More public transport options – approaches to new mobility
Munich, 19 June 2023
The aim in the near future is for people and goods to get to their destination in a safe, environmentally friendly and affordable manner. This is the only way the transport sector, too, can reach its challenging climate targets. However, what people expect and want does not always chime with the expert thinking on new mobility, as confirmed by the latest “acatech Mobility Monitor”, an analysis of the results of a representative population survey undertaken by the Allensbach Institute on behalf of acatech. At acatech am Dienstag, which took place in Salon Luitpold in Munich on 13 June, guests and experts discussed more attractive public transport options, new technologies and better interaction between all modes of transport.
This is the second time that acatech am Dienstag has been held in Salon Luitpold, and Stephan J. Meier, the Managing Director and host of Salon Luitpold, who also holds a doctorate in economics and is a master confectioner, was delighted to provide such a stylish setting. Last year the topic of discussion was AI; on this occasion it was mobility. Moderator Marc-Denis Weitze (acatech Office) introduced the topic by asking the attendees how they had got there – public transport was frequently mentioned; hardly any came by car; one person came on a Vespa and a few by bicycle or on foot.
To ensure greater climate protection in the area of transport, greater emphasis must be placed on intermodal concepts, and a suitable framework must be provided for the technological innovations – and both must be accepted by the people. For that reason, the fourth annual representative Mobility Monitor (in German), undertaken by acatech and the Allensbach Institute, looks at developments in mobility behaviours in the German population, people’s willingness to change and their degree of acceptance of electric mobility. acatech President Thomas Weber presented select results of the latest Mobility Monitor in his keynote speech at the start of the event: the car is still by far the most important means of transport. 47 per cent drive every day, a further 23 per cent more than once a week; 18 per cent cycle every day and a further 25 per cent more than once a week. More and more people cycle while car use is down slightly. For 72 per cent of the population the car is essential, followed by bicycle (51 per cent) and public transport (42 per cent).
The results of the acatech Mobility Monitor show that it is essential to place the needs of users at the centre of the transformation of mobility systems. To achieve this, combined mobility choices must be simplified and public transport must be established as a wholly adequate alternative. At the same time, spatial structures need to be further developed and the local range of services offered must be enhanced, thus reinforcing a mobility culture of short distances. In addition, technological developments are central to the success of the mobility transition. In this context, Thomas Weber emphasised that parallel measures to stabilise the ramp-up of electric mobility continue to be required. The important thing here is the creation of efficient overall systems, thus promoting sector coupling and hence a sustainable circular economy. Digital innovations and the networking of transport systems can help to make mobility more sustainable, safer and needs-oriented.
Kirstin Hegner (Digital Hub Mobility/UnternehmerTUM) and Klaus Bogenberger (Technical University of Munich) then commented on the results of the Mobility Monitor and went into new mobility concepts, challenges and current approaches to solution-finding. Kirstin Hegner first put up for discussion the issues raised by the Mobility Monitor: isn’t the question “What is essential?” trying to find habits that could be broken by changing the framework? She gave the example of a new concept introduced by large companies, involving the setting up of rural offices to enable employees to come to work without having to commute into town.
Klaus Bogenberger added that more and more companies are buying public transport tickets for their employees rather than providing company parking spaces in order to keep traffic out of the inner city. He also emphasised that approaches to new mobility will not just be about carbon but also about space (e.g. parking spaces), particulate matter and noise. Kirstin Hegner called for inner-city parking to be made much more expensive to make people switch to public transport.
During the subsequent debate with the audience, there was multiple mention of the timeframe required for planning and the fact that mobility decisions have a long-lasting impact. The new trunk line under construction in Munich is a good example of this. Mobility is also very individual and must be aligned to people’s differing lives.