USEmobility: EU-project on mobility behavior

USEmobility (full title: Understanding Social behaviour for Eco-friendly multimodal mobility) is a project that was supported by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission.

The scope of USEmobility comprised two main topics: What reasons actually lead to a change in preferences for certain modes of transport? What conclusions can be drawn from this for the benefit of sustainable future strategies for transport suppliers and politics?

USEmobility chose a new approach to directly identify the real reasons for behavioral change in the choice of transport and the future potential for eco-friendly mobility. Ten regions were chosen in five European countries to identify trends and best practices towards successful public multimodal mobility.

One major key difference to comparable studies was the element that USEmobility included interviews with citizens who had already changed their personal preference regarding transport alternatives. We wanted to learn from their experience how to better adapt the transport services being offered and the framework for transport solutions to customers’ acute needs throughout Europe. The reference to actual changes (and not just intentions) was a novelty.

Citizens who had actually switched from monomodal car travel to multimodal transportation chains (incl. public transportation) or who had increased their share of multimodal transportation were interviewed. We also included citizens who, on the contrary, had experience with multimodal transportation but switched to monomodal transportation.

The area of investigation was local and regional transport that was used by most citizens for their daily travel and that simultaneously offered a range of possibilities for multimodal transport / changing of transport modes.

The influence of different factors on the choice of the preferred transport mode were investigated. This included so called hard factors, e.g. structural or technological factors, but also soft factors, such as perception, the individual (and often subconscious) mental attitude, the social status of certain modes of transport etc. These factors were interpreted in consideration of the according socio-economic characteristics of the passengers and their environmental awareness.

Based on the results of the analysis, we suggested various measures for the medium- and long-term to better adapt the transport services being offered and the framework conditions in general to the customers’  acute needs.

USEmobility elaborated on future scenarios for eco-friendly multimodal mobility and discussed them with decision-makers in politics and transportation companies as well as with civil society organisations representing European citizens and passengers. Finally, strategic recommendations for future eco-friendly multimodal mobility were made – for national target groups and also for the European Commission.

The USEmobility consortium consists of seven partners in five European countries:

USEmobility started on 1 January 2011 and had a duration of 26 months. For more information please visit the project’s web site.


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Thomas Krautscheid @ Quotas GmbH

Thomas Krautscheid

Head of Quality Research Transport & Environment

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