The INTERCONNECT project has made it possible to create a paper authored by Sven Borén and Henrik Ny, togeter with Juliette Tenart @ Bax & Company in Barcelona, and Marco Mazouzi @ HIE-RO in Rostock about a open access and web-based catalogue of solutions for regional and cross-border public transport in the south Baltic region. The abstract of that paper has been accepted for presentation at the International Conference on Smart Transportation and Future Mobility in Madrid the 19th to 21st of October.
The current public transport (PT) offers in the South Baltic region seldom meets customer expectations for easiness and attractivity of cross-border/regional journeys. These offers rarely include integrated tickets for multimodal rides. They give limited access to passenger information, and lack clarity on whether travelers should choose PT over car transport. To address that, six regions with borders to the south Baltic sea developed the INTERCONNECT project, which got funded by the INTERREG South Baltic program with a flagship status in 2017. The project partners agreed to include a holistic perspective on sustainability, so the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) was used as a general approach. Informed by that, this paper had the objective to propose a tool containing a comprehensive and on-line open-access catalogue of solutions for sustainable cross-border/regional PT services that could inspire and guide planning and decision-making.
The results described in this paper where informed by studies in INTERCONNECT about screening of policy and user response to PT services, seminars on sustainable paths for PT, investigation of market needs for cross-border/regional PT services, and analysis of suburban & rural connectivity patterns for PT. Additionally, three seminars arranged by researchers in this paper on sustainable paths for PT generated lists of solutions that could bring each region towards more sustainable cross-border/regional PT. A solutions catalogue tool was then developed through several workshops and discussions among the authors and other experts in the field of studies. The solutions in the catalogue were assessed by the authors to find strengths and weaknesses against literature findings, practical experiences and the FSSD’s eight sustainability principles (SPs). The catalogue was complemented with factsheets that further described the solutions and showed examples of applications. The design and proposed content of the on-line catalogue of solutions for cross-border/regional PT were then scrutinized in a workshop with project partners and invited experts, followed by a final review of the proposed content among project partners and external experts in the field of cross-border/regional PT.
The on-line catalogue of solutions contains about 30 solutions for cross-border/regional PT structured in eight categories. Violations of SPs, recommendations for sustainability improvements, and conditions and limitations were also described for each solution.
Despite the inclusion of limited number of stakeholders from the South Baltic area, the authors expect the results to sufficiently cover possible solutions for strategic sustainable development of cross-border/regional PT. This is based on previous experiences and literature studies. Further feasibility studies for certain areas with an in-depth cost perspective could probably provide a further developed assessment. The authors of this paper also believe that the results of this paper can be easily accessed, reused and inspire further development of sustainable cross-border/regional PT in other regions with similar infrastructure and financial means.