Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - INCOMMUNE (Incentivizing Collaborative Mobility by means of Multimodal Sharing Services)

InCoMMune aims to acquire an understanding of the transport needs in relation to the complex activity-travel (trip-chaining) patterns observed in modern societies. The main goal of the project is to identify the main determinants for mode choice in a daily context and use this information to develop travel behavior models able to quantify the impact of transport services in the whole trip chain. These models will facilitate the design and (long-term) assessment of different service layouts and policies, which aim at optimizing the use of collective transport modes. The main argument is that one of the reasons for commuting by car is the need for efficient and flexible solutions for the whole trip chain, and in particular for the work-related activities during the day.
The goal of the project is to acquire insight into the mobility needs and activity-travel patterns of the users in order to provide solutions offering the flexibility and comfort of privately owned cars. We investigate the potentials of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in closing of the loop between organization of sharing systems and users’ activity-travel choices. The idea is to create a mobility ecosystem within a ‘social’ network such as the university staff and students, characterized by high correlations in activity and mobility patterns, hence facilitating the take up of sharing and demand-responsive services.
Hence, the focus of the InCoMMune project is on both activity-travel behavior research and on sharing mobility service performance and integration. The latter consists of a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution which offers information about multimodal service availability and which collects information about the users to match sharing opportunities, and a set of real services aimed at complementing traditional public transport systems especially in those trips within the activity chain of the users, where the car is the dominant solution.

One of the main contributions of the project is to study the university relocation from Luxembourg City to the new campus located 25km southwest of the country. This brings the opportunity to collect data on the mobility dynamics that were currently being observed even before the relocation started. Different corporate transport services for work-related activities are being tested to facilitate the modal shift toward public transport for the commuting travels.
InCoMMune is a Marie-Curie funded project that acts as umbrella, and allowed the smooth progress through additional resources of other research projects.

The main highlights of the project are:
1. Activity-travel patterns and mobility analysis. The PhD project STABLE was fully dedicated to this task. Extensive data collection and analysis was performed. In particular 2 travel surveys have been run at involving the whole university staff, and 2 multi-day diaries have been collected from a selected sample of staff members relocated in 2015, one before and one after the relocation. In addition, the PhD project IDEAS developed analytical models which include activity scheduling and duration to estimate the daily travel demand, and that can be used to assess the impact of new modes of transport.
2. Information & feedback mechanisms for adaptive collaborative services. The PhD project PLAYMOBeL contributed to this task by developing automatic data collection and machine learning tools to identify location and duration of activities. Moreover, a Platform-as-a-Service called Go2Uni was developed to provide a unique point of information for the services offered during the pilot tests. Moreover, a tool for estimating and predicting activity location and duration was developed. This allows to profile users via an index for collaborative services. As the PhD project started later (April 2015) further developments beyond the scope of InCoMMune are expected. Moreover, after the successful pilot phase, some services have been retained and became standard mobility services for the university.
3. Pilots. Since pilots started earlier, and they were extended to a period of 2 years thanks to the support of the rectorate. This allowed to collect much more extensive data that has been used and will still be used for scientific research in both travel behavior and mobility services analysis.
4. Dissemination. A substantial number of dissemination and outreach activities is associated to InCoMMune. In particular, to date, the project contributed to the publication of 2 PhD theses, 7 journal publications, 13 conference papers and 2 MSc theses and more have been submitted and will likely be published later.

The main findings can be summarized as follows:
1. Forecasting models are limited in capturing the dynamics occurring with important life events such as workplace relocation. A classical multinomial logit model has been adopted to predict mode shifts after relocating the university to the new campus.
2. A relation can be found between commuters’ stated satisfaction (a proxy for remembered utility) and the Logsum function of the commuting utility (Decision Utility). In addition, determinants of commuting satisfaction have been related to residential factors, which is very important especially in contexts involving cross-border workers. Within this analysis, a first comparison between traditional discrete choice models and structural equation modeling has been performed.
3. There is a correlation between the complexity of activity-travel patterns and mode choice, in particular car use. The innovation of the work is the use of a technique that has never been used for travel behavior analysis before (PLS-SEM), which has been proven to be more robust than the more traditional Covariance-based SEM.
4. GIS-based techniques such as the Standard Deviational Ellipses have been shown to quantify the impact of workplace relocation on the spatial redistribution of daily activities of people, since workplace is one of the two anchor points around which individuals identify the locations where to perform their activities.
5. Studies on the impact of workplace relocation on travel behavior have been found to be substantial but still not providing a full insight into the complexity of the effects of this life event on people habits. A review has been prepared and is ready to be submitted to the European Transport Research Reviews.

InCoMMune offered also the opportunity for the PI to deal with the specificities of the Luxembourgish transport & mobility issues. The research carried on within InCoMMune is well framed in a sustainable development initiative of the university, and of the national Ministries of Transport and Economy. The PI has obtained an important guiding role for the setting up and managing the collective services, and for advising policy makers on future initiatives in the area of Smart Mobility. Pilots carried on in the project significantly expanded to meet both research objectives and university practical needs, and has led to the creation of a startup and new collaborations with key national stakeholders (ministries, companies), and in that, the project outcomes perfectly meet the mission of a Marie-Curie Career Integration Grant in providing the PI solid foundations for enduring research and collaboration within and beyond the university walls.

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Life Sciences
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