Project purpose and Description


In a world with increasing pressure on urban space and climate, there is a clear need for new and effective mobility solutions such as shared mobility. Adoption rates of shared mobility are rising, but not yet at a level that they change the way, people move around in cities. Therefore, the reduction in the pressure on the transport network and public space is still limited. Findings show that these new means of transport are not being unlocked in the right manner for mode transfer.

Novel mobility hubs in the outskirts of the city, neighbourhoods or city centres could be a robust solution for this challenge while providing other interesting side services. This project aims to develop and validate effective and economically viable mobility hub solutions by doing pilots in 6 cities and provide answers to three important questions: Where, how and what size should the hubs be? What business models are the best to make the hubs scale? And what procurement methods are the most suited?


Objectives and Outcomes


Mobility hubs offer an integrated product-service solution to the urban scarcity of space by physically and geographically clustering new shared modes and existing (public) transport services or parking solutions. Mobility is strategically located in urban areas in places where transport demand benefits from the supply of transport alternatives to the use of individually owned cars or motorcycles by aggregating several shared modes, plus existing public transport, in the same cluster to improve the level of service from a multimodal perspective. The typical modes are normal/electric bikes, -scooters and mopeds, electric cars, and microcars which can contribute to decreasing space needs and emissions in urban areas. Clustering provides easier access to the sharable modes and shows the customer a broader perspective, potentially influencing their choice of modality. If one mode is missing, an alternative should be found in the same smart hub.

Nevertheless, the concept has not been properly tested yet. Previous projects and research show its potential, but proper planning tools and piloting are in great need. The project SmartHubs is bridging this gap by putting together a unique consortium of cities, companies, and universities that have been working on shared mobility for increasing transport sustainability. The project is complementary to EIT projects SOUL and UMOS, which are respectively focused on developing a theoretical DSS tool and the digital integration of mobility access/standardisation. Smarthubs has the engagement of 6 sites in Europe for the operational delivery of mobility hubs. In the project, cities provide different contexts and hub needs allowing for the design of proper blueprints for smart hubs which are not just case-specific. Universities are unifying knowledge and converting it into a decision-support planning tool for cities for positioning and capacitating the hubs. Companies aim to develop a business of the hubs together with the cities of the consortium.