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Thinking Cities
By Thinking Cities October 20, 2017 11:57

OK COMMUTER

Positive Drive is a gamified tracking and tracing campaign to uncover the mobility behaviour of employees in the Luxembourgish Cloche d’Or business area. Dr Martin Kracheel and Patrick van Egmond elucidate

Imagine a busy business area in Luxembourg city, lots of cross-border commuters and huge traffic problems. Every big company in the area tries to tackle this problem, yet only focus on their own employees, problems using its own resources. Now envision that all these companies decided to work together to solve their joint mobility issues at hand. This is what our Positive Drive campaign is about! But let’s rewind for a second…

Almost 60 per cent of the country’s workforce commutes daily between Luxembourg and the neighboring regions in Belgium, France and Germany. This equates to around 181,000 cross-border commuters on average per day. Only 7 per cent of that daily cross-border commuting is done by public transport (i.e. bus and train) and as a result, large congestion is occurring on the main highways, especially during peak hours. Commuters spend on average 33.1 hours in congestion per year, putting Luxembourg 134th in the list of the 1000 most congested cities in the world[1]. Besides increased frustration among the cross-border commuters and deteriorating air quality, this leads to an estimated 1.5-3 per cent GDP loss annually, which in economic terms is in the region of US$1.7 billion.

In order to solve these mobility changes the government put in place the ambitious infrastructure and mobility strategy called MODU2020. This strategy includes four strategic objectives:

  • Improve the coordination between territorial development and the mobility options on offer;
  • Reduce the share of motorized transport on short distance trips by promoting cycling and walking, including the improvement of related infrastructure;
  • Improve the public transport infrastructure and services for the longer trips, of which many are cross-border;
  • Promote alternative usage of the car, such as carpooling and car sharing.[2]

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT

As a result the public transport infrastructure of Luxembourg City is currently being reorganized. The main change consists of the introduction of a tram, which in the first phase connects the central station with the Kirchberg, the busiest business district. In a second phase the central station will be connected with the Cloche d’Or area, a growing business district in the south of the capital. An important city bicycle network with, currently, 600km of bike paths has already been rolled out and will be further expanded to a total network length of about 900km, which is considerable for a country with an area of only 2,586.4 km2.

 

The South of Luxembourg is considered as one of the most active regions in terms of economy and population. Most of Luxembourg’s near 600,000 residents live in this part of the country and the biggest employers have their headquarters in the south. Luxembourg city and Esch-sur-Alzette are the two largest cities in this area and designated as the territories of economic attractiveness and demographic growth. The demographic outlook predicts that by 2050 Luxembourg will have 1 million residents an increase in economic activity, and consequently further increase in traffic and transport demand.

More and more companies recognize that the Luxembourg government cannot solve the present deteriorating mobility situation on its own. It is clear that in order to avoid a near future mobility deadlock with heavily congested highways they have to also assume some of the responsibility. It is with this in mind that a group of major companies in the Cloche d’Or business area in Luxembourg decided to join forces and work together to tackle local mobility problems.

It is therefore that LuxMobility, IMS (Inspiring More Sustainability) and seven large employers in the Cloche d’Or area joined forces to uncover synergies in the mobility behaviour of their 7800 employees in the district and to develop together improved mobility concepts for the area.

The companies understood that in order to be able to propose a new mobility solution they needed to get an insight on the actual mobility behaviour of their employees, taking a holistic approach. LuxMobility proposed that they go beyond the traditional stated mobility preference questionnaire and use for this purpose a gamified tracking and tracing campaign to uncover the true mobility behaviour of their employees. The tracking and tracing application Positive Drive[3], developed within the European Research project TRACE[4] of which LuxMobility is one of the partners, was used for this purpose.

HUMAN FACTORS

Positive Drive can be used for different types of campaigns. Positive Drive is a smartphone app that rewards good mobility behaviour. No matter if you want to reward increased use of cycling walking, respecting of speed limits, avoidance of certain routes, the app together with a dedicated campaign steers the participants into the right direction. The Luxembourgish campaign is used to track actual behaviour with the aim to better plan the future transport offers, including the construction of the new tramline and its surrounding mobility connectors.

During the month of May 2017 all trips of the participating employees will be automatically registered. No matter if the employee walks, cycles, uses public transport or travels by car, with the Positive Drive support we are able to register all routes, identify the mode of transport used and reward the users for their participation.

Next to the tracked and traced routes, the local institutional partners like the public transport authority, national train operator and the ministry of transport, are asked to provide more information on the present transport offer, road works, traffic incidents, roadworks and relevant information on the urban context of the Cloche d’Or area. This will show external influences on our results. We will compare further the traditionally executed traffic studies of the Cloche d’Or area with our data in order to understand the added value of real-time tracking. We share the results and explain how these translate in a better mobility plan for the area.

The Positive Drive App records GPS data that is enriched with a timestamp and unique user-ID. Algorithms are utilized to “Map-match” and to determine modality and give the user feedback about:

  • Calculated distance
  • Calculated statistical information (CO2 reduction, calories burned, money saved, etc.)
  • The rewards earned ((s)miles, money, levels, etc.). This is calculated per modality, per gamezone and for the overall statistics. Besides their personal statistics, users are able to compare themselves to other users.

This is specific for the modality and the gamezone. Users have access to their personal statistics and can compare themselves to other users who accepted their friend request.

Before we collect data the users are asked to express their consent. Rules, conditions of participation and other relevant information is accessible in the application and on the support website. Besides that, Positive Drive asks for authorization to use GPS and for the approval to send push notifications.

Positive Drive offers four methods of registration: Via email, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. All these methods are secured using https and require an API-Key to reach the login screen.

The application provides a gamification layer, which allows us to provide incentives to users. Rewards in Positive Drive are based on a geographical location, called gamezone. Within the gamezone a campaign can be created. A campaign consists of multiple elements and involves local stakeholders and sponsors.

Using Positive Drive we collect dense mobility data of a local area that is heavily impacted by cross-border commutes and are able to better plan mobility on the true mobility behaviour of the employees.

Positive Drive uses game elements like levels, badges and points to provide users with feedback on their mobility behaviour. However, via the application and together with local sponsors, we also provide concrete incentives, like free lunches, biking accessories (lights etc.) and a main prize, which is an electric bicycle. In our Positive Drive campaign, we worked with the big local employers as multipliers for the recruitment of participants. This has the advantage that users have a more direct contact and relation to our campaign. However, for the purpose of collecting more dense and more comprehensive data, we aim to organize a Positive Drive campaign for the wider public un the near future.

FYI
Patrick van Egmond is CEO of Luxmobility

p.v.egmond@luxmobility.eu

Martin Kracheel is a consultant at Luxmobility

m.kracheel@luxmobility.eu

luxmobility.eu

[1] INRIX 2015

[2] http://www.h2020-trace.eu/

[3] http://www.positivedriveapp.com/en/.

[4] http://h2020-trace.eu/.

Thinking Cities
By Thinking Cities October 20, 2017 11:57