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A Swedish Initiative for Combined Mobility in the Rural Context

In the spring of 2020, a research project called “KomILand” will start testing combined mobility in the countryside for three smaller villages in Sweden. [1]

Living in rural areas is often equal to car dependency for time-efficient travel due to insufficient public transport or other mobility options. The KomILand-project will, therefore, introduce several services for combined mobility, all available in one app for both booking and payments, followed by research to analyse its impact on car dependency amongst inhabitants in the three villages Lundsbrunn, Broddetorp and Timmersdala.

For example, travellers will be able to book and pay for public transport with Västtrafik (the regional PTA), book 7-seater Nissan E-NV200 electric minibuses (one available at each location), connect with other people for carpooling and book taxi journeys, all through the one app.

Other services, like renting neighbourhood cars through integrated Snappcar service, booking electric scooters or bike rides, or even securing a place in the steam-locomotive and railcar which traffics a route between Lundsbrunn and the city of Skara during summer months, could all be integrated with the KomILand-app. According to Therése Pohl in the community association of Lundsbrunn, “Only we ourselves set the limits for what this will become”.

Partners in the project are Skaraborg Municipal Association, the Västra Götaland region, RISE, IVL, VTI/K2, Samtrafiken, Västtrafik and Smart Resenär.

 

Personal comments

The ordinary public transport in rural areas is rarely a realistic alternative to solve the overall travel demand, even though it often works for job- and study commutes. Most initiatives globally on combined mobility or Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) tend to focus on large city contexts where congestion is an ever-increasing challenge. However, the KomILand-project raises a new perspective, where efficient mobility systems could not only reduce car dependency but also increase the attractiveness of rural areas as they become more interconnected and accessible. It will be interesting to see the progression of this research project and whether it’s appreciated by the users. Crazy idea; what if some kind of reward system, like the one we mentioned in our earlier article, was introduced during the research project? Could that attract more private actors to engage in the “rural MaaS” context? Let’s say that I rent my neighbours car through the KomILand app, my neighbour gets paid from me, but I am rewarded 30 minutes free electric scooter ride. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

 

Written by Hampus Alfredsson, RISE.

 

Sources

1. 2020-01-29. Elbuss, samåkning och kanske ångtåg ska lyfta västgötabyar. [Swedish]