Mobility boutiques / agencies

A mobility “boutique” or mobility agency is a single-window portal and a communication tool with citizens for the promotion of a sustainable mobility. This spot combines several mobility services with the aim of acting on mobility behaviour.  A mobility agency has to be considered larger than a conventional commercial agency, where only tickets are sold and generally no mobility advice is proposed to visitors, but only commercial information.

The creation of a mobility boutique is intended to:

  • Inform and provide advice about existing solutions of public transport in order to develop their use;
  • Integrate this information service with other mobility services (carpooling, car-sharing, transport on demand, bicycle rental, etc.) in order to propose a panel of alternative solutions to private cars;
  • Promote mobility services at the individual level and collective level (in relation with a commuter plan, for instance);
  • Provide commercial information and sell tickets.

The services of a mobility agency in general include four types of activities:

  • the creation of general awareness about sustainable mobility and public transport;
  • the provision of mobility advice and multimodal information;
  • the offer of alternative mobility services (i.e. bicycle rental, car-sharing, carpooling);
  • The development of personal travel plans.

A mobility agency addresses two categories of targets:

  • Individual users with regular mobility needs, to encourage and help them in evolving their modal habits;
  • Employers, as generators of trips, in order to encourage them to implement measures aimed at developing the use of alternatives to individual cars for their employees, as well as commenting on trips, their clients and visitors’ trips.

A mobility boutique is often made up of two parts, one physical (the agency) and one virtual (a website), closely linked and with complementary objectives.

The physical agency needs to be placed at a well-frequented location (such as an interchange) to inform and advise its visitors on all aspects of mobility and transport. The agency should be reachable by telephone and email. The agency should be opened quite early in the morning and close relatively late depending on the working hours of users. This kind of structure could be quite flexible and does not need to be opened all day, or with reduced staff at certain times of the day. The timeline should be determined based on the implementation of the agency and the related rate of visits.

Mobility advisers play a crucial role in the proper functioning of the mobility shop. They should be trained and well-equipped (updated timelines, multimodal calculator, real-time information, communication support material, etc.) so that they can provide users with accurate travel information. They should also be well aware of the various mobility services so that they can promote and potentially guide users and companies/government offices towards those alternatives.

A website is an important tool for providing advice. This is because users, companies and citizens are more and more likely to search for information related to mobility via the Internet. The website should guide visitors towards alternative modes, i.e. carpooling, car-sharing, cycling and public transport.


NODES strategic objectiveContribution
Enhance accessibility and integration ++
Enhance intermodality ++
Enhance liveability ++
Increase safety and security conditions 0
Increase economic viability and costs efficiency 0
Stimulate local economy 0
Increase environmental efficiency ++
Increase energy efficiency 0

Good practice

–          Maison de la mobilité de Labège, Toulouse, France http://www.civitas.eu/content/setting-mobility-agency-and-customised-services

(FR) http://www.tisseo.fr/se-deplacer/ecomobilite

–          Agence Ecomobilité, Chambéry France (FR) http://www.agence-ecomobilite.fr/

–          Oficina de Movilidad, Oviedo, Spain (ES)  http://www.movilidadoviedo.es

–          Badenmobil, Baden, Switzerland (DE) http://www.badenmobil.ch/

–          Mobil Zentral, Graz, Austria (DE) http://www.mobilzentral.at/

–          DB travel centre and S-Bahn info centre Gesundbrunnen (Berlin) (DE) http://www.berlinonline.de/nachrichten/wedding/gesundbrunnen-erhlt-db-reisezentrum-und-s-bahn-kundenzentrum-62883

–          Porto Mobility Shop Asprela http://www.civitas.eu/content/mobility-shop

 


Potential interchange performance improvement

A single mobility window portal, (including multimodal information, mobility advice, commercial selling point, etc.) located at an interchange can attract new users to public transport and alternatives to using individual cars. In the case of Porto where a Mobility Shop was a set up in the frame of the CIVITAS Initiative, the following results were observed:

  • Increased satisfaction with the public transport service;
  • Better understanding of innovative mobility services and mobility information needs;
  • Increased demand of public transport

Resources

The timing of implementation of such a mobility boutique is related to several factors that may take time to establish:

  • Agreement between several local mobility entities and stakeholders to create such an agency under a common “umbrella” (single-window portal);
  • Find the relevant location for implementation;
  • Existence of a reliable multimodal information tool (including public transport, coaches, train, mobility services, cycling, walking, etc.);
  • Creation of dedicated communication support material;
  • Staff training and appointment of Mobility advisers for more efficient mobility advice.

This time may be estimated at between 6 months and 18 months.

The cost for using the tool may include:

  • Local rental;
  • Local equipment (furniture / computers / multimodal calculator);
  • Human resources (Mobility Advisers – depending on the size of the Mobility boutique, there may be between 3 and 20 staff);
  • Communication support material (logo / leaflet for promoting mobility services / giveaways, etc.);

The Mobility agency may also generate revenue:

  • Commercial activity: ticketing selling
  • Mobility services activity: bicycle or car-sharing rental