West Midlands launches mobility incentive trial to reduce car use

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) in the UK has teamed up with the University of Warwick for a two-year trial aimed at persuading motorists to switch their cars for more environmentally friendly modes of transport.

The Future Transport Showcase will use e-scooters, on-demand buses and a shared car scheme to reduce personal vehicle usage, cut carbon emissions and create a more eco-friendly campus.

Throughout the trial, participants will be encouraged to change their transport choices and incentives will be offered for people who choose greener travel as part of the “choose your way Warwick” campaign, hosted on the Betterpoints App.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “From the outset of the industrial revolution, the West Midlands has always been a hub of innovation and we are still leading the way with the development of green battery technology, new low-carbon housing, 5G digital connectivity, autonomous vehicles and the transport systems of the future.

“The Future Transport Showcase at the University of Warwick will offer students and staff more flexibility, choice, and greener travel solutions for the region, at a time when we are facing a climate emergency and urging people to leave the car at home.

“And this trial will show what works as we develop transport policies to address the climate emergency we all face.”

Future Transport Zone

The West Midlands region is host to the £22 million (US$30.7 million) Future Transport Zone, set up to showcase the latest technology and data for more accessible and connected transport alternatives that are faster, cleaner and greener – contributing to achieving its #WM2041 ambition to reduce the region’s carbon footprint.

The projects at the Warwick campus will include:

  • Voi Technology bringing carbon-neutral e-scooters to the University of Warwick campus as part of the UK government’s e-scooter pilot scheme.
  • Enterprise Car Club providing two low-emission Hyundai Ioniq cars, for use by staff, students and the local community. The vehicles can be booked for anything from half an hour to a full day. As well as the two car club vehicles, members can also use any of the car club’s 1,400 vehicles around the UK.
  • An on-demand service will be introduced later in the year, allowing people to order a bus in a similar way to a taxi.

Incentive programmes

The concept of offering incentives to people who ditch their cars has gained traction recently.

Last week, Brighton and Hove City Council launched its ‘Move For Change‘ scheme through the BetterPoints app to encourage people to choose active and sustainable travel options.

More than 100 people signed up for the scheme in February, logging 1,500 activities and over 4,000 travelled  kilometres.

They can now earn points for walking to work, using active travel options for school runs, cycling around the city, taking part in leisure and exercise activities, using buses and riding on the city’s BikeShare bicycles.

In February 2020, the Austrian capital Vienna began to offer free museum and concert tickets to reward people who switched using their cars for more sustainable modes of transport.

Image: Transport for West Midlands

Source: CitiesToday