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Travel Companion enhancements and RIDE-sharing services syncronised to RAIL and Public Transport

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RIDE2RAIL (Travel Companion enhancements and RIDE-sharing services syncronised to RAIL and Public Transport)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-05-31

Globalisation, mobile and sharing economic trends increased the need for mobility. Urban sprawl and dispersed land-use patterns strengthened individual mobility behaviours, particularly in rural/low-demand areas, consolidating the car dominant role. Car occupancy rate for commuting trips in EU is about 1.1 people per vehicle, with impacts on congestion, energy consumption, environment.
Mobility policies must deal with attentive urban planning, promoting sustainable modes. The co-modality approach showed to be effective. Ride Sharing, emerged as an effective practice thanks to mobile technologies, should be encouraged as a tool for reducing the overall distance travelled by private vehicles and a high-capacity transport feeder. A set of barriers (poor awareness of services, lack of trust and willingness to ride with strangers, low flexibility in scheduling) limit the Ride Sharing market uptake.
Ride Sharing is based on regular pre-arranged trips allowing drivers and passengers to find potential sharers. They often include community-based trust mechanisms and links to social media. Real-time Ride Sharing technologies are emerging. Technology was piloted in several cities, but demand for instant Ride Sharing is still relatively limited (no critical mass). RIDE2RAIL vision is to exploit intelligent mobility approaches making Ride Sharing a feeder for mass transport services in low density/rural areas, deviating current demand from individual to collective mobility, improving transport accessibility.
The integration between the Ride Sharing practice and the public transport delivers a crowd-based mobility network and is achieved by the RIDE2RAIL framework for intelligent mobility that integrates and harmonizes real-time and diverse information about public transport and Ride Sharing facilitating the comparison and the choice between multiple options/services classified by a set of criteria, improving the individual travel experience.
RIDE2RAIL addresses the current challenges of identifying criteria for multimodal travel planning addressing the existing barriers in Ride Sharing practice, developing travel scenarios and testing related business cases.
Another objective of RIDE2RAIL is to design, develop and test in real demonstrators a set of software components for the IP4 ecosystem, combining flexible and regular multimodal mobility with an easy personalization in diverse environments, facilitating the market uptake. The demo sites are: Padua, Brno, Athens, Helsinki.
In M1-18, the EU27+UK ride sharing diffusion was analyzed (including legal framework in different Countries). Travelers’ preferences, priorities, choice criteria needs were understood through conversational surveys allowing to “cluster” travelers. Requirements and specifications for complementary travel expert services were produced. Demo planning started. KPIs were defined and will be revised during the project lifetime. Work was done on the first steps of all the software components/functionalities to be developed: Offer Categorizer/Matcher/Ranker, Incentive Provider, Agreement Ledger, Crowd Based TSP and Driver Companion. Constant interaction with CFM partners took place, to align the project developments to the IP4 ecosystem expectations. RIDE2RAIL produced a “IP4 glossary” jointly with IP4MaaS project. The document is kept updated and regularly exchanged with CFM.
RIDE2RAIL set up the work procedures, defined project management plan, quality assurance/risk assessment methodology, developed data management plan and Ethics Requirements.
A visual identity/templates, a logo and official website have been created. RIDE2RAIL social media accounts allow to interact with broad audiences, defined in the dissemination & communication strategy. The 1st stakeholders’ workshop was organized, presenting the project to more than 100 participants and discussing door-2-door solutions. RIDE2RAIL was presented in several events and through articles and papers. A leaflet was produced and translated.
RIDE2RAIL will increase the number of public transport passengers, improve rail connection with rural areas, minimize environmental pollution, propose additional criteria for decision making when planning a trip. It impacts on complementary projects COHESIVE, CONNECTIVE, MaaSIVE, addressing the topic S2R-CFM-IP4-01-2018. The relevant expected impact of this topic is the integration of urban sprawl boosted by transport digitalization opportunities. This is relevant for the implementation of user-centric co-modal services integrating public transport, shared mobility, micro-mobility, private and on-demand.
RIDE2RAIL contributes to S2R Strategic MasterPlan and to MAAP. contributing to innovation capability #2 MaaS and #11 Environmental/Social Sustainability. The focus on the rural/peri-urban areas integration enhances RIDE2RAIL impacts.
The approach towards integrating knowledge/strengthening innovation is two-featured:
1. Combining knowledge from multiple/different types of actors.
2. Multi-site approach to validation and enhancement opportunities (different environments, user diversity)
RIDE2RAIL plans to go beyond the expected impacts exploring the role that the proposed solutions could have in key innovations implementation.
Different WPs progressed beyond the state of the art. WP2 developed: (i) conceptualization of offer categories/user preferences/incentives representing the reference terminology for Ride2Rail and contributing to a IP4 projects glossary; (ii) definition of catalogues of instances of offer categories and incentives supporting the classification of travel offers and their promotion to users; (iii) travelers’ preferences model defining the dimensions to collect user contextual preferences, enabling filtering/ranking offers; (iv) identified mobility patterns and contextual/socio-demographic data analysis from European travelers through a survey, potentially usable for defining enhanced profiles in the Trave; Companion; (v) characterization of ride-sharing travelers/providers, analyzing existing systems operating worldwide, EU shared-mobility research projects, papers/reports, and ride-sharing companies/services; (vi) identification of motivations/constraints for ride-sharing adoption combined with public transport; (vii) descriptive/bivariate statistics exploring the relationships between these motivations and constraints/users’ characteristics; (viii) binary logic models to explore likelihood of using ride-sharing with public transport; (ix) requirements identification and provision of high-level design of an innovative ride-sharing system facilitating passengers-drivers interaction, allowing the creation of a people-powered TSP.
In WP3, novel quantitative metrics were developed to characterize multimodal trips along 11 different categories, a unique proposal of multi-dimensional evaluation for multimodal trips. A recommender system-based trip ranking mechanism was developed, using machine learning to learn users’ preferences from their travel history. The Agreement Ledger, a state-of-the-art distribute ledger, provides additional features (Ricardian contracts) on the blockchain.
WP4 activities performed in RP1 paved the way to demonstrations execution, constituting a unprecedented case of integration of advanced ride-share travel booking and planning functionalities in existing local TSPs.
WP5 started the work on impact assessment, KPI definition and usability of the tools.