LIMIT4WeDA: innovative mobility in weak demand areas

22 August 2013  •  Author(s): Francesco Filippi, Director, and Andrea Campagna, Research Fellow, Centre for Transport and Logistics, University La Sapienza Rome

European public and goods transport systems are essential to Europe’s prosperity. However, an estimated 10-20% of European citizens still encounter barriers and limited accessibility to public transport. Such barriers hinder employment, social and leisure activities, and full participation in society, and therefore place predominance on private car-based mobility. Yet the demand for accessible transport will rise with the rapid growth in the number and proportion of older citizens (aged 60 or more). An ageing society will place more emphasis on the provision of transport services that offer a high level of accessibility, perceived security and reliability, and appropriate solutions for users with reduced mobility or low financial capacity. Accessibility is a common issue in the so-called ‘weak demand areas’ (WDAs) – specific territories where demand for public transport services is low. These areas are generally characterised by low population density, scattered housing, and a wide variety of users.

Conventional transport systems can be inefficient in terms of costs and lead to the predominance of private car-based use, posing environmental problems and indirectly involving equity and inclusion problems to citizens.

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