Exchanging ideas was the aim of the 4th LAST MILE project meeting in the region of the Upper Sûre and the Our Nature Park. In this context, four good practices of flexible transport services in the region were presented during the meeting.
One of these is the “Rent-a-bike Ardennes”, a bike rental service during summer time in different places in the Upper Sûre Nature Park. The idea behind is to offer tourists the possibility to discover the region by bike instead of cars. A disadvantage in the region is the missing infrastructure; only a few cycle tracks exist in the region. The hilly landscape is an additional factor that bars tourists from biking in the region, therefore electric bikes are on offer. The service is much used in Wiltz, but in Esch-sur-Sûre the mentioned problems cause low numbers of bike rentals. During the presentation, the partners had many ideas how to improve this system and the rental statistics, which shows that the study visits are not a one-way offer but work as exchange activity.Visiting good practices in flexible mobility solutions for rural areas, like the example of the Rent-a-Bike Ardennes, is an integral part of the Interreg Europe Project LAST MILE. One year after the kick-off meeting of the project, 11 flexible transport solutions in four regions have been visited and evaluated. Additionally the synthesis of the analysis of the technical State-of-the-Art in the regions and the analysis concerning framework conditions and barriers are almost finalised. This forms the groundwork for the development of the action plans.The synthesis of the technical State-of-the-Art-analysis shows that local governments present positive willingness to develop sustainable mobility measures to cover the last mile in rural areas. Additionally technological advances and increasingly higher proportion of people using mobile devices makes it easier to implement modern and easy-to-use systems for improving public transport, and especially to develop flexible transport services. Opportunities concerning the implementation of flexible transport solutions are multiple. On the other side difficulties exist too; the geographical context makes the implementation of efficient public transportation systems difficult due to dispersion of settlement or low density of public transport networks. Car-based mobility of tourist dominates in whole regions which are on top also characterised by seasonality of tourism. In addition the analysis of the framework conditions and barriers shows that for the moment no or poor legal framework exists concerning flexible transport systems.One challenge in the regions is communication and awareness raising. Thus this topic was in focus in a workshop on the 3rd day of the study visit in Luxemburg. First of all two expert inputs took place: a presentation on awareness raising campaigns for mobility and an input about the idea “mobility as a service” and how Luxembourg will proceed on this topic. After these expert inputs, partners and stakeholders had the chance to exchange their ideas about how to communicate with and how to sensitize different target groups about the use of public transport and specifically of flexible transport systems.One year after the kick-off event in Vienna, many tasks have already been completed but still a lot of work needs to be done and exchange meetings like the one in Luxembourg and the next one in West Pomerania (PL) in October are needed to encourage partners in their work progress.