Richard Florida

Friday 20 October 2017

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Free transport in Aubagne: why it works

Transportation | 1 comment

par Elsa Sidawy | 07.28.10


Innov’ in the City It has been over a year that free transport has been implemented in Aubagne: what is the rate of modal transfer from the road to public transport?

André Sinet Unfortunately we did not have numerical data on that issue. The city is surrounded by motorways and located near Marseilles so people still are into the habit of using their cars. The only observation that has been made, which remains rather subjective for there are no figures, is that there are fewer cars on parking areas.


What was the point in having free transport if it was not meant to reduce the number of cars in town?

The official purpose during the 2008 municipal campaign, within the context of the decrease of purchasing power, was rather social. It was a political will to come up with a strong alternative to cars and offer the greater number the opportunity to get about.

How does transport on demand work in Aubagne?

There are 10 transport on demand (TOD) sectors for people living out of town. Users can order a minibus that will stop at a meeting point near their place, occasionally or at set times daily. This experiment is successful and has a positive impact today for transport on demand has replaced regular buses that often used to run empty.

The mayor Daniel Fontaine was expecting last year, when operation was launched, a 58% increase in the number of passengers over two years. Have you reached your aims in terms of number of users?

Some lines have experienced a 75% increase; others have experienced stagnation but there has been no decrease. It turns out that the increase affected mostly small trips. People would not take the bus for a few hundred metres but, with free transport, they now do.

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[...] to the late 1990s. Templin, Germany was one. In France, there was the city of Châteauroux and Aubagne and some surrounding municipalities. Ridership in all of those places increased substantially when [...]

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