The pilot at a glance: What do you aim to achieve through the SMARTA2 pilot?
Via SMARTA2 we are introducing to the residents of rural areas the concept of carpooling along with the use of alternative mobility solutions to reach the city centre or travel within. Our aim is to reduce the number of private cars used by the rural population for their daily commutes to and from the city of Trikala, as well as eliminate traffic congestion, pollution and provide to non-car owners a set of services and mobility solutions facilitating their trip within the city.
Trikala demonstrator has created an online carpooling app to address the needs of the rural population. The app also provides information and online booking access to existing mobility services that operate in the city of Trikala (i.e. real-time information about the expected arrival time of the bus at the stop, smart-lockers, wheelchair scooters, bicycles and other services). As a result, the rural population will be able to plan their entire trip to the city of Trikala while using sustainable mobility services.
Covid-19 impact: Was Trikala’s pilot affected?
Although the SMARTA2 application was ready to be piloted in March 2020, due to the Covid-19 crisis and the lockdown measures imposed in our country, there were no services or transportation needs to support. Thus, the pilot was seized for a few months.
As most restrictions were gradually lifted during summer, we re-introduced the application and initialized the pilot of SMARTA2 in July via a public event. We are now in full deployment of our pilot and although due to the second lockdown the transportation needs are significantly low, all SMARTA2 services are piloted smoothly.
Top tips: How did you engage with your local community?
The project was introduced to the local community and to all the major stakeholders via a workshop that took place in January 2020. During this event, a bottom-up, co-creative process was deployed in order to engage all the stakeholders and assure their support and cooperation. Two more face-to-face events took place (one in July and one in September during the European Mobility Week) so as to promote the application to the public.
Due to the Covid-19 new restrictions we were not able to organize more public face-to-face events. We therefore centered our dissemination activities around alternative actions. Two promotional videos were created and widely disseminated. Additionally, posters and brochures of SMARTA2 app have been placed both around the rural areas and Trikala city center.
The public’s response so far has been quite positive. Trikala has a long and successful history in implementing sustainable and novel mobility solutions, thus a very active mobility community already exists and is positive in promoting new ideas like SMARTA2. We are currently working towards evaluating the service and creating a viable plan in terms of sustainability of the service, exploitation and scaling up.
Christina was born in 1978 in the city of Trikala. Christina holds degrees in philosophy and sociology, psychology, and a MSc in Health Management. During her time at e-Trikala S.A. (Department of Research and Communication) she has been involved in many EU-funded projects. Christina has participated as a speaker in several conferences and workshops in national and European level and she is responsible for the implementation and dissemination policy, the proper approach of end-users and management of audience, surveys and questionnaires.
e-Trikala S.A. is an SME, formed within the Municipality of Trikala. By creating infrastructure and by providing services, e-Trikala continuously aims at the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based applications, oriented to the improvement of all citizens’ everyday life simplifying public transactions, reducing telecommunication costs and delivering new services related to the local way of life. The company’s main areas of expertise are e-transportation, e-education, e-health, e-government & e-democracy, geographical Information Systems, networks (Wi-Fi, fibre optic, Wi-Max pilot application & operation), cultural event planning & organizing (exhibitions, conferences).
Want to see how Trikala’s solution works in practice? Then download Trikala’s SMARTA2 app from Google Play.
For more information about Trikala and the rest of the SMARTA and SMARTA2 pilots, click here.