INTERCONNECT, an 3,5 M€ EUSBSR flagship project starting in 2017 and ending 2020, addresses the challenge of curbing the car-reliant mobility trend in the South Baltic (SB) area through user-adjusted and more sustainable public transport services for regional and cross-border travels. The current public transport offer hardly meets customer expectations for easiness and attractivity of regional and cross-border journeys, with scarce range of integrated ticket options for multimodal rides, difficult access to one-spot passenger information and no clear benefits for users when choosing the public transport over car. To enhance car-independent mobility in the SB area the partnership consisting of 9 formal and 10 associated partners from 6 countries will carry out joint capacity-building, pilot demonstration and advocacy actions. These will tackle the three dimensions of public transport in serving the regional and cross-border travels – the demand, the supply and the governance. Through three thematic work packages on: (1) evidence, knowledge and experience; (2) steering tools and business models; and (3) future governance and institutionalisation, the project will deliver innovative multi-stakeholder planning approaches for sustainable public transport of the future and invest in new and more efficient services for no-car travellers both in and between the partner areas. As the user-adjusted and more sustainable public transport services for regional and cross-border travels have a large but untapped potential to stimulate socio-economic growth in the SB area, the project will initiate cross-sectoral dialogue and work out an optimum multi-level governance framework for cooperation on public transport across the borders. Through involving a broad range of stakeholders in designing and testing the planning and management solutions that will be compatible in the cross-border context and replicable elsewhere, the project increases the policy and community attention for public transport role in serving mobility needs in the SB area.
The BTH SustainTrans research group will contribute to and lead several activities with the main focus on application and further development of a multi-stakeholder process model for planning toward sustainability. The platform for this will be previous work by Robèrt et al. (2016) and the current PhD studies in the same research area by Lisa Wälitalo.
Read more about the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and the INTERCONNECT project.