Promoting Sustainable Solutions in European Regions with Seasonal Variations of Transport Demand

Promoting Sustainable Solutions in European Regions with Seasonal Variations of Transport Demand


Y Tyrinopoulos, CERTH/HIT, GR; E Mitsakis, CERTH/HIT, GR; K Robertson, VTI, SE


A brief description and the initial results of the FP7 project DELTA are presented in this paper. DELTA is aiming to define and promote sustainable solutions in European regions with high seasonal variations of transport demand.


In regions suffering from an intense seasonality of transport demand, ?intelligent? mobility systems and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) able to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the local transport system are key solutions to the growing problems of transport infrastructure congestion, environmental pollution, increased travel times, low quality services for the travellers-visitors, etc. With the sharply increasing number of vehicles on the road connections in these regions and the ever decreasing possibilities for creating enough new resources to cater to seasonal demand, road traffic threatens to come to a grinding halt. Other available transport means will have to play a greater role, while the use of intelligent mobility schemes and the creation of synergies between transport modes will contribute to avoiding the chaos that looms ahead in these regions in the peak periods. To cope with the extra traffic prompted by economic growth, the different modes need to combine their services to create a sustainable and efficient transport system.

The stakeholders of transport society (operators, decision makers, users etc.) in order to move towards a solid development of transport systems need a good assessment of best practices, common guidelines for new intelligent mobility schemes implementation and ?smart? emerging ideas for transport systems adaptation. In addition, there is a need when considering design, management and quick adaptation of ?local? transport systems to think at ?regional? level and when planning an intervention at regional transport systems to focus on connectivity and robustness of ?national and international? passenger transport systems.

Currently, additional transport demand in areas affected by seasonality, such as tourist or other areas that comprise poles of seasonal attraction, is served by the use of different means of transport (buses, taxis, tour operators etc.), which are not designed or organized in such a way that optimizes resources allocation and maximizes transport modes synergies for better serving the varying demand for transport. Multimodal interfaces linking the various means serving these areas do not exist, passenger trips are organized on the basis of empirical estimations and there is ad-hoc handling of the seasonal demand. Furthermore, information and, in general, systems and approaches that could facilitate passenger trips both inside the poles of attraction and between those areas and rural environments, as well as encourage the combination of the different transport modes, do not exist.

DELTA, an FP7 coordination action, addresses the problems and needs associated with passenger transport systems that are faced with high and steep seasonal demand. The focus of the project is on regional transport systems rather than on national or international scales. The project will define and validate intelligent mobility tools and practices guidelines, as well as policy guidelines addressing the optimum management of seasonal demand for transport areas with proven relevant problems. The end result will take the form of a Decision Support Instrument (DSI) to help the local transport or other agencies to apply techniques and strategies that minimize the unnecessary passenger trips, create efficient multimodal interfaces and synergies between the local transport means and maximize the use of their resources.

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the objectives, methodology and innovative approaches of the project DELTA, as well as to present the results of the project developed to date. Among them will be a Knowledge Base with regions with seasonal varying demand profiles. This Knowledge Base will take the form of a database, where all the data collected based on a structured data collection mechanism are consolidated. The Knowledge Base will contain information collected from local, national and European databases, including:

? Socioeconomic data
? Transport data
? Local traffic data
? Transport systems data
? Events and Tourism data
? Other seasonal information
? Mobility Management Strategies
? Infrastructure policies
? Strategies for interfacing and interconnecting various transport modes.

The paper will conclude with a discussion of the recommended solutions needed to address the seasonal variations of transport demand in the concerned areas.


Association for European Transport