Growing car numbers pose a serious threat to the ecological and social quality of our urban environment. The moses project »mobility services for urban sustainability« was supposed to help combating these threats by contributing to urban sustainability strategies through the introduction of flexible Car-Sharing schemes.
"Car-Sharing" schemes, or "Car Share Clubs" as they are known in the UK, are the central element of moses. These modern services offer an alternative to the private car in the form of special Car-Sharing fleet vehicles available to members.
Car-Sharing reduces the number of vehicles on urban roads and improves the quality of public space – making a major contribution to the "City of Tomorrow".
Cities and towns throughout Europe are seeking for sustainable solutions to the growing environmental and societal problems to which they are confronted.While the resolution of these problems is normally carried out at the local level, the European Union can act in a more global way and support the development of tools and solutions that have the potential to be applied to various local situations.
Moses aimed at developing further and extending the concept of Car-Sharing to all Europe, including the EU candidate countries. A special emphasis was put on the integration of Car-Sharing into urban planning and development.
This project had an objective to define a set of technical and non technical (e.g. financial, regulatory) incentives to foster the diffusion of Car-Sharing. Such incentives should have been applicable to the geographical, socio-economic and cultural conditions encountered in the different regions of Europe. A substantial effort should have been put on the development of new technologies improving the overall quality of Car-Sharing services. Research has also addressed issues related to the assessment of the needs of existing and potential Car-Sharing users or of the impact of Car-Sharing on the quality of life in the urban environment.
By offering a way to limit the need for using motorised forms of transport (while maintaining the same economic and social standards as of today!) and reducing urban pollution and congestion, the moses project has contributed to achieve the main goals of the EC research programme on environment: helping to safeguard and to improve the quality of life of European citizens.
That wat the project tried to develop innovative mobility services based on Car-Sharing experience, demonstrate and optimise their integration into urban development and within intermodal chains and exploit integrated Car-Sharing to target a sizeable market breakthrough at a European scale. The overall objective is to increase the efficiency and attractiveness of the city. A main common element is Car-Sharing as an alternative to the private car - fulfilling political targets for sustainable development without restricting individual mobility.
Firstly state of the art and user needs analysis was conducted. It was followed by the design and building of demonstrators which were later transferred and implemented at project test locations that included Bremen, Bucharest, Genoa, the London Boroughs of Southwark and Sutton, Palermo, Turin, Stockholm, the Walloon Region of Belgium and, as supporting partner, the UITP, Brussels. Afterwards the integration into urban planning took place, followed by monitoring and assessment and verification of hypotheses / recommendations. Finally the project was disseminated by various means.
There were numerous features related to car-sharing examined at different project test sites - they included e.g. booking via mobile phone, open end booking and instant access, integration with public transport, integration into urban development, car-sharing and electrical vehicles, collective taxi, on-demand shuttle service, waterborne transport and many others. There was no single universal recipe for the introduction of car-sharing found which would be suitable for every urban transport situation but there were extensive general recommendations formulated that are to be explored at the project website.
Even though the general view of car-sharing is often positive, the knowledge and awareness of car-sharing is in general low among politicians in the countries mentioned. Hoewver a growing interest can be seen. To be able to change legislation and promote car-sharing, the awareness among politicians must increase. In most countries a large diffusion can be seen between cities/municipalities and the local awareness of car-sharing can be quite high in some places.