European Cities to Continue Developing Innovative Mobility Hub Pilot Project During 2022

European Cities to Continue Developing Innovative Mobility Hub Pilot Project During 2022

A consortium of European partners joined forces last year with seven cities (Lisbon, Setúbal, Sant Cugat, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Helmond, and Eindhoven) to improve their accessibility and space efficiency. At the beginning of 2021, they launched a pilot project named SmartHubs, where they test and validate mobility hub solutions that bring sustainable transportation options together in their municipalities. In 2022, the consortium will keep working towards better connectivity across the various transportation modes thanks to this project co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

The smart mobility hubs are designated to strengthen and complement existing urban transportation networks and urban centres regarding inter-modal transportation nodes while activating their urban surroundings. By providing different transportation options at one location, users can easily switch between modes that best suit their mobility needs while contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions and the improvement of accessibility in areas that have limited access to public transport.

Different cities, different hubs

For our local hub, located in Sant Cugat del Vallès and inaugurated in July 2021, the goal was to promote intermodality between bicycles and trains in a strategic location of the city next to the Mira-sol station of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC). The hub is designed to create synergies that involve public transport while at the same time facilitating clean and healthy mobility with vehicles for personal mobility and urban distribution of goods using cargo-bikes. To ensure this, in 2021 the hub incorporated a Bicibox service installed by the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB). Moreover, the Sant Cugat Hub presents a very complete catalogue of services because it includes many additional services, such as a central market, a library, a pharmacy, etc.

In 2022, the partners based in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona will analyse the possibility of adding new services and establishing a network of hubs in order to improve the existing hub and its usage. There is a high number of FGC stations in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, providing a frequency of service in Sant Cugat at rush hour of 22 trains per hour and direction. This is an opportunity for analysing how the network of stations and the bike parking lots work in a networked manner and what additional services could enhance public transport and biking.

Pilot project’s results

One of the project’s main outputs from last year was an online decision-support (DSS) planning tool that will help cities, transport operators, shared mobility providers, and real-estate developers make better and faster decisions on the location, hub type, and mobility mix of mobility hubs. A start-up will be created to launch the DSS tool on the market.

The pilot project’s results will accelerate the implementation of mobility hubs in the partner cities in the coming years. SmartHubs’ ultimate goal is to validate effective hub concepts that are scalable to all cities in Europe, strengthening the European smart hub market.

SmartHubs is project financed by EIT Urban Mobility and has put together a unique consortium of cities, companies, and universities. The consortium consists of: the municipality of Sant Cugat Del Vallès, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, AMS Institute, Brainport Smart District, Capgemini, CARNET, city of Amsterdam, city of Eindhoven, EIT Urban Mobility, EMEL, Ferrocarrils Generalitat Catalunya (FGC), city of Helmond, Hely, Mobilne Miasto, Public Transport Authority in Warsaw (ZTM), SKODA AUTO, Instituto Superior Técnico Lisboa, Transportes Metropolitanos de Lisboa, TU Delft, Altran Technologies & Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC).

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