EU project CHUMS (Changing Habits for Urban Mobility Solutions) finishes successfully

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The EU funded CHUMS (Changing Habits for Urban Mobility Solutions) project that Liftshare has been working on for the last two years comes to an end this month.

The project’s aim was to attract more people to car share, and then match and retain them once in the habit. The approach saw cities across Europe implement a structured methodology to test and see how successful it was.

Five implementation cities worked with the measures: Toulouse in France, Edinburgh in the UK, Leuven in Belgium, Perugia in Italy, and Craiova in Romania, along with industry experts, including Liftshare staff. All found success with the programme, and have seen levels of car sharing rise – with great social, financial and environmental benefits.

Toulouse implemented measures at two business parks in the area with targeted marketing aimed at those working on the sites. Tisséo-SMTC, the local Public Transport Authority, has had a sharing scheme in place since 2008, but the CHUMS project really helped boost levels of sustainable travel.

Perugia in Italy has a high car ownership rate, and authorities are keen to lower car usage in the city centre. Their trials focused on staff and students at the University of Perugia, and employees for the Municipality of Perugia. Both saw sharing levels increase.

In Belgium, car usage accounts for 65% of all trips made, with Belgian roads amongst the most congested in the continent. The city of Leuven already promoted shared trips to residents, but wanted to boost the activity further by trialling the CHUMS project. Working with Taxistop, a local carpooling software provider, businesses in the area were targeted to help encourage them to build up their CSR and decrease their single occupancy vehicle usage.

The Regional Transport Partnership, SEStran (South East Scotland Transport Partnership), represented and implemented measures in Edinburgh as part of the project. Tying in with National Liftshare Week, Edinburgh saw over a 40% increase in those joining their schemes – a real hike in numbers!

Craiova, Romania’s sixth largest city, also already had a car sharing scheme in place but needed to focus more on promotion to recruit more people willing to share. Through incentivisation, Craiova surveyed residents and gained insight on their travel plans and habits. This along with thorough marketing campaigns to raise awareness are still ongoing, but indications of progress thus far look positive; and more people than ever in the city are informed on their travel options.

Despite CHUMS ending as a project, its guidance and advice remains available for other ‘follower’ cities to follow, and Syracuse, Sicily will be doing so, as well as organisations in Hungary and the UK. Watch this space for updates on new towns and cities following our advice!

Author Lex Barber

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