MOTIVATE app; an integrated crowdsourcing – game initiative towards transforming travellers into active agents of change of the new low carbon era
Focusing on citizens’ involvement in the development of SUMPs, the MOTIVATE app tries to capture citizens’ and visitors’ mobility habits & needs (crowdsourcing initiative) while triggering their interest via the provision of rewards. MOTIVATE interactive learning environment (awareness raising game on sustainable mobility) is an integral part of MOTIVATE app which accompanies the whole initiative connected to travellers’ real behaviour shift towards sustainable modes of transport.
The MOTIVATE app is a cloud based tool consisting of 4 functionalities:
A. Trip Diaries: the service aims to collect information regarding daily trips
B. Evaluation of existing transport measures: the users are asked to rate the performance of the existing mobility measures and transport services
C. Preference on future transport interventions: the service aims to collect information from the end users, regarding their perceptions in specific mobility interventions by rating their importance.
D. Game: a game is provided to the end users aiming to make them more familiar to sustainability and attract them to the app.
Test beds of MOTIVATE app were Ioannina & Rhodes (GR), Almada (PT), Siena (IT), Larnaca (CY) (period from 2018-2019). Having identifying the opportunities from the testing phase of MOTIVATE app, the developer of the app, HIT/CERTH being in parallel the technical consultant of Thessaloniki’s SUMP further tested its effectiveness in Thessaloniki (GR, Region of Central Macedonia).
- Municipalities and PuT operators own resources for provision of rewards in order to initiate triggering of interest
- ROP funds for campaigns at targeted events
Evidence of success
MOTIVATE app use was transferred to Thessaloniki for one month; over 100 users supported this participatory planning, providing insights for their needs while indicating their support in using sustainable mobility options given the implementation of necessary interventions as reported in the evaluation functionality. 50% of the trips submitted are currently made by car, therefore correlating it with the stated willingness to shift, the contribution in lowering emissions seems very encouraging.
Each adopter city should get used to the notion of Sustainable Mobility participatory planning and get familiarized with marketing and crowd sourcing techniques for citizens’ engagement. Another tip for increasing users feedback is embedding MOTIVATE functionalities into existing popular apps.
Potential for learning or transfer
The transferring exercise of MOTIVATE app in Thessaloniki verified the opportunities arising through crowd-sourcing initiatives exploitation; an ICT tool enabling citizens’ participation in mobility planning accompanied with a well-structured promotional strategy (campaigns, gaming, rewarding system) for attracting users can bring new era in planning. ICT based tools could relief from expensive and time-consuming surveys giving similarly reliable results. Regular updates of the platform and additional personalized tips and rewards should be provided for keeping users’ interest. The main lesson learnt was that whenever there is integration between the crowdsourcing tools and already existing Apps, the number of users is vastly superior compared with a standalone tool due to the already existing habit of users. It was also proved that dedicated small target groups should be reached at regular meetings (even per week, to train citizens on how to use the app (digital skills)).
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