Mobility Management



What are the Most Important Terms and Definitions?

The meaning and the usage of terms are not always the same in literature and in the public debate. Hence, it is always important to clarify the meanings of the terms in the beginning. In this case the following definitions are used:
  • Mobility means the behavioural aspects of the user of the transport system: mode choice, route choice, choice of the point of time of a trip, choice of trip destinations.

  • Transport system contains infrastructural and organisational aspects of transport: rail, road, waterway, air transport

  • Location means the place where activities take place: housing, work, production, leisure, consumption, etc.

  • Accessibility is the key indicator which combines transport system, locations and mobility patterns mostly expressed by accessible opportunities (inhabitants, workplaces, regional domestic product) within a certain time. There are various options to define and calculate accessibility. Normally, the purpose of research determines the accessibility indicator selected. Therefore, it is crucial to look at the definition of accessibility and the calculation schemes used.
Further Readings & Links

What are System Dynamics?

The interaction between mobility, transport system and regional structures can be illustrated in a very simple model:

The interaction between mobility, transport system and regional structures (Source: ACKERMANN et al. 2006).

The transport system changes the accessibility of locations. Some locations get more attractive than others. This causes short term impacts on mobility behaviour and long term impacts on spatial patterns.

An example for a short term impacts: a person switches from a daily trip on foot to the next small retail shop to a weekly trip by car to a shopping centre.

An example for a long term impact: a person emigrates to the suburbs after the extension of the road network.

South Tyrol, Italy: The Reopening of the Vinschger Railway Service

The Vinschger railway line in Vinschgau, South Tyrol, had long been written off until it was brought back to life in 2005 after lying dormant for ten years. And all the indications are that the old railway line, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, is set to be a modern success story. The picture was quite different in 1989. Ferrovie dello Stato, the Italian state railways, had drawn up closure plans. For another two years the steam locomotive ran every Sunday along the spectacular 60 km alpine route from Mals to Meran. Yet between the vineyards and apple orchards of the Vinschgau all the emphasis was on cars, and only tourists bought tickets for train so in 1991 the railway line was shut down. It was only in 1999, after the Italian state railway had handed over the network to the province of South Tyrol, that the astonishing relaunch began.

The Vinschgauer railway line has been brought back to life (Source: CIPRA).
More Passengers Than Expected
Although the old route is a masterpiece of engineering, after its long period of closure it proved necessary to completely overhaul the 61 bridges, two tunnels and 54 railway crossings, and also install new safety systems. But the railway line built in 1906 is not just a piece of vintage railway nostalgia; it has to be profitable, too. One year after it was reopened the Vinschger railway line already had 100,000 passengers a month, more than the initiators had expected. And what’s more the journey time between Mals and Bozen is now almost as short as it is by car – but without the stress and the traffic jams.
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