Interactive Development of Sustainable Alternatives to the Car: the VLITS and MITKA Projects
A M van den Broeke, I R Wilmink and W Korver, TNO Inro, NL
In view of increasing congestion on motorways local and regional administrators are looking for alternatives for the car. TNO Inro assisted them in the development of sustainable alternatives for the car, inspired by the good infrastructure for bicycle traffic in The Netherlands. Both surveys made use ofthe interactive possibilities of the Internet. The VLITS-project concerns a new transport system for fast, safe and comfortable bicycle travel between Helmond, Eindhoven, Nuenen and Mierlo in the Netherlands. VLITS stands for "Vernieuwend Licht Individueel Transport Systeem" ("Innovative Light Individual Transport System"). Its design resembles a motorway, but it is a bicycle path with two times two lanes, of approximately 13 kilometres, satisfying the needs of travellers, whatever they may be: a smooth surface, wide lanes, windscreens, emergency phones with a bicycle pump, a drive-inn-snackbar for cyclists, bicycles with power assistance, et cetera. Whether the project can be successful depends on more than just the technical improvements of the path. The vehicles used on the route and the acceptance of the concept by the users also play a role. These aspects are jointly investigated in this project. The analysis of the opinions of potential users may support conclusions with respect to the attractiveness of different alternatives and the overall feasibility of the project. A user requirements survey was carried out over the Internet, asking for the preferences of potential users regarding infrastructure, vehicle and service concepts on the VLITS route and the conditions under which users will actually use the route. The survey also resulted in data with which an estimation of the potential number of users was made.
Within the framework of the MITKA Mobility Project (Mobility Concept for Individual Transport for Short Distances) a new vehicle for distances up to 20 kilometers was developed. To survey the opinionof potential users regarding the first design of the new vehicle, an Internet survey among employees of the European Headquarter of Nike was held. Using an interactive questionnaire on the Internet, employees were asked for their current modes of transport, to comment on vehicles they tested, to interactively assemble their own ideal MITKA and the conditions under which they would use the MITKA.
Association for European Transport