USEmobility – EU research project on mobility behaviour

What highly individual factors – apart from supply and infrastructure optimisation – influence mobility decisions by people in Europe? This extremely topical issue for passenger transport companies is being investigated by BSL Transportation Consultants together with international partners under the new EU research programme “USEmobility”. Over the next two years the study will, in particular, elaborate answers and specific action recommendations on aspects of individual mobility behaviour and the success factors of multi-modal travel chains.

The project “USEmobility” (abbreviation for Understanding Social Behaviour for Eco-friendly Multimodal Mobility), which is part of the European Union’s seventh Framework Programme for Research, is especially concerned with drawing up specific action recommendations with a practical orientation for governmental and non-governmental organisations.


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The subject of the investigation is a selection of ten benchmark regions in various countries: Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. A novel methodological angle is a special market-research approach which makes it possible to record the reasons for the choice of transportation on a behaviour-oriented basis. The survey questions people from the selected regions who have only recently changed their mobility behaviour from monomodal car use to environment-friendly multimodal use of several means of transport. There will be a special focus on the “soft factors” of transportation choice which have received little attention to date, but which are highly relevant to decisions, for example personal attitudes, information habits and individually perceived communication structures. The study will be accompanied by an intensive dialogue with experts in the fields of politics, business and science at national and European level.

On the basis of a trend and scenario analysis for mobility development in the European Union for the period up to 2050, the project will develop and discuss packages of measures designed to speed up a change to multimodal mobility in the Member States of the European Union. The idea behind the development of measures in USEmobility is not so much to focus on measures that are oriented purely to supply and infrastructure, but to identify fields of action that have an attitude and communication oriented effect. Special attention within USEmobility is to be devoted to discussing the measures with the (expert) public. To this end, the project will organise appropriate conferences and produce suitable publications.

The lead manager for USEmobility is the trade association “Allianz pro Schiene” (“Alliance for Rail”), based in Berlin. The market research study will be the responsibility of the Hamburg-based market and quality research institute Quotas, which also carries out the customer satisfaction survey “VCD-Bahntest”, for example. The European Passengers Federation, the Austrian motoring club Verkehrsclub Österreich and the Croatian association Savez za Zeljeznicu, which promotes green mobility, will accompany the content work and maintain the connections with the study regions. Project communication will be handled by the Hungarian environmental association “Clean Air Action Group”. BSL Transportation Consultants will contribute their expertise in the field of trend and mobility research and use their network connections with transport companies to ensure the practical relevance of the measures.

If you have questions about USEmobility, or if you want to contribute ideas and suggestions, please contact us. Christian Grotemeier will be glad to talk to you.

02. October 2011