|GP: Responsive transport service for increasing social cohesion in urban/rural areas MASCARA - Italy|
THEMES OF COOPERATION: Accessibility, Mobility and Transport
DURATION: January 2005 - June 2007
TOTAL BUDGET: 1 315 700 EUR - ERDF CONTRIBUTION: 801 825 EUR
TOPIC FOR COOPERATION: Other appropriate subjects
PARTNERSHIP: Cork City Council, Roads and Transportation Directorate (Southern and Eastern, IE); Tuusula Municipality (Etelä-Suomi, FI); Gent University (Vlaams Gewest, BE); SITA (Toscana, IT); Angus Transport Forum (Scotland, UK); Porto University (Norte, PT); Gyor Szechenyi Istvan University, Department of Transport (Kozep-Magyarorszag, HU)
LEAD PARTNER INSTITUTION: Cork City Council Roads and Transportation Directorate:
Traffic Division, Cork City Council, City Hall, Cork, Ireland
CONTACT PERSON: Patrick Casey
TELEPHONE: +353 214924452; +353 214924452
FAX: +353 214924782
Despite improvements in public transport in recent decades, not everyone can get around as easily as they would like. People with mobility problems and people who want to travel outside rush hour often find that there is no service that meets their needs.
Demand-responsive transport (DRT) services can provide a solution to this. They provide various forms of intermediate services which lie somewhere between taxis and conventional buses. They usually operate with small size buses on flexible routes and schedules, letting those who use the service decide its route.
The MASCARA project partnership is investigating the potential of DRT services and considering how they can be integrated into regional transport strategies. It aims to build on the technological, operational and organisational experience gained so far by implementing and testing DRT service models in different regions, assessing their viability and identifying best practice for making the most of this kind of transport across Europe.
Through meetings – at which partners can exchange experience and give training – the MASCARA sites will produce two DRT feasibility studies in Ireland and Hungary and three pilot trials of new DRT technologies or service applications in Scotland, Finland and Italy. These will be comprehensively evaluated and the conclusions will be widely disseminated to promote siteappropriate DRT deployment across Europe.
Towards this end, the MASCARA consortium is developing a website to be used by public authorities and DRT service operators. It is also producing guidelines for the deployment, operation and management of DRT services in Europe and organising a DRT workshop for policymakers, local authorities, public transit companies, citizens’ associations and local organisations.
Its long-term impact will be to improve the integration of DRT services into Europe’s transport chain and improve access to transport for disadvantaged groups such as the elderly and disabled. And by publicising the lessons learned from the operation, for example through project brochures and the website, MASCARA will ensure that they reach as many European regions as possible.