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Developing Park and Ride and school bus services

Tallinn

An ever increasing number of private car use significantly slow down public transport in Tallinn. As part of the city’s efforts to tackle this problem, a P&R and a School bus services are developed in Tallinn.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The measure was aimed at analysing and promoting the Park and Ride (P&R) and School Bus services.  The studies carried out in the scope of the measure concentrated on the usage and problems of the current systems and analysing the possibilities for improvement.  The results of  both studies were used for the promotion of the P&R and School Bus systems (in separate campaigns) and were also designed for use in future transportation planning.  Both systems were promoted by advertisements in newspapers and on the internet, TV interviews and campaigns in public places.  No physical development on either system was planned in the scope of the measure.

The main objectives of the measure were to:

  • foster intermodal travel on daily trips from home to work or school;
  • promote public transport usage and sustainable mobility habits;
  • reduce private car usage in the city centre; and
  • reduce the demand for parking in the inner city.

 

How did the measure progress?

The measure was implemented in the following stages:

  • Study on existing P&R network by TUT (2010) – a study was carried out on usage, problems and impacts of the existing P&R network
  • Study on existing School Bus network and demand by TUT and TTD (2011-2012) – a study was carried out on usage, problems and impacts of the existing School Bus network.  It revealed that improvements to the services were necessary;
  • First dissemination activities of P&R and School Bus services (2011) – the dissemination consisted of advertisements in daily and weekly national newspapers and interviews on several TV-stations
  • Second dissemination of P&R and School Bus services (2012) – the dissemination consisted of posters, bulletins, calendar and web banners for School Bus and posters, traffic signs and web banner for P&R.
  • Study on P&R usage by TUT and TTD (2012) – a study was carried out on usage of the P&R car parks (repeating the 2010 study) and a survey among car drivers parking in the City Centre.

The studies carried out in the scope of the measure concentrated on the usage and problems of the current systems and analysing possibilities for improvement.  Apart from traditional studying methods an e-School system was used for getting feedback on the School Bus service from parents of students with the help of a Survey Monkey survey.  The results of both studies were used for the promotion of the P&R and School Bus systems (in separate campaigns) and were also designed for use in future transportation planning.  Both systems were promoted with advertisements in newspapers and on the internet, TV interviews and campaigns in public places.  No physical development on either system was planned in the scope of the measure. 

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The average use of P&R car parks was increased from 14,5% to 23,6% between the before- and after counts.  This means a considerable 62,5% increase in usage, but this cannot be accounted to the P&R promotion only. Also, capacity of one of the two Tondi P&R car parks has been reached and although the other car park is just across the street it is not as comfortable to use for the users of trams.  The reduction on streets capacity (for car traffic) in the City Centre with large scale widening of PT priority lanes has probably been the largest other influencer. Some PT lines were stated to have improved accuracy during peak hours with introduction of the new PT priority lanes, so this may have contributed to the increase of the P&R system usage.  However, this was probably not the case for the Tondi P&R, since it was mainly serviced by tram lines and the PT lanes did not affect the tram lines from this direction.

The three studies carried out in the scope of the measure had interesting findings that should be taken into account in future planning of the service.

• The P&R car park system was not created according to recommendations from a preliminary study, but based on minimal effort for creating the system.The two used car parks showed there was existing demand for P&R services and 79% of the P&R system users were female; 

• Financial benefit for P&R users is dependent upon whether the car user has to pay for parking in the City Centre or not (for example if parking costs are covered by the employer).  

• In 2010 there was no information available (besides P&R traffic signs) on the P&R system at the car parks;

• There had been no systematic marketing of the system;

The results from the study (including survey among parents) on the School Bus were as follows:

• 80% of the parents who were driving their children to school would use (sum of answers certainly and probably) the School Bus system if it was developed according to their needs; • 65% of car users in the School Bus study would not use the existing P&R system for various reasons.  

Recommendations for measure replication: • The measure is replicable - The measure activities in the form of studies and promotion are easily replicable by other cities. • Dissemination is important - It is important to present and disseminate provided services and to encourage people to use them. • Services have to be improved also besides promotion - It is also important to improve the services after reaching the maximum number of users.  Otherwise service assessment by the current and potential users could decrease.  Therefore there must be strong political will and resources for development. Recommendation for the measure process: • Good relations to the measure partners are important - Close co-operation with the measure partners can avoid delays in the implementation of the measure. • Before-data is important - Evaluation of the measure can be more effective if more detailed data and analysis are available from the situation prior to the implementation of the measure.  

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