EU research on better public transport

Across Europe, efforts are underway to increase the share of public transport in passenger transport, but changes are difficult to implement, take time and are also influenced by changing external conditions. A holistic approach to transport and urban planning is often lacking, which means that public transport does not always reach its full potential, nor does it reach all groups of citizens. Nevertheless, in three years’ time the results of the EU CARIN-PT project will be able to provide new research findings and guidance to those trying to create the conditions for increased public transport use in a changing world.

CARIN-PT will operate until February 2025 and VTI is one of six research implementers. From Sweden, Tyréns and Lund University are also participating. The acronym stands for "Capacities for Resilient and Inclusive Urban Public Transport Infrastructure and Built Environment" and it is about how public transport can become resilient, inclusive, and integrated in cities and urban areas.

Chiara Vitrano is a researcher at VTI, specialising in passenger transport from a justice and equality perspective.

"The project involves researchers from four countries who will do case studies with different focuses in Tallinn, Oslo and Stockholm as well as in Flanders in Belgium. In Stockholm, we are focusing on micromobility, including how electric scooters and other micromobility solutions can be used together with public transport in an inclusive way.”

Chiara Vitrano will work with her Swedish colleagues on the case studies in Stockholm, but she will mostly be involved in compiling the results and lessons learned from the whole project. These will then become recommendations for decision-makers and urban planners. The key to the approach is to involve stakeholders in society who affect and are affected by these issues. This is why public authorities, organisations and companies are involved as collaborators. Here in Sweden, these include Huddinge Municipality, Region Stockholm, Resenärsforum, Cykelfrämjandet and Tier Mobility.

The researchers will use a so-called ‘Urban Living Lab’ method, which can be defined as a way to bring together different actors, citizens, and stakeholders to discuss and test innovations from a user-driven perspective. This can include workshops and testing new technologies and methods in the field.

At the time of writing, in April, the project had just started and, for the first time in a long while, Chiara Vitrano was departing for a physical meeting.

"We, the research partners, meet in Brussels to plan the work of the project in both the long and short term. It's great fun and good for research to be able to meet in real life again," concludes Chiara Vitrano.

CARIN-PT is an EU project within the ERA-NET Cofound Urban Transformation Capacities.

Text: Hillevi Ternström

Translated by: CBG Konsult & Information AB