resilient & inclusive public transport

Flanders Urban Living Lab expert meeting: Exploring the Future of User-centered Public Transport

In a workshop held on June 13th, the Flanders Carin-PT team, in collaboration with key partners, embarked on a journey to shape the Flanders Urban Living Labs.

Unveiling the Urban Living Lab Concept

This gathering brought together experts from the Department of Mobility and Public Works, public transport operator De Lijn, the Organization of Cities and Municipalities in Flanders, and the public transport users’ advocacy group, ‘TreinTramBus. The experts were first introduced to the concept of Urban Living Labs (ULLs) as innovative labs and real-world test environments where researchers, policymakers, and the public join forces to develop and trial solutions for urban challenges.

The experts agreed on the fact that ULLs, particularly in the realm of public transport, enable a deep dive into the daily experiences of users. ULLs are hubs of experimentation, co-creation, and user-centric problem-solving, making them the perfect avenue to explore ways to enhance inclusiveness in (on-demand) public transport.Here, accessibility, affordability, convenience, and overall satisfaction with the service can be closely examined. By actively engaging users and stakeholders throughout the evaluation process, ULLs ensure that public transport solutions are finely tuned to cater to the diverse needs of the user community.

CarinPT’s commitment to ULLs

The CarinPT project stands firmly behind ULLs to assess on-demand public transport initiatives from the user’s perspective. This approach scrutinizes the extent of public transport reliance, service adequacy, and alignment with user needs. The invaluable feedback gathered is then harnessed to refine and enhance public transport services, making them more inclusive and responsive to all travelers.

In light of the impending public transport reorganization in Flanders, partners see ULLs as a powerful tool for evaluating new PT services. Through the ULL methodology, the objective is to not only incorporate user perspectives into the evaluation phase but also in the subsequent planning phases. The ultimate goal is to develop a versatile tool, encompassing methods to gather user experiences and methods to integrate these insights into public transport planning. This tool should benefit not only the public transport operator involved in the project but also other transport planners and operators.

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