Tackling mobility inequality


Man met wandelstok

"Inclusiveness", "equal opportunities for all", we are (rightly) talking about it more and more. So is the case when it comes to mobility. For example, we talk about "inclusive mobility policy" or preventing "transport poverty". But what does this mean exactly? Mobility can provide people with opportunities, but when mobility is not properly regulated, some groups of people may have fewer opportunities than others to participate fully in social life.

Inclusive mobility policy 

Inclusive mobility policies ensure that different groups within society have equal opportunities to reach work, hospitals, educational institutions or shops. Think of groups such as the elderly, the disabled, people with lower incomes, students, etc. It should be possible for everyone to reach necessary destinations in a reasonable time frame, at a reasonable cost. It is only then that we can speak of an inclusive mobility policy. Which standards are taken as the starting point here is of course crucial for designing mobility policies, because how do we determine what is 'reasonable' for which group?

Tackling mobility inequality 

Goudappel has developed an approach that allows us to offer insight into mobility inequality for vulnerable groups and explore solutions to reduce this inequality. On this basis, we advise how mobility inequality can be prevented or reduced with appropriate mobility policies. To do this, we use the application Integrale Kijk op Bereikbaarheid (IKOB) developed by Hans Voerknecht, which we are jointly developing further, supported by CROW.

Our approach works like this:

  1. Analysis

    We use the IKOB-application to analyse transport inequality within a given area for one or more vulnerable groups. We do this using socio-economic characteristics of the area and the mobility preferences of the target group. By entering data from for example traffic models, into the application, we reach an analysis of the accessibility situation for the selected group(s). 

  2. Evaluate

    To assess the accessibility situation, we look at the following parameters: 

    Time: how long does it take one to reach a destination? 
    Effort: how much effort does one have to make to reach a destination?  
    Cost: how expensive is it to travel? 
    Space: how close are destinations in terms of employment, healthcare, education, etc. 

    We interpret quantitative results by comparing areas with each other and by comparing groups within a given area (benchmarking). We also take into account group characteristics when assessing accessibility. For example, for someone with a low income, the cost of transport weighs heavily, while for disabled people, the effort one has to make to reach a destination can be a decisive factor.

    In addition, assessing the accessibility situation naturally also depends on what level of inequality one finds acceptable. What standards do you apply as a policymaker? Here, it can help to learn from others. For example, we can show you which standards are used at home and abroad, so that you as a policymaker can better assess what is a reasonable accessibility situation.

  3. Review

    We translate the insights gained into concrete areas for improvement for which we provide solutions in the form of possible policy adjustments. We test the solutions using the IKOB application. What happens when we intervene in a particular area, for example by offering lower public transport fares, better connections or more destinations nearby? Does the situation of the selected group improve?

  4. Advice

    Based on the results of the review and our own knowledge and experience, we make concrete recommendations to reduce mobility inequality for the selected vulnerable group(s), by making adjustments in mobility policies.

Our approach in summary: 

  • We analyse the accessibility situation for one or more vulnerable groups; 
  • We assess the accessibility situation based on weighted parameters and help set appropriate standards; 
  • We propose concrete adjustments for improving mobility policies, which we have tested beforehand.

Why us?

  • Goudappel has all the relevant data to analyse the accessibility situation for a particular group. Among other things, we use data from OmniTRANS Spectrum and from traffic models such as OmniTRANS Horizon, or from local/regional models. You do not need to collect any data yourself. This allows us to quickly and cost-efficiently calculate and visualise the effects of turning policy knobs. 
  • We have expertise at all intersections of mobility. This allows us to come up with appropriate solutions based on our knowledge and experience. 
  • We also provide strong visualisations of the accessibility situation, allowing better quality conclusions to be drawn. An additional advantage is that these visualisations are easily understood by stakeholders, which ensures greater support. 
  • We are one of the first parties to work with the IKOB application. As a result, we are involved in its further development and ensure that the method fits in with our data sources and traffic models. 
  • Because of our experience with participation processes, we can involve the vulnerable group(s) themselves during the process. In this way, we arrive at policy solutions that are actually supported by the people affected. 
  • Internationally, we cooperate with the gender-aware mobility management agency Fair Spaces, based in Berlin. The emphasis at Fair Spaces is on projects focusing on social inclusiveness and environmental consideration.

Giving everyone equal opportunities and thus increasing the broad prosperity in our society, that's what we like to work on! Inclusive mobility is a crucial part of that.

Find out more?

Looking for solutions for inclusive mobility policy? Get in touch with us.

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