Rapid urbanization, aging infrastructures, population growth and climate change continue to challenge the world’s cities. Cities that take efforts to advance and diversify their urban mobility systems and evolve their transit hubs will gain a competitive edge. Mobility Hubs provide a focal point in the transportation network that seamlessly integrates different modes of transportation. They are places of connectivity where different modes of transportation – from walking to rapid transit – come together seamlessly and where there is an intensive concentration of working, living, shopping or playing. Collectively, this integrated suite of mobility services is intended to meet first-last mile needs of transit users. The most beneficial intermodal mobility hubs are mainly implemented close to existing mobility junctions such as train stations.
The main goal of the Intermodal Mobility Hubs is to ease the interchange between different modes of transport. Thereby, it improves the mobility services for citizens and incentives citizens to use different modes of transport besides the individual motorized modes. Besides that, the solution achieves the benefits listed below. Whereas some benefits are likely to be fulfiled with a basic implementation of the solution, the fulfilment of the potential benefits depends on the functions implemented in a specific project.
Promoting sustainable private transport models
Improving public transport accessibility
Functions help you to understand what the products can do for you and which ones will help you achieve your goals.
Each solution has at least one mandatory function, which is needed to achieve the basic purpose of the solution, and several additional functions, which are features that can be added to provide additional benefits.
There are different types of mobility hubs available. According to a study analysing existing global mobility hubs, there are three main types of mobility hubs.
- Neighbourhood Mobility Hubs: small mobility hubs with some basic services that are usually located in low-density neighborhoods.
- Central Mobility Hubs: mobility hubs located in more complex urban environments. They usually provide additional services such as car sharing or information on the next connection.
- Regional Mobility Hubs: large scale mobility hubs usually located in dense urban areas or terminal stations with transit options to regional trains. Regional mobility hubs provide various services. The table below shows services offered by the different types of mobility hubs.
For all the types of mobility stations, it is highly relevant to find an appropriate location, to ease the personal mobility of citizens instead of making them commute to the mobility hub. Strategic transfer points within the city or centers of movement (campuses, businesses, shopping centers) are especially beneficial for mobility hubs.
Regarding the type of investment, mobility hubs mainly differ in mobility hubs financed by private investment and public investment. Private investments are mainly conducted when the mobility hubs are used by a closed community such as a housing association or a company.
Mobility hubs financed by public funds, usually rather intend to increase satisfaction and accessibility of different transport modes to the greatest possible numbers of citizens. Likewise, examples for targets when implementing mobility hubs are to reduce environmental impact, to increase the attractivity of public space, to increase access to healthy food, or to encourage small business interaction.
Anyhow, the flexibility of the mobility hub and the adaption to the local users’ needs are highly relevant for the success of such solutions. Determinants such as user demand, seasonal and regional variations, and technological change strongly affect both the success and sustainability of the provided solutions (Intermodal Mobility Hubs and Users Needs, 2019).
However, cities have a great opportunity to transform their transit hubs into areas that will generate jobs, attract new businesses and secure investment. This, in turn, will ensure a greater quality of life for residents.
To increase the environmental impact of such projects locally produced renewable energies or miocrogrids can be implemented.
According to a study conducted by Arcadis, the following four key elements that bring the greatest value to mobility hubs:
- Connectivity: the variety and quantity of transit modalities
- Urban environment: the area’s population density and the use of the area (mixed-use, residential, etc.)
- Social placemaking: the quality of the public space and the variety of public facilities within the transit zone, including the resilience of a transit hub to climate change impacts, security vulnerabilities as well as traffic and passenger safety and security
- Economic development: property value of the urban environment within the transit zone
The success of mobility hubs is highly dependant on the mobility infrastructure provided in the area around the mobility hub – a public transportation network and cycling infrastructure for example are crucial.
Besides that, flexibility for change should be incorporated in developing mobility hubs to accommodate possible future growth, expansion, and changes as new technologies evolve.
According to the study conducted by arcadis mentioned before, the key principles when planning and implementing a mobility hub should be:
- New modes of mobility are gaining importance
- Integrated planning leads to better outcomes
- Developers and investors need a clear framework
- Hubs with high-speed connections are more attractive for investors
- Transit-hub development is often the catalyst for wider developments
- People should commute from the hub, not to the hub
Mobility Station in Mülheim
The Mobility stations in Mülheim provide commuters and residents of the busy district with a location, where they can easily find various alternative transport options. The aim is to encourage behavioral change from using cars towards more active modes of transport like walking and cycling.
E-mobility stations for the Domagkpark district and centre-periphery integration
Mobility stations, as part of traffic and mobility planning, are a new concept. They enable cost-effective and flexible access to different modes of transport. Two mobility stations are therefore established in the project area.
Smart multimodal mobility services
In this measure, the city of Turku catalyzes and pilots the development of a MaaS system and services in the city of Turku.
Shared e-mobility system in Milan
Milan’s shared e-mobility system includes: e-cars, e-bikes, e-logistics vehicles, smart parking, e-vehicle charging, and condominium e-car sharing.