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New mobility as solution? New mobility as solution?

New mobility as solution?

UAO students caught in traffic jungle
CatalunyaCulturaEconomiaEuropaZPortada Izquierda 5 February, 2020 user2 0
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Fast growing populations in urban spaces, require a transportation grid that allows for quick, environmentally friendly and cheap transportation. The concept of new mobility proposes to solve the challenges, by responding to the just mentioned requirements. In the middle of the chaos and never-ending movement of the metropole Barcelona, the UAO students find themselves. Having to beat a huge hill, in order to come to University several times per week.

How to they overcome the challenges of the traffic, to find themselves sitting in the classroom on time?  Do they open themselves to the opportunities that the new mobility holds?

UAO students speak

We wanted to find out whether UAO students already jumped on the bandwagon of the new mobility-trend. For most of them, renting is not an option. We asked 15 students and the result is that 80% of them do not use the transportation alternatives. They would take their own car/motorcycle or bus to come to the University. And wouldn’t even think of renting a scooter or motorcycle because they either live far from the University or it would be too expensive for them to afford. Instead, the other 20% would use it depending on how much in a hurry they are to arrive to classes.

The Barcelonian Traffic Problem

The results could arouse the impression, that UAO students do not have the need for the new transportation trend. However, traffic wise Barcelona has a lot improvement to do. The Tom Tom annual report 2019 shows that the average car driver spends an extra time of 5 days and 8 hours per year stuck in rush hours.

infographic showing traffic situation in Barcelona. World rank and congestion level in yellow. The Extra time during rush hour in red. Appeared 2019

Not only the UAO student’s life quality is diminished by wasting time. Also the environment suffers of the bad transportation conditions in Barcelona. A report by the Ajuntament de Barcelona shows, that the pollution levels in Barcelona exceed those determined by the World Health Organization. Accordingly, Barcelona’s traffic is responsible for shocking 60% of the pollution.

New mobility – A solution?

In the conference paper of the Transport Research Arena 2014 conference, new mobility is described as a concept based on “sharing instead of owning”. Accordingly, transport users will not buy and own a car. Rather they’d have a contract with a mobility service provider.

The mobility services are supposed to fulfill the urban mobility needs mentioned in the beginning. Further the conference paper reveals, that the concept of the developing transportation solutions suggests that the users not only focus on one specific transport mode, but are flexible in their choice of transportation. Three well-known mobility services are bike-sharing, car-sharing and ride-sharing.

In Barcelona different providers such as Wind, YEGO, e-Cooltra, Ubeeqo and Bicing offer either one or several of the just mentioned mobility services.

So what now?

According to our results the UAO students would rent these services if it was comfortable enough for them to consider renting as an option. Because of the location of the University, they would rather assist to classes with their own means of transport. Maybe new mobility services are a need for Barcelona. Specially because of the environment. But the real question is: Which changes should the new mobility sector undergo in order to accommodate to the desires and needs of UAO students? 

Authors: Kim Krehl and Paolina Santinato.

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