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29 May 2017

HIGH-TOOL, Strategic high-level transport model

The European Commission’s General Directorate Mobility & Transport (DG MOVE) follows a challenging objective: to develop transport policies that benefit all sectors of the Community. Decisions concerning transport policy measures elaborated by the European Commission (DG MOVE) that are proposed by the European Union, have important long-term implications for society, the environment and the economy. The key objective of the HIGH-TOOL project was to develop an open source, high-level strategic assessment model for use by EU policy makers and policy analysts to assess economic, social and environmental impacts of transport policy measures: The HIGH-TOOL model. The model has two purposes. It can be applied to strategic assessment of transport policy options, and to support identification of policy options for further analyses by more detailed assessment instruments.
The HIGH-TOOL model was developed sequentially under careful consideration of user requirements and was developed on the basis of existing tools (e.g., Vaclav, NEAC, TREMOVE). Furthermore, the model development was accompanied by an extensive validation and testing approach along with sensitivity checks. Namely, robustness tests were carried out to ensure that the model works correctly in the presence of invalid inputs, and significant effort was spent to calibrate the HIGH-TOOL modules to the EU Reference Scenario 2013.
The tool’s timeline are 5-years steps from 2010 to 2050.
​For more information: click here.

26 May 2017

CIVITAS SUMPs-Up project launches 1st call for planning authorities

CIVITAS SUMPs-Up is an EU-funded project with a focus on helping cities develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) - strategic long-term planning documents that integrate all transport modes and balance environmental, social and economic factors.
A SUMP's central goal is improving the accessibility of urban areas and providing high-quality and sustainable mobility and transport to, through and within the urban area. It regards the needs of the 'functioning city' and its hinterland rather than a municipal administrative region. The project assists mobility planning authorities, especially in countries where there are few SUMPs, to overcome the barriers that stop or make it difficult for them to implement the plans.
​The CIVITAS SUMPs-Up project is recruiting planning authorities for its Innovation Pilot Pool (IPP), a select group of transport and urban mobility planning practitioners who will develop innovative tools and services to help SUMP development in European cities. The current call seeks 40 participants for the Expert Group and 10 participants for the Leadership Group, who will participate for six months and three years respectively.The remaining 50 participants in the IPP scheme will be selected via similar calls for applications opening in 2018 and 2019.
Apply to the first CIVITAS SUMPs-Up call for planning authorities by 24 May 2017 here.
The European Commission is working closely with the Member States to ensure the SUMP concept is adapted to the specific requirements and existing planning practices in each Member State and actively promoted at national level in order to reach hundreds of cities in Europe.
For more information: click here.

19 May 2017

The Sustainable Urban Development Strategy (SUDS) of Heraklion and Kavala

A meeting was held on Wednesday 26th April at the Herakleion’s Municipality to prepare for the approved strategic sustainable urban development presentation of the Heraklion Municipality at the Greek cities’ evaluation laboratories planned by the European Commission in Athens on the 1st and 2nd of June 2017.
The Participants which attended the meeting were from the Municipality of Heraklion, the Deputy Mayor of Technical Services, Mr. Ioannis Anastasakis, the Coordinator of SOAP/SUD, Mrs. Eugenia Stilianou, the Program Director, Mr. Costas Mohianakis, the Special Advisor, Mr. Stelios Mikrakis, the Coordinator of the Technical Secretariat, Mrs. Despina Dialina and Mr. Nikos Karadimitriou, UCL European Commission DAN and Mr. Dimitris Economou, Advisor from the University of Thessaly.
​It is worth noting that within the evaluation of the laboratory’s context of the Sustainable Urban Development Strategy organized by the European Union, the strategy of the Municipality of Heraklion and the corresponding of the Municipality of Kavala were chosen to be presented as an integrated approach.
​The Deputy Mayor of Technical Services, Mr. Ioannis Anastasakis referring to the SUDS of the Municipality of Heraklion specified that “it evolves distinct teamwork offering multiple projects to Heraklion in addition to improving the quality of its citizens and visitors’ life”.
​It is recalled that within the SUDS’ framework, the Heraklion Municipality assured 14,5 million euros from the Regional Operational Program of Crete for projects such as: reconstructions at Eleftherias Square, Kalokairinos Avenue, Archbishop Makarios Avenue, the creation of an impassable route to the fortifications of Heraklion, restoration of the seaside fortifications of Heraklion and energy upgrading of municipal buildings.
For more information: click here.

