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After several months of trialling, MODUM finished the behavioural experiments in both Nottingham and Sofia. During these trials, the focus lay more on the side of policy makers in Nottingham, whereas the partners put more focus on the typical commuters in Sofia. In both cases, the MODUM partners deployed a fully-functioning MODUM system, composed of dedicated hardware servers that ran inside the cities’ traffic control centres. They were accessed via a website and the mobile phone Android app, which were available in both English and Bulgarian languages. The server infrastructure was calibrated to both cities, serving the commuters with real-time and up-to-date travel information on both road traffic as well as public transport schedules.

 

During these last months, MODUM partners closely monitored the individual users of the MODUM system. In order to attract as many users as possible, the partners performed various activities. Examples of these were the creation of dedicated flyers that were distributed on parking lots and public transport within the trial areas. Personal contacts within the city councils and traffic centres also gave local stakeholders the chance to participate. Additionally, the partners teamed up with Bulgaria’s largest telecommunications operator, Vivacom, which also distributed the MODUM app through its own app store, and which launched several SMS campaigns to over 10 000 of its subscribers.

 

From week to week, it could be seen how new people registered into the system, given that they commuted sufficiently enough within the trial areas. After registration, the trial users were asked to complete a number of commuting trips between their home and work locations, in order for the MODUM team to measure their baseline behaviour (the app just recorded the journeys, not providing advice). The users could continuously consult their current status via a personal page on the website. The mobile app also showed them their current state and progress. Once users completed their first phase, they moved on to the second phase, in which the MODUM app was fully activated and users received the latest routing advice. The consortium kept the users incentivised by allowing them to participate in a lottery, once they completed enough trips in the second phase. The prizes were brand new Motorola smart phones, as well as free bus passes.

 

As the trials continued, the MODUM partners saw the users’ progress on a weekly basis. This allowed to quickly respond to any questions users may had, or identify when and why certain users chose to drop out. Because of the strong qualitative component in this research, the MODUM partners also completed various interviews with end users afterwards, to gain more insight into their behavioural choices and experiences. From the preliminary data it can be seen that some 200 users started registrations, of which 10% was retained. In total, around 2000 trips were made, with some 150 000 individual trip traces from following users’ mobile phones. The results from the quantitative and qualitative data analysis will shortly be made available on MODUM’s website. In a nutshell the conclusions are that (1) users have become aware of their CO2 emissions, (2) they do change their behaviour when being better informed, and (3) the system is able to scale up on a city level.

Modum

MODUM addresses the environmental footprint in the transport sector by developing a new approach for pro-active demand-responsive management of traffic. This approach enables energy-efficient multi-modal transport choices accommodating dynamic variations, minimising the environmental impact and improving the quality of life in urban environments.

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