Interreg Central Europe Project DREAM_PACE
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Interreg Central Europe Project DREAM_PACE:

Solutions for improved rural mobility

May 15, 2023

In the Interreg Central Europe Project DREAM_PACE, twelve partners from five countries are working on improving mobility in peripheral and rural areas. Within the framework of the project work, needs-based transport concepts for regional mobility networks are being developed.

Central Europe has qualitatively very different transport connections and mobility options within urban and rural areas. The project DEAM-PACE (Demand Responsive and Microtransit Passenger Centric Services) was launched to develop innovative Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) concepts that complement existing regional mobility services. In particular, the integration of public transport networks with demand-responsive transport services is to be promoted. This will make mobility more seamless and efficient for residents of peripheral areas.

A central aspect of DREAM_PACE is integration. So far, DRT services have mostly been considered as stand-alone solutions and not as part of an integrated mobility system. Therefore, the project focuses on strategies and solutions that consider different DRT concepts as complementary solutions. Access to existing offers is to be improved and, if necessary, new offers are to be created in order to improve the availability and sustainability of the mobility system as a whole. AustriaTech thus supports the Federal Ministry for Climate Action in its efforts to make the mobility system in Austria more sustainable and inclusive and will address legal and organisational issues in DREAM_PACE.

Focus on the needs of users

The project will start with a broad stakeholder process to collect the wishes and concerns of the different actors in order to develop strategies for the future and to test possible solutions. The first steps are to identify relevant stakeholders in the different regions and to involve them in workshops and other activities in a C-creation process to work together on a better integrated DRT solution. The aim is to develop solutions that meet the needs of the users and at the same time can be implemented within the existing framework conditions. This will ensure that the services developed can be sustained beyond the project.

Trying out DRT offers and making them tangible

DREAM_PACE will carry out pilot tests at six different locations. With the help of these, already existing DRT offers in East Tyrol and Baden-Württemberg will be made more accessible through increased digitalisation and integrated into the overall system. In Bologna, Pavia and Budapest, DRT providers already have digital platforms. However, these are not yet sufficiently integrated into the public transport offer. The project will establish a DRT system in Split. This will improve the availability and integration of DRT services in the respective regions.

DREAM_PACE and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans

In rural areas where public transport intervals are insufficient, DRT often takes on the role of a feeder service to hubs. Thus, DRT plays a role in urban areas on the one hand, but also in peripheral areas, which should thus be better connected to the urban mobility system. Within the framework of DREAM_PACE, AustriaTech will also develop so-called SUMP Topic Guides on the topic of DRT 3.0. These guides will be included in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) in order to use the results of the project.

The DREAM_PACE project has the potential to sustainably improve mobility in rural areas and can thus also make an important contribution to sustainable development in Austria. By looking at several regions at the same time, experience can be gained from which other users can benefit in the future. The project thus contributes to the goals of the RTI Strategy Mobility 2040 and the RTI Agenda Mobility 2026.

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