In addition to addressing all the above questions, some workshops went beyond the focus of the thematic and initiated discussions about integrated solutions of peoples’ mobility and identification of how some decision makers think and which ideas do they support. The most radical standpoints were to eliminate use of vehicles entirely or at least eliminate the private person ownership of cars entirely. Mobility as a service, means of transportation and infrastructure should be in their opinion owned by private or state companies as a part of a public transport service. People owning cars should be considered as selfish, stated Kurt Vella St John form Transport Malta, who’s “aim is to make owning a private vehicle obsolete”. Slowly, however, systematically the number of parking places should be eliminated and car lanes dedicated to micro-mobility vehicles and walking, beside using trains and busses. There was no discussion about trams or trolleybuses. No one of the group advocating this standpoint gave any information on how would this change influence the multibillion automotive industry and world economy or what is the real opinion of the people about owning vehicles, including cars. The counter position to people deciding rationally according to their life style, wants and needs to cope with everyday activities was, by the opinion of Bronwen Thornton, CEO Walk 21, that people make decisions upon their emotions and choose the most convenient option of transport, which is in most cases a car. Could this be understood that therefor people need to be told what is the right thing to do and what mode of transport is the most appropriate for them? Taking Henry Ford’s statement about people thinking they need horses as a mean of transport, this is exactly what we may understand. What is wrong by not having any private space exclusively for yourself anymore? Asked Bronwen Thornton, who considers implementation of micro-mobility as a revolution.
On the other side they are participants who consider that micro-mobility should be implemented as a complementary mobility option in a way corresponding to the needs and readiness of a certain society with optionally custom-made solutions needed to be considered on all levels of implementation. There is much to be considered. When reducing an option of mobility, the capacities of another option or options of transport modes need to be accordingly increased. The policymakers and service providers should aim to increase the comfort for the user and optimize costs. Convenience, flexibility, travel times and safety need to be considered according to seasonal shifts, i.e. weather conditions, demographic changes and population density.
As a next step, the attendees are expecting from the organisers, the elaboration of policy suggestions upon the results of the event’s workshops and discussions. These policy measures proposed will be amended by the attendees of the yesterday’s event and then proposed to the relevant political stakeholders, policy makers and decision-makers in Brussels. Attendees were asked to consider digitalisation of services when proposing mobility service solutions.
The next conference on micro-mobility organised by European Commission will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, next year.
For more information about the content of the event “Micro-mobility: the next big thing?” open the link: https://www.avp-rs.si/en/micro-mobility-the-next-big-thing/