A success story coming to an end:
CAPRICE (for Capital regions integrating collective transport for increased energy efficiency) aimed at promoting integrated public transport systems with a view to improve energy usage. It brought together five transport authorities from Western and Eastern parts of Europe and relied mainly on close exchange of experience and transfer of knowledge.
The successful project came to an end with a final conference held in Paris on 17th March 2011. Hereby are the highlights of this conference. The final conference was enlightened by high level speakers delivering key messages on The European Union (EU) transport policy and the role of transport authorities.
"Public policymaking must embrace the environmental concerns of the free flow of goods and services within the European Union and must also take account of transport network interlinks across Europe” said Jean-Vincent Placé Vice President of Ile de France Regional Council and Vice President of STIF (the transport authority) while the President of EMTA and CEO of VBB Berlin-Brandenburg Hans-Werner Franz underlined the instrumental role of empowered transport authorities that have sufficient financing
and specialised man power.
Representatives from the European institutions in turn elaborated on the role of the European Commission in such a project.
- Keir Fitch Deputy Head of Cabinet of Siim Kallas Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for transport, commented on the (then) future White Paper as a strategical and political document disclosing a vision for transport for the next decade of Europe moving away from oil dependency and improving efficiency so as to avoid curbing individual mobility.
- Silvia-Adriana Ticau Vice-President of the Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committee at the European Parliament, on her part encourages European decision makers to promote an integrated and long term policy approach to sustainable mobility with intermodal networks that take also into account pedestrians, cyclists and all vulnerable individuals.
- Michael Cramer (Group of the Greens /European Free Alliance) was more specific developing three theses. First, climate change can’t be addressed without changing mobility habits. Second, mobility by road and aviation in Europe is too cheap while environmentally friendly modes are overly expensive; and third, that metropolitan areas are key to a real new approach in urban mobility.
- Finally the representative from the INTERREG IVC programme Erika Fulgenzi, praised the tangibility the visibility and the relevance of the achievements of CAPRICE project, stirring the hope that a new Europe of policy-makers, technicians, stakeholders and citizens can be built.
Building on the crucial role of strong transport authorities
responsible and accountable for public transport, CAPRICE has
issued a “Decision-makers Good Practice Guide”. It has also highly activated the transfer of knowledge which among main outcomes drew pilots for the setting of a transport authority in Bucharest and the launch of a new travel planner in the Warsaw metropolitan area.
The agenda moved on to the two round tables, the first one debated on “How to set up sustainable urban mobility” and the second allowed a sharing of views on “How to organise and finance sustainable mobility”.
About the first round table, while Lithuania Ministry of Transport and communication’s representative Grazvydas Jakubauskas assessing the dilemma for decision makers caught in between the operators focused on engineering issues and the need for radically new approaches to tackle urban sprawl and congestion saw the ITS Directive as one part of the solution to reach a better balance between mobility demand management and harder measures of modernisation; Valentin Anton president of CODATU Romania expressed strong wishes for the promotion of an integrated and efficient public transport system in Romania and stressed the importance of developing strategic partnerships with educational bodies and the industry sector. For her part Laurence Debrincat
Head of Studies and Surveys Department at STIF underlined the
urban Mobility Plan as an instrumental tool to deliver
comprehensive and consistent measures through a federative
process involving all stakeholders.
Mieczyslaw Reksnik Director of Road and Public transportation at Warsaw City Hall reckoned there is a lack of sufficient legal framework for public transport organisation in metropolitan areas, nevertheless sustainable financing and long-term contracting systems are
undeniable success factors for the Warsaw transport authority along with mutual agreements with neighbour local authorities.
The second round table on “How to organize and finance sustainable mobility” offered the opportunity to draw interesting conclusions again on transport governance that must definitely go beyond administrative borders to really meet the commuter’s needs in the opinion of Sophie Mougard Director General of STIF, Ion Dedu from Bucharest
Municipality added “all face same difficulties whatever the circumstances (revamping aging transport systems is a common challenge for example), sharing experience help taking the
good steps forward”.
CAPRICE final conference came to a close with the closing remarks from Jean Paul Huchon President of the Ile de France Regional Council and President of STIF stressing the shared
commitment of major European capitals to bring about more efficient transport system and the benefits of co-operation and shared experience that, thanks to European funded
projects, allow best practice to inspire local strategy in different places. Strong contracts, urban mobility plans and high level of modal integration are among such practices.
For more information: www.caprice-project.info
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Updated : August 17, 2011