The central objective of 'Regional Public Transport' is the achievement of noticeable improvements in the quality and efficiency of regional public transportation through the development and implementation of innovative forms of transportation outside of large conurbations (in rural areas and in small and medium-sized cities).
Low population densities outside of small and medium-sized cities and the difficulty of combining individual mobility needs in such regions precludes the establishment of a public transportation system with normal line operation. Innovative, need-based forms of operation which are oriented to actual demand need to be developed. The research programme comprises ten projects in differently structured regions spread throughout Germany.
The research projects are concerned with the development of new forms of transportation which are oriented to the real mobility needs of the population in rural areas. These projects contribute to the improvement of environmentally compatible mobility in thinly populated regions. The realisation of new potential through co-operation between public and private actors plays a central role in this initiative. The development of innovative transportation services should strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium sized transport enterprises in the world market and secure jobs. Furthermore, the introduction of new and attractive mobility services should stimulate higher demand for public transportation services and thereby help to increase the degree to which the costs for such services are covered.
The "PNV" initiative commenced with a public call for proposals in 2000.
Working groups were organised for the purpose of exchanging information and experiences, and representatives from all projects work together on some common tasks.
Within the framework of ten expert conferences over a period of four years, a lively exchange of information and experiences takes place.
The funding rules described here refer to the 'Mobility and Transport' sector programme, which defines the procedures for all related sub-programmes.
Funding is provided for research and development as well as demonstration projects which aim to promote sustainable mobility and contribute to creating an efficient and safe transport system.
The most important ongoing funding activities include the lead projects for improving mobility in conurbations, which develop and demonstrate systems solutions for transport in big cities.
Furthermore funding is provided for project networks to increase the efficiency of freight traffic, to reduce environmental stress caused by traffic, particularly road traffic, and to increase road safety. As mobility and transport take place in a constantly changing social environment, relevant activities will include the interdisciplinary study of the social aspects of individual mobility.
All commercial and non-commercial institutions and individuals are eligible for funding. Depending upon the subject, these include in particular institutions of higher education, non-university research establishments and similar institutions, business enterprises, territorial authorities and associations. In some cases, calls for proposals are addressed to specific groups of potential applicants. The focus is on projects which involve co-operation by several partners who, in an interdisciplinary approach and on the basis of shared responsibility, develop highly innovative solutions for the above-mentioned funding activities and/or try to demonstrate their suitability for practical application and which, by involving or co-operating with science, industry and the planning sector, aim to ensure utilisation of the research results on the broadest possible scale.
Dr Peter Jost
(Projektträger Mobilität und Verkehr, Bauen und Wohnen des BMBF; PT MVBW)