Policymakers should not give up on multimodality

As the EU moves into the era of “smart mobility”, Dan Wolff wonders whatever happened to the idea of multimodal transport. Just because road freight innovates faster than other modes doesn’t mean policymakers should give up on multimodality, he argues in this interesting article.
​Back in 2001, the European Commission was all about modal shift from road to greener transport modes. In the 2010s, multimodality and intermodality became the new EU religion for transport. It seems that we are now moving to an era of smart mobility, regardless of how many modes are involved.
Rail freight struggles to remain competitive and continues to lose market shares. While the EU average modal share of rail freight reaches 18%, the road sector still reigns supreme with 75% despite being responsible for over 70% of transport greenhouse gas emissions. This is far from the objective set by the 2011 White Paper on Transport, which called for shifting “30% of road freight over 300 km to multimodal transport by 2030, and more than 50% by 2050”.
​Policymakers should not give up on multimodality just because road innovates faster than other modes. However, the future of rail freight also lies in its own ability to innovate (interoperability, automation, signalling, noise mitigation…).
Dan Wolff is managing partner at  Eurotran, an advisory firm specialised in EU transport policies. Laure Roux is a consultant at Eurotran.
​For more information: click here.

Urban Transport Roadmaps Tool from DG Move

The urban transport roadmaps tool is a web-based tool to help city authorities develop urban transport roadmaps that address the most pressing environmental, social and economic issues faced by their transportation systems between now and 2030. The tool was launched in April 2016.
The tool provides cities with the ability to identify, develop, screen and assess different transport policies and measures. In particular, it helps cities to quickly and easily assess the likely costs and impacts of measures that could help them improve the sustainability of their transport systems. Cities can explore combinations of different policy scenarios and assess the impacts of these scenarios on the environment, safety, mobility, the economy and the city’s transport system. This type of scenario analysis helps cities to rapidly identify which policy measures are likely to be useful in supporting their own urban transport sustainability goals.
A key benefit of the tool is that users do not need any prior experience in transport modelling. The tool has been developed for DG Move by Ricardo Energy & Environment and Trasporti e Territorio.
For more information: click here.

Vindobona - legendary European express – started operation 60 years ago

Sixty years ago, on 13th January 1957, the legendary Vindobona train linking Berlin, Prague and Vienna rode for the first time. In regular operation Vindobona appeared with a new timetable at the beginning of the summer of 1957. At that time, Vindobona was one of the most luxurious and fastest trains in Eastern Europe, and it was different from the other classic steam trains as it was operated by an elegant motor unit. The first journey for journalists was to introduce the new, fast and convenient train connections to the general public, the elegant aerodynamic shape of the motor units symbolized this legend until 1979, and during each of their journeys, they attracted the attention of passers-by, passengers and railway employees.
Vindobona has been one of the fastest trains in Eastern Europe since the beginning of its operations, although today's travel times may seem ridiculously long. Compared to regular trains, however, the Express was tens of minutes faster, at the beginning of the operation shortened the journey from Berlin to Vienna for 12 hours and 15 minutes, which was six hours less than the fastest connection ever. The route between Prague and Berlin was offended in less than 6 hours, almost an hour faster than the current fastest train.
The legendary Berlin-Prague-Vienna train was named from the beginning after the Latin name of Vienna city - Vindobona.
​For more information: click here.

