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Mobility Measure

Creating alternative mobility options for owners of old cars

The measure was designed to demonstrate that personal mobility management, together with integrated transport services, can remove older, polluting cars from the roads.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Because of high vehicle taxation in Denmark, the average age of cars is higher than in the rest of Europe. These older cars pollute more and use more energy than newer models. The oldest cars are often owned by lower income families or are used as a second car by wealthier ones. They are, therefore, typically underused, often on a seasonal basis with a low annual mileage. In optimal circumstances, where mobility alternatives exist, these car owners/users might be persuaded to choose different mobility habits.

In order to ensure stakeholder ownership of the measure, Hertz Car Sharing, Odense Taxa and Odense Taxi were involved as strategic partners. Aalborg University was also involved to ensure that monitoring met scientific requirements.

To carry out the measure, a marketing plan and campaign strategy was developed in cooperation with a PR agency to attract families. Some 160 families joined the campaign and all of them were offered alternative transport possibilities to the car. The campaign package presented to families contained:

  • free travel on local city buses for one month;
  • membership of Odense’s car-sharing club;
  • access to taxis paid in arrears on a monthly basis without interest;
  • a 25 percent rebate on the purchase of a bicycle for own use; and
  • a journal to register daily trips.

How did the measure progress?

The first stage of implementation, between February and March 2006, was a marketing campaign to attract target families. Large posters were put up in the city, and television coverage, press releases and Internet marketing were also used. As a result, 160 families joined the campaign between March and September 2006, many of whom were attracted by the coverage on local television. The families were given the campaign packages, the main message of which was that alternative travel options exist in the city and are there to be tried. Data collected by the families were evaluated at the end of the campaign in December 2006.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

A total of 6,602 trips covering 145,275 km were registered in May and June 2006, while 6,628 trips covering 150,705 km were registered in September and October.

The key findings were that:

  • implementation was successful but on a smaller scale than planned;
  • the reduction in car use among participants was not as dramatic as expected, possibly because changes in travel habits take a longer time to achieve;
  • local television coverage was a very important way of spreading publicity for the campaign; and
  • private companies are often willing to give discounts as a way of marketing.