SMARTA – Smart Rural Transport Areas
SMARTA is an EU research and demonstration project which is developing new insights into the challenges faced by rural communities across the world in maintaining good transport and accessibility. The project consortium offers expertise to selected rural sites to pilot and evaluate innovative solutions to overcome these challenges. The research and testing will provide us with a series of solutions that can be deployed across Europe such as on demand and shared mobility services, new technologies, platforms and cross-sector working, benefiting local economies and keeping communities connected.
The project will build a network of stakeholders to share these good practices and help overcome barriers.
Vectos is researching into the policies in different countries which can help or hinder the delivery of rural mobility services and make recommendations for how these can be improved; building the business case for cross-sector collaboration, opening the door to more cost effective, flexible and on-demand services. We will help coordinate the delivery and evaluation of the pilots by reviewing the social, economic and environmental benefits, as well as those associated with improved accessibility.
Results So Far
Vectos has liaised with the Rural Services Network, Rural England, English local authorities and international partners to collate good practice examples of improving last mile connectivity with rural communities, providing insight to stakeholders across Europe. These good practices can be accessed via the SMARTA website (https://ruralsharedmobility.eu/good-practices/). The good practices have also been published as a “Report on rural Good Practices” brochure, which is available to download here – https://ruralsharedmobility.eu/report-on-rural-good-practices/.
A key workshop was held during 2019, addressing possible new directions for rural mobility, through a set of structured group discussions.
We are identifying potential pilot sites to trial and evaluate new and extended mobility services which use new technologies and sharing to make better use of existing transport capacity.