Connecting peripheral areas across borders with our pilot projects
Imagine following the footprints of a fabled giant when riding the Elster Valley Railway through picturesque landscapes from Saxony in Germany to Cheb in the Czech Republic. Think about calling an on-demand bus in a remote village in the Trieste region of Italy that will pick you up exactly when and where you need it. Or if you happen to be in the suburban area surrounding the city of Graz in Austria you might be surprised to find that you can switch easily from one means of transport to another, managing the “last mile” entirely without your own car. Our EU-funded Interreg project “Peripheral Access” makes it all possible.
We've made good progress since our project started in 2017: In the area of Vogtland the authority for local public transport (ZVV) implemented a cross-border marketing campaign to make the Elster Valley railway line more attractive. Large floor graphics represent the footprints of a giant named Voglar. Via an App he leads customers through the region with fun facts or augmented reality games while they wait for the next train.
In July 2019, Venice International University and public transport operator in Trieste launched the ‘Smart-Bus’. With this on-demand transport service, inhabitants of the Karst plateau can order a bus to travel between the periphery and the city-centre, no longer depending on the fixed timetable of regular busses. Moreover, our partners are considering ways to extend the service to Slovenian villages, so a cross-border perspective could be added in the future.
Finally, last November, the municipality Hart bei Graz received a multimodal “tim” node with the help of the Regional Management of the Metropolitan Area of Styria (RMZSR). The node connects public transport, park & ride carparks, car sharing, on-demand taxis and bicycle stands offering residents a real alternative to using their own car. But that’s not all: the Regional Management is planning to install more of these multimodal nodes allowing more local people to travel more sustainably!
The whole project team is very pleased that “Peripheral Access” now helps mak rural and suburban areas better connected through innovative mobility solutions.