Innovative mobility solutions to cope with transport poverty
Transport poverty is a condition in which individuals or communities lack the mobility necessary to take part in civic, social and economic activities.
HiReach sets out to address gaps in mobility and improve accessibility for vulnerable communities by developing new tools and business models. ‘Bundling and mixing’ of trip requests from vulnerable transport user groups will be studied has a means to move from exclusive and geographically-limited mobility to an inclusive and participatory approach.
Eight vulnerable user groups and six study regions are identified by the project. HiReach will use 18 focus group workshops to identify the challenges faced by these user groups in their particular region.
Vulnerable user groups:
• 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
• Luxembourg – North and Southeast areas
• Germany – Esslingen and Goppingen
• Portugal – Guarda and Torres Vedras
• Romania – Buzau
• Italy – Southern Salento inner area
• Greece – Naxos and Small Cyclades
In order to effectively target these vulnerable user groups living in the study regions above, HiReach will study the efficacy of existing transport concepts and bottom-up initiatives alongside innovative concepts such as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and new IT solutions such as mobile apps. HiReach will also study viable business models for mobility services that are easily replicable and can be provided at affordable prices and/or with minimum subsidies.
IRU will analyse the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks for passenger mobility to define the transport domain where HiReach activities should focus. IRU will consult with new and traditional transport operators with a view to those vulnerable communities who do not enjoy full access to traditional transport options. In this way, IRU’s research and Innovation team contributes to the identification of new mobility options to suit the needs of vulnerable user groups, and also to the dissemination of strategies and recommendations based on the HiReach studies which can be employed by transport operators to help vulnerable communities cope with limited access to traditional transport options.
"Reducing transport poverty and facilitating inclusion of vulnerable user groups are at the front-line of mobility research. Our social responsibility demands that we bring into focus the social well-being and equal inclusion of the mobility user in the context of cost-efficient use of resources. The Startup Lab will ensure that new mobility startups are able to provide services to these communities sustainability with a cost-efficient use of resources." - Gorazd MARINIC, IRU project manager for HiReach
HiReach will develop new business models for inclusive mobility solutions following a user-centric approach, including informal ride-sharing, community transport services, innovative ride-hailing mobility services, and on-demand flexible public transport. The project will develop an insights package with solutions to transport poverty, developed specifically for startups.
A Startup Lab will also help new startups benefit from follow-up periods, including a one-week follow-up for 20 startups and in-depth three-month follow-ups for 5 startups.