TRL, the UK's Transport Research Laboratory, is is one of a number of European research institutes involved in a 30 month project just underway looking at innovative designs for efficient urban transport interchanges.
The City-HUB project commenced on 1 September 2012, co-financed by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Cooperation Work Programme, with the aim to contribute to the design and operation of seamless, smart, clean and safe intermodal public transport systems. It brings together experts of design and urban integration, transport operation and business, local and regional authorities and end-users organisations. Also, it will investigate how these interchanges should be designed in order to ensure that vulnerable target groups, such as the elderly, youth, physically and mentally handicapped people can adequately benefit from these interchanges.
The first organised event, the kick-off meeting of City-HUB took place in Madrid on 27 to 28 September with technical presentations given by the relevant partners. The project officer, Ms. Natascia Lai, presented the European Commission's expectations and context, within which City-HUB will focus in the next thirty months. The kick-off meeting was a great opportunity to bring together the project partners and stakeholders, establishing a sense of common goals and defining the efforts needed to achieve them. The meeting ended with a technical visit to Moncloa interchange hosted by Mr. Javier Aldecoa, technical manager of Madrid Interchanges. Urban transport interchanges play a key role in public transport networks, facilitating the links between public transportation modes. Time saving, urban integration, better use of waiting time and improvement of operational business models are some of the benefits claimed from the development of efficient urban interchanges. However, although urban transport interchanges are crucial for the improvement of accessibility, there are still problems, gaps or bottlenecks, which are mainly indicated in the coordination among different modes and the use of information systems and management models.
City-HUB's objectives are:
to test and validate the City-HUB model for the improvement of integrated management approaches to intermodality, monitoring and operations across European countries,
to achieve efficient urban interchanges, reducing their carbon footprint, maximizing the value of new technologies for mobility, communications and virtual travel, reducing accidents and encouraging healthier lifestyles,
to achieve the widespread implementation of integrated mobility policies for all - providing more opportunities for citizens to access jobs, healthcare, education and training, retail opportunities as well as leisure facilities,
to achieve widespread acceptance of public transport planning that meets social, environmental and mobility efficiency criteria in the most economical and effective way and
to make a full contribution to the development of intermodality standards, minimum requirements, quality management, benchmark examples and public transport service level in Europe.
The consortium consists of top European research bodies, the Technical University of Madrid - Transport Research Centre (UPM/TRANSyT), acting as project coordinator, the Institute for Transport Sciences - Non profit Ltd. (KTI), the Institute of Transport Economics (TOI), the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) - Institute of Transport, Panteia/NEA, the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), the Institut français des sciences et technologies des transports, aménagement et réseau (IFSTTAR) and the Transport Research Centre of Czech Republic (CDV).