performed directly or in collaboration with other local authorities’ officers in order to provide a full range of travel options, more effective in terms of pricing.

The Mobility Manager acts as a key link between policy levels and the applied mobility management level: his/her role is to improve business and community support for the organisation of transport services. However, the concept of Mobility Management is constantly evolving and consequently also the professional figures associated with it (in particular the Mobility Manager) are characterised by a progressive refinement and extension of their role. The areas and operational tools for the management of sustainable mobility (mobility management) are today understood not only as a limited activity to a single site or pole of reference but considered as an important opportunity for the solution of the problems of the movement of people and goods.

 

The mobility manager is a “man in the middle”. His task is to improve existing services and develop new products. The Mobility Manager’s duties are described in Tab 2.2:

Tab 2.2 – The Mobility Manager’s duties
Hard tasks

These are not typical tasks of a mobility manager

Soft tasks

These are typical tasks of a mobility manager

·         Infrastructure planning and maintenance

·         Management of transport services

·         Management of operative personnel

·         Financial balance

·         Analysis of needs

·         Coordination of existing services and infrastructures

·         Involvement of local authorities, providers, stakeholders

·         Creation of new “products”

·         Communicating opportunities to users

·         Raising awareness

2.4 – The Mobility Manager’s Resources

What resources are deployed for the Mobility Management activity? As it can be seen from Fig. 2.2, the Mobility Manager is considered as a key link between the policy level and the managerial level: from a terminological point of view, a distinction can be made according to the territorial scale in which the Mobility Manager operates.

He will be called either “Mobility Consultant” if he operates at regional and or urban level, developing strategies to raise awareness on alternative mobility solutions (especially car-free) or “Mobility Coordinator” if he operates on a specific site, supporting target groups and ensuring continuous exchanges between the organisation where he works and the local authorities. Both draw up a “Mobility Plan” that is a structural and strategic plan with the aim of identifying in a long-term perspective problems, strategies, actions, goals and monitoring indicators (according to relevant scales, e.g. Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans).

Fig. 2.2 – Overview on Mobility Management (Source: author’s reworking from EPOMM)

The Mobility Manager operates mainly on transport demand management, working in particular on daily movements and behaviour of people with regards to modal choices: he promotes people and goods mobility taking into consideration economic, social and environmental requirements. The specific tasks of the Mobility Manager are:

  • increasing the quality and attractiveness of public transport while reducing car use
  • introducing strategies and solutions in the field of mobility taking into consideration economic, social and environmental requirements
  • promoting green and sustainable transport of people (cycling, carpooling, …) and goods (e.g. by train)
  • implementing structural and strategic mobility plans at different levels (local/municipal, provincial, regional) and in different contexts (public, private)
  • promoting sustainable behaviours related to mobility, supporting people habits’ change in this field
  • promoting intermodal choices in goods and passengers transport as well as home-to-work travels

According to Euromobility (2007), “to be a good mobility manager skills in communication, marketing, planning are needed as well as knowledge of logistics techniques”.

Communication and interpersonal skills (see Chap. 5) are needed to implement an effective interaction with users as regards their mobility and transports habits. Marketing skills are needed as the final aim is to change voluntary behaviours enhancing alternative modalities. Finally, planning skills and logistics knowledge are needed to analyse a defined context and getting useful data in order to plan mobility solutions and strategies targeted on specific needs and expectations of a territory.

2.5 – Training and Education courses to develop Mobility Manager’s skills

The following scheme (Fig. 2.3) shows a comparison among the four Countries involved in the S.T.R.E.E.T. project from the point of view of Higher Education / Universities and the Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses about the themes of Transport and Mobility.

Fig. 2.3 – Training and Education: Courses Framework (Source: authors’ elaboration)

Some university and post-university courses are specifically devoted to the education of the Mobility Manager’s profile, supporting a development of management skills and a specific knowledge about the sustainable mobility theme. There are also VET courses for experience the Mobility Manager in the public and private sector.

 

In Italy, the training of mobility managers takes place on several levels: from the university and post-university level (university masters); at the level of Vocational Education and Training (single courses and advanced training and professional development courses). Often related to the Economy disciplinary field, all the courses in Italy are almost always organised in order to illustrate the evolution, innovation and tools inherent to sustainable urban mobility, according to the perspective of companies, public bodies; the economic, social and territorial system. Other topics relate to relevant legislation, current tools and best practices for managing mobility in complex public and private organizations.

 

In Austria, the university education is focused mainly on logistics and transport. At the VET level, there is a specific course in Graz for the management of the mobility in the schools.

 

In Slovenia, there are not so many specific courses about Mobility Management, although this theme is often included in university course in Territorial Planning, Transport Planning, Civil Engineering and Geography. VET courses are organised instead about how to make a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan.

