Working together to reduce car use in Gothenburg
The trial is being run by RISE, Poseidon, which is part of the Framtiden group, and the Traffic Administration Office of the City of Gothenburg. This service will help the residents of Mandolingatan to choose a carfree alternative when they shop for food and travel around the city. The trial forms part of the DenCity project, which is managed by CLOSER.
"One of our goals is to reduce car ownership and the proportion of journeys made by car. Gothenburg's public housing company Framtiden is seeing increased demand for housing, but not the same level of demand for parking spaces as in the past. Because of this and the fact that the city is reducing the number of parking spaces per resident, it seems the right time to offer a useful alternative,"says Anne Faxér from RISE, who manages the project behind the service.
"The service, which we have decided for the moment to call Mobility Broker, is a means of encouraging the residents of Mandolingatan to change their habits and also making sure that they feel this is the right approach to take. For example, it can be used by people who have their own cars. As a car owner, you may gradually start to feel that the service is working well until finally you realise that you don't need your car anymore," continues Anne Faxér.
"It isn't easy to give up something you're used to. The fact that the service is easily accessible may make a difference in bringing about a change. And if there is someone who can provide help and answer questions and is available as part of the service in Mandolingatan, it will be even easier to use. If people are going to reduce their car use and begin using a service offered via Mobility Broker, they first need to understand the benefits for them. The fact that it makes a difference to the city and the environment can also have a major influence on their decision to try it out for the first time," says Anne Faxér.
This is a service, but also a person. The service, which is currently provided by EC2B (link), includes the possibility for residents of Mandolingatan to use e-bikes, cargo bikes, cars and also the city´s public transport system.
"At the moment, EC2B has a presence in Mandolingatan. There is someone who residents can contact if they have questions or need help with something relating to the service or its content," explains Anne Faxér.
In the future, the service will be extended and, depending on the target group, Mobility Broker will be a person or an app or both. A range of other services may be added, for example post and parcel deliveries via postboxes and possibly more vehicles and sharing schemes. This is under ongoing development as part of the DenCity project.
Mandolingatan, where the service is currently being trialled, is not far from tram routes or food stores, but many of the residents still own cars, which means that there is significant potential for change.
"We do not want the people who live in Mandolingatan to feel that the service and the options are an artificial solution. The public transport system and the bikes are intended for everyday use. If the residents have questions about the service, it is important that it is easy for them to contact someone and get answers," continues Anne Faxér.
"A service like Mobility Broker helps us not only to work towards creating a more sustainable city, but also to establish a circular economy. It isn't necessary for everyone in an apartment building to own a car or a bike. They can share things. This may include more than mobility services in the future. Perhaps the option of borrowing tools or leisure equipment. Who knows?" concludes Anne Faxér.