Czechs and Slovaks want to test autonomous vehicles

Representatives of the Czech and Slovak state, mobile operators, the automotive industry and the academic sphere should develop a joint project to test autonomous vehicles and other modern technologies on the D2 motorway between cities of Bratislava and Brno. Such conclusion was adopted during the joint meeting of Czech Minister of Transport, Mr. Dan Ťok and the Slovak Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Informatics, Mr. Peter Pellegrini.
"The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic are important players in the car industry, mutual vehicle production is comparable to the big European countries, so we should work together to develop intelligent transport infrastructure and test autonomous vehicles, and we have agreed to prepare a cross-border project to allow us to test the smart highway in operation", said Czech Transport Minister, Mr. Dan Ťok.
The Slovak Deputy Prime Minister expects that mobile operators and car manufacturers will participate in the project. "We would like to make a cross-border project on the D2 motorway between Bratislava and Brno, test the available facilities and, in cooperation with mobile operators, to examine problematic transitions from one network to another", added Mr. Pellegrini.
Representatives of the Czech Ministry of Transport will, together with Slovak counterparts, form a joint project within the research team, which will, among other things, address the issue of project financing and the timing of its implementation. The Ministry of Transport will also manage a project for a test circuit for autonomous vehicles, which should emerge in the coming years.

12 May 2017

EU invests €22.1 million to support sustainable, efficient transport and energy infrastructure

European transport still depends on oil for 94% of its energy needs. That is why the EU is investing in seven projects to speed up the deployment of alternative energy sources, with a special focus on electrification and multimodal transport.'

3 May 2017

Sharing gets you further

The 2017 European Mobility Week (16-22 September 2017) is held under the theme of clean, shared and intelligent mobility, as encapsulated by the slogan 'Sharing gets you further'. By using shared forms of transport we can reduce our expenses and lower our carbon footprint. Best of all, we can meet new people and make our journey more sociable.
Smart technology, such as apps and online platforms are already helping to make mobility more efficient, saving us money and helping the environment. New applications have made it easier than ever before to manage our mobility together. Studies show that embracing shared mobility can have a positive impact on our towns and cities: each shared car, for example, takes approximately 15 private cars off the road.Sharing also enables us to mix transport types more easily. Driving, cycling, public transport - it's all possible when we share.
​In 2017, EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK invites local politicians and the public to experience the benefits of shared mobility. Cities, NGOs, business sector and schools can get involved in European Mobility Week and register their mobility actions, test new forms of clean mobility and progress towards more sustainable mobility for Europe. For the time being only 14 cities are participating but the number is expected to increase a lot, considering that in 2016 2.427 towns and cities have participated in the campaign.
For more information: click here.

Passengers’ rights in multimodal transport

The EU has adopted a set of legislation ensuring that passengers have rights when they travel by plane, train, ship and bus. However, when different modes of transport are used one after the other to complete one journey, passengers' rights are not guaranteed for their entire multimodal journey. This is due to the fact that current EU passenger rights legislations, which regulate each mode separately, cannot be applied effectively in the context of multimodal passenger transport. Therefore, when different modes of transport are used, passenger rights may not be guaranteed when transferring from one mode to another since no legislation applies in this case.
This is the reason that European Commission wants to better protect passengers in the EU when using multimodal transport. To this context a public consultation has been announced in order to seek the opinion of the general public about problems passengers face when combining different modes of transport, about the available options and the likely impact of each option.
The consultation period lasts till 25th of May 2017 and contributions may be submitted in any official language of the EU.
​For more information: click here.

Funding for the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan of the Municipality of Heraklion

The Municipality of Heraklion is funded by the Green Fund for the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. The Municipality submitted a detailed proposal for the development of a modern plan for sustainable urban mobility. The proposal was positively assessed and the funding amount was up to 155,000 Euros, the second largest amount given to a city of Greece, after Athens.
On Friday 24th March 2017, the deputy Mayor of Technical Services, Mr. Yannis Anastasakis, signed the funding agreement for the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan of the Municipality. The Plan aims to promote changes in the behavior of the daily commuting of people and goods by promoting walking, cycling and public transport, as key components of urban mobility.
​In the long run, active ways of mobility such as walking, cycling and public transport, which prove to be beneficial for all ages and the environment, will be enforced. The emphasis given to the organisation of the daily traffic routes, for example the bicycle paths and pavements’ design, promotes a healthier life for all social groups, as well as a safer urban environment.
For more information: click here.