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Mobility Measure

VMS with real time information on available parking
Park and Ride parking guidance system

Donostia-San Sebastian wanted to see more commuters who do not have access to good public transport connections from their home to make use of the park and ride service. To this end, the city implemented a real-time parking guidance system that informs drivers who enter the city about park and ride sites and the occupancy rate of inner-city underground parking areas.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The use of parking facilities can be seen as an indicator of the amount of cars that move through a city.  The search for an available parking space is an additional factor of traffic generation, particularly at times of peak demand when finding an available space is difficult.

Taking into account the increasing traffic levels in Donostia-San Sebastian and more particularly the demand for parking, it was clear that the mobility generated by drivers searching for parking also needed to be controlled in the framework of a sustainable urban mobility policy. The main objectives of the measure were to:

  • Increase public transport use among commuters who not have adequate access to the public transport network where they live.
  • Reduce the number of cars entering the city centre.

How did the measure progress?

Within this measure, the City of Donostia-San Sebastián implemented an integrated parking guidance system to help drivers in their search for parking spaces. The guidance is provided through Variable Message Signs (VMS), which provide information about the location and occupancy rates of both inner-city underground parking facilities and Park & Ride (P&R) facilities. The goal was to reduce on-street parking and more particularly increase the use of Park & Ride facilities, to which drivers are preferably directed.

A more efficient use of the existing Park & Ride facilities contributes to an increase in Public Transport usage and to a decrease of car use along the CIVITAS corridors in the city of Donostia - San Sebastián.

Two types of panels were installed depending on the type of information to be provided at different locations:

  • Variable message signs (VMS), installed at entrance points to the city and at key strategic points on main routes. On these panels, the city’s parking status information is shown, either individually or grouped by zones.
  • Parking availability information signposting, installed along the main routes used by drivers when searching for parking spaces. On these panels information is displayed about the available places in each parking facility plus an arrow indicating its location.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The majority of the population assessed the measure as positive after its implementation (78% of the population) and believed that the measure helps to improve the parking situation in Donostia-San Sebastian (62% of the population).

Parking management measures, such as the P&R guidance system, in combination with other measures aiming at promoting sustainable modes of transport, resulted in significant impacts on the transport system of Donostia-San Sebastián. In a context of a steady increase in car travel, a modal shift towards sustainable modes of transport such as public transport and bicycle was achieved, resulting in a reduction in car use of 0.1 percent as compared with the situation before the CIVITAS project started. If compared to the BaU situation, the modal shift away from car achieved a 0.4 percent in 2011. Consequently, a reduction in traffic levels was also been experienced. The number of cars entering to the CIVITAS corridor were reduced in more than 7,500 cars per day as compared to the before situation.

Basic Information

August 2013

Thematic Areas