 

Finally, in the United Kingdom there is a long tradition in university education: many courses are organised about the theme of the relationship between transport and urban sustainable development, both at university and post-university level (Master and Ph.D.).

2.6 – Focus: Mobility Management and Tourism in the Alps

Mobility management in mountainous areas whose economy especially relies on tourism poses some special challenges:

  • providing apt solutions for a “difficult” territory
  • meeting the needs of residents and tourists, which often do not coincide
Fig. 2.4 – Tourists’ and residents’ flows typically follow opposite routes.

Such areas are scarcely inhabited during low season but flooded with visitors during high season. Transport services need to be planned by seasons, months and even weeks.

The landform requires non-conventional solutions. Routes between towns and points of interest are riddled with strong slopes, narrow roads, natural obstacles. Special vehicles and infrastructures are often needed. The presence of environmentally protected areas requires special care and may be subjected to access limitations in order to preserve their balance.

Fig. 2.5 – The winding road to Colle di Tenda, Limone Piemonte, Italy. High mountain roads in the region are subjected to tolls and traffic limitations.
  • Mobility = Exploration of beautiful places as a part of the holiday
  • Mobility = Leisure. Tourists have more time, they don’t necessarily need the quickest solution, they’d rather savour the travel
  • Mobility = Experimentation. Tourists are keener to experiment new forms of mobility as a new experience
Fig. 2.6 – Climb with llamas in Disentis, Switzerland (http://www.lamaventura.ch/)

Sustainable mobility needs to be marketed by offering innovative products which promote easiness of movement with public transportation and raise awareness. The following is an example of how mobility offers are marketed via Alpine Pearls:

Fig. 2.7 – Package offers of integrated sustainable mobility through the Alps by Alpine Pearls.

2.7 – Focus: Practical examples of Mobility Management

2.7.1 – Mobilito (Pongau, Austria)

The Mobility Management Utility of the Pongau Region (Salzburger Land, Austria) serves 25 municipalities scattered across mountains and valleys (High Tauerns), with approx. 80,000 residents. Its services include:

  • travel consulting and information: via internet, phone or in person at the customer care office
  • providing advice on the best routes, fares and connections with access to every transport providers – from big to local, included taxi calls and on-demand shuttles
  • special focus on tourist trips
  • mobility for events: mobility plans and best options for exceptional events
  • sustainabile mobility: travel agency for “soft mobile” holidays in Pongau and train travelling in Europe
  • barrier-free travels: qualified assistance to disabled travellers, discounted tickets, barrier-free accomodations

Mobilito’s front office is located within the railway station of Bischofshofen and it’s open to public 365 days/year.

2.7.2 – Weissensee Natural Park (Austria)

Kicked off by an Interreg Project in 2011, the Mobility Management Office in Weissensee is especially focused on traffic reduction in the protected area of the National Park. The office plays a multitasking role:

  • preparation of travel plans
  • coordination of travel offers: shuttles from the railway station, “Wanderbus” for hikers, regional buses, workers’ buses, e-bike sharing services, electric vehicles
  • mobility solutions and problem solving
  • press agency, PR, marketing
  • organisation of parking areas, tickets and controls
  • customer care
  • interface between municipality and tourism operators
Fig. 2.9 – The “Wanderbus” takes hikers around the National Park.

2.7.3 – “I Comuni si mobilitano” / ”Mobilità senza barriere” projects (Tyrol: Italy and Austria)

Joint project between Austrian Tyrol and Italian South Tyrol with local governments and many stakeholders involved: Alleanza per il Clima Tirolo, Ökoinstitut Südtirol, Land Tirol, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano. It’s the result of two European Interreg Projects:

  • “I Comuni si mobilitano” (2009-2012) aimed at mobility best practices and customer care in municipalities
  • “Mobilità senza barriere” (2012-2015) aimed at barrier-free mobility for sensible targets in the area.

The project left a rich heritage in the municipalities involved: helpdesks in mountain villages, mobility plans, new or improved services, best practices, mobility managers, know how, educational projects.

Fig. 2.10 – Left: Senior Mobil (Mobility Handbook for the elderly). Right: Around with Children (Mobility Handbook for women with children)
Fig. 2.11 – “Südtirol Mobil”, Italy, online regional timetable. The app gives also information on foot distances and routes

2.8 – Focus: Integrated Transport Ticketing

With regard to Austria, a good example is the National Park Summer Card Mobil, an all-inclusive ticket for summer holidays in the Hohe Tauern National Park Holiday Region in Austria.

