Creating an outstanding mobility hub
More and more new urban developments are planning for mobility hubs instead of traditional car parking garages. Mobility hubs offer more flexibility and many more functions. For those who are interested in building a mobility hub, there is much to learn from those developments with previous experience. A recent study by Trivector offers lessons in placing, financing, information and administration.
The picture is produced for the Mo-Bo project where the sharing economy and mobility services pave the way for new architecture. The picture was created by TIP and WtR.
Many modern urban districts are built so that the residents will choose to walk, cycle or use public transport as the natural first choice. The goal is to create attractive neighbourhoods which are free from noise, exhaust fumes and car traffic. However, many people deem, for various reasons, that cars are necessary. In response, it has become more common to found mobility hubs.
Simplifying everyday life
A mobility hub is a place where you can sort out daily tasks such as:
- Parking a bicycle or car and charging your vehicle
- Loaning vehicles from a carpool or shared bicycles
- Cleaning or servicing your vehicle
- Waste disposal and recycling
- Collection of packages ordered online
There can also be opportunities for energy production from solar cells and/or battery charging, local shops, beekeeping and many other services.
Mobility hubs have been established in several places in Sweden and abroad, including Vallastanden in Linköping and Slottsbacken in Stockholm as well as Cologne, Offenburg and Munich in Germany. New mobility hubs are also planned in Ulleråker and Rosendal in Uppsala.
Trivector Traffic has studied these mobility hubs on behalf of the municipality of Umeå within the project of Sharing Cities as well as the municipalities of Lund and Österåker. The study has looked at how mobility hubs function and which lessons can be learned from their experiences.
- Mobility hubs work best when located near local centres, accommodation or pubic transport nodes.
- The hub must be within an acceptable walking distance to/from those who shall use them.
- It is important to establish cooperation with the mobility actors who are interested. It is difficult to judge which services will remain in the long term – city and parking companies can act as facilitators rather than service developers.
- It is important to not lock in the hub for specific services and instead have a mix for both personal and goods transport.
- The space should be flexible. It should be able to be used by different types of mobility services.
Both an app and information
- It is not enough to just release an app. More information and training are required on how the services shall be used.
- It is advantageous if the participating actors coordinate around joint information on the services.
Business models and administration
- If the hub is established with private parking, the parking company is a key actor. The “purchase of parking” can be used as part of the financing of the mobility hub.
- It can be beneficial to investigate possibilities of external financing, for example through EU-projects or other research financing.
- It is important to follow up the business model and the effects of the project on travel habits. Reserve a budget for assessment and evaluation from the start of the project.