The sustainable mobility goes through inter-modality

sustainable mobility

Listening to different observation about the automotive future, and in general about means of transport, I remembered of some notes taken during the lesson of “Economy of Transport” by professor Ennio Forte (UNINA- Federico II University of Neaples – Italy -) some decades ago.

In the last years, there were been progresses but, as declared by the White Book of Transport 2011 (EC), the next decade will be crucial for the harmonious development , and not only, of all European transports.

The saturation of tire transport will need to recover several alternatives; rail transport (trams, trolley buses, trains), the creation of the blue highways (inshore traffic by sea) together with the restoration of the river routes and the optimization of that communication areas.

Today is on the agenda to talk about sustainable mobility and I regret seeing prestigious interventions which dream about electric trams suspended in a vacuum, without drivers and so on and so forth.
It seems to me that you are doing again the same mistakes, not to see the systematic solution in short-term.

I think the next future of mobility (sustainable one, otherwise it will be unsustainable) will pass through a development of all modes of transport BUT with a synergistic vision already in the planning stage.

The intermodality will be the only real chance we have to switch the mobility from private to public and therefore making it sustainable BUT only if we will involve local communities.

According to health, environmental, social but also economical reasons, we must make available all the alternatives to private properties in the best way and at competitive prices compared to the current situation.

So the first step, regardless, is to optimize transport, for every single modality of transport… It will be much easier to make the intermodality a real virtuous circle.

The possibility to take an electric bike, move to a parking to get a car-in-sharing, reaching a terminal (tram, train, fluvial platform etc), find a new electric bike (or electric bus) to reach the place of work will be guaranteed on time, and in a way capable to involve the common user to this sort of transport without being economically and physically uncomfortable.

Above all, there mustn’t be neither a unique recipe (1), nor the only responsibility of the individual consumer (2):

  1. The orography and the social geography will have an important weight already in the planning stage in order to avoid an only single model simply replicable;
  2. The social, health and economic benefits will be tipped to the final user, in order to make competitive the price of the ticket in relation to the tire transport facilities.

Having a single development model, to be replicated with the only variations of the case, it could be a fatal mistake in the implementation phase of projects, creating more harm than good.
In addition to the disappointment of the expectations which would undermine the future of the intermodality.

The challenge, even before being cultural and programming, is about efficiency and speed in the implementation of what was planned- especially on time- and to think in terms of interchangeable modules.

The real risk is to build cathedrals in the desert that will never be totally used, resulting only a cost to the community and a benefit to those who will build them. It would be great go from Rome to Milan in less than 2 hours, but you cannot spend other 2 hours, or more, to get the hinterland of the city; otherwise if there are two people it would be more convenient travelling by car. Specially if the price is the same!

Considering the importance of the topic, which goes further the European borders, it is necessary that the Europe ends just directing and supporting economically the plans, and playing in first person in the implementation of programs already established within the Community institutions.

Translated by Federica Izzo

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