Airbnb, Kickstarter, Craigslist, Uber, TaskRabbit. These names, and the ever-growing market value they each represent, are indicative of the shift to a new economy – the shared economy. From goods to accommodation, fundraising to services, “sharing” models have disrupted traditional economic cycles across sectors; mobility is no different (Roland Berger, 2014). Shared mobility – such as bike, car and ridesharing as well as ride sourcing – offers the opportunity to fill in gaps that a city’s public transport cannot reach. Connecting these shared mobility options to existing modes of public transport is a best case scenario which maximizes the time and efficiency of the rider, the city, and the system as a whole (SUMC, 2016). Leipzig, Germany is one example of a city employing smart technology to connect shared mobility and public transport options into a single platform.
Public transport in Leipzig
Leipzig joined the EcoMobility Alliance in May 2016 and is a city of culture, trade and traffic. Located in the northeastern region of Germany, Leipzig has seen significant population growth in the last decades and now boasts a population just over 550,000 (City of Leipzig, 2015). Following Germany’s reunification, Leipzig put much effort into reinstating transport infrastructure and connectivity. Today, Leipzig has an extensive tram and bus network; the second largest public transportation network following Berlin. Leipzig’s cycling infrastructure is also noteworthy, having grown almost fourfold in only two decades (EcoMobility Alliance, 2015). Currently, there are over 430 km of bicycle lanes and paths, in addition to a growing number of bicycle parking in the form of bike racks and higher volume bike garages (City of Leipzig, 2015).
Intermodality in Leipzig: connecting mobility
Intermodality, or mixed-mode transport, is also growing in prevalence in Leipzig with the construction of Bike & Ride stations, Park & Ride stations, and most impressively, Leipzig Mobil mobility stations (City of Leipzig, 2015). Leipzig Mobil, launched in 2015, is a mobility platform that connects Leipzig’s shared and private transportation options – public transport, car-share, electric car charging and bike-sharing spots – into a single platform. At the same time, visitors or citizens of Leipzig can access route and ride information and make reservations with a single integrated bill via the corresponding app, all with just a few swipes on a smartphone (TAF Mobil, 2015).
Interested in sustainable mobility? Attend “Sustainable Mobility – Made in Leipzig” 15-19 August
From 15-19 August, 2016, the City of Leipzig and the Institute of Transport Planning and Road Traffic of the Technische Universität Dresden will co-host the International Summer School “Sustainable Mobility – Made in Leipzig.” This free-of-charge event is especially targeted to PhD candidates, postgraduates, young academically qualified specialists and professionals working in transport, urban issues, geography, architecture and related fields. Over the course of these five days, the seminar will present the current knowledge, research findings, case studies and best practices of sustainable mobility planning. The ‘summer school’ format is highly participatory, comprised of workshops, field trips and studio-based design classes, allowing participants to directly address and respond to today’s most pressing urban transport issues. Funding for travel and lodging may be available. To learn more about the event, click here.