Visitors who stay at participating partner establishments in the holiday region between 1st May and 31st October, – including hotels, guesthouses, farms and holiday apartments – receive the “National Park Summer Card” for free. During their stay, guests can use this card to visit one of 60 attractions free of charge as well as take advantage of numerous discounts.

Fig 2.12 – National Park Summer Card Mobil

The particular focus of the card is the theme of sustainable mobility, including cable cars, different hiking busses within the region, e-bike rental for one day, free use of all local public transportation (daily free use of the Pinzgauer Lokalbahn trains and all buses operated by SVV Post busses between Königsleiten and Rauris) and much more.

Guests receive this ticket from their accommodation provider on the day they arrive. The card is valid for the duration of the stay, including arrival and departure dates.

 

It is also possible to find the Experience Ticket Mobil+ at Lake Weissensee (Carinthia, Austria).

The “mobil+ experience ticket” is an extension of the local guest card with all mobility services included in order to encourage car-free holidays. Every guest in a mobility partner host can use the many advantages of the experience ticket “mobil+” and the guest card services to create his or her own personal holiday.

The last mile connection is guaranteed by the station shuttle service for the arrival and departure of climate-friendly guests. The nature park bus runs every half hour during the high season and guests can jump in and jump off as they need along the lake. The hiking bus region takes guests to the starting points of excursions and even 1 guided e-bike tour is included in the card. Moreover, the card includes significant discounts for further soft mobile activities. (evening taxi, e-bike rental, horse-drawn carriages, boat rentals, and so on).

 

With regard to Italy, in Lombardy managing mobility is especially aimed to better organise transport services in order to improve every aspect of the users’ experience. This means:

  • Organising schedules, time tables and general information into a single, up-to-date entry point: web, information plaques, flyers.
  • Coordinating fares and tickets: travel cards, pass, integrated/combined tickets, tourist tickets etc.
  • Coordinating transport with other services: schools, hospitals, museums, tourist attractions, events
  • Listening to every stakeholder in order to match needs and transport offers
  • Suggesting improvements to transport providers
Fig. 2.13 – “Io Viaggio Ovunque” (I travel anywhere) Ticket, Lombardia, Italy. Integrated tickets allow users to travel on every public transport network in extended areas.

Another example is the BIP (Piedmont Integrated Ticket) contactless card recently introduced in Turin and Piedmont (NW Italy).

The BIP card is a contactless smart card valid throughout the Piedmont Public Transport Network that allows quick and easy access to several modes of public transport (urban and suburban buses, trams, underground and railway services) and bike sharing services. The card can either host travelcards or being topped up at ATMs in several stations.

The BIP card is equipped with an RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) antenna and a special electronic chip designed to simultaneously contain the tickets and season tickets of all the different BIP transport companies. After uploading the tickets to your BIP card, to access public transport services or to use bike sharing, it is sufficient to bring the card closer to the appropriate readers on public transport, in the underground stations, in the railway stations or on the columns of bike sharing. A “beep” will confirm that your ticket has been validated correctly.

Figg. 2.14-15 – The BIP Card, Pyou card for students and the validating machine on board buses and trams

With regard to Slovenia the Municipality of Bled has only one card system. It is used for paying parking fees, using bike-sharing system and public toilets. It is named Blejska kartica (“the Bled card”). Municipality of Bled do not offer any card, which would join public transport (train and buses), street train, using of traditional pletna boat and coaches.

A good example of a ticketing system based on soft mobility for tourists, which is used in Bohinj (30 km away from Bled), is Kartica Gost Bohinja (“Bohinj mobility guest card”). This card allows for free public transport, free parking, free admissions, attractive discounts, special family offer, … and is available from 1st April to 31st October. The card can be purchased by guests of Bohinj, who stay at least two nights in town and pay the tourist tax. Prices depend on the number of staying days. The Municipality of Bled and other alpine resorts in the North-West of Slovenia are in a process of preparing something similar for the region of Julian Alps.

 

In Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia with a population of less than 290,000 which has the most developed ticketing system, they use URBANA (Single city card). The Urbana single city card is a contactless smart card, allowing quick and convenient cash-free payment for rides on Ljubljana city buses. The Urbana card can also be used to pay for cable-car rides to the Ljubljana Castle, parking fees for white zones and parking lots managed by “Javno podjetje Ljubljanska parkirišča in tržnice” as well as the services of the Ljubljana City Library. In the future, the Urbana card will also enable payment of entrance fees for museums, sports institutions and cultural events.

On the national level, the Slovenian Ministry of infrastructure in September 2017 introduced Enotna vozovnica – IJPP (“single ticket” – IJPP), which is designed for pupils, students and other participants of adult education.  Its aim is to make public transport nicer, more appealing and accessible. Beside by buying tickets for public transport on lower prices, also app for route planner, timetable, operators and news has been established.

 

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