Why do the right mix?
By being flexible in your approach to using transport and embracing different forms of transport for different parts of your journey as appropriate, you can uncover a world of benefits:
Make the most of your time…
Whilst on public transport you can use your time to read the newspaper, check e-mails on your smartphone, work on your laptop, chat with your friends, or just sit back, relax, and listen to music.
Squeeze in a workout…
Cycling or walking to work over short distances (up to 5 km) gives you the 30 minutes of exercise per day that you need to stay healthy and fit. Studies prove that people who walk for at least half an hour per day can hope to live on average two to nine years longer than those who don’t. Those extra years could be used to travel the world, or to do something you’ve been putting off, such as learning a new language, watching your great-grandchildren grow up, and much, much more!
- …for yourself… Sustainable transport users in cities where public transport usage is high save 500-600 litres of fuel per year – that’s the equivalent of 15 full tanks or a trip abroad for you and your partner.
- …and for society… Every kilometre cycled instead of driven saves the economy an estimated EUR 0.97 in indirect costs. For example, in Amsterdam (NL), two million kilometres are cycled every day, saving more than EUR 700 million per year! That’s enough to build 18 Olympic-size swimming pools!
Make your city more liveable…
A journey from home to work by car consumes 90 times more urban space and community infrastructure than the same journey by metro, and 20 times more space than if you had taken the bus or tram. Imagine the amount of parks, pedestrian areas and other public spaces that we could give back to people, if we all started to ‘Do the Right Mix’.
…as well as the whole planet
If the EU cycling rate were the same as it is in Denmark, where the average person cycles 965km per year, then we could cut EU transport emissions by over 25 %!
How can I do the right mix?
The key to using transport in a sustainable way, is to be flexible in terms of the transport solutions you use. This can bring many benefits for you, your family, and the city as a whole. One trip doesn’t necessarily mean a single mode of transport. In fact, it can be very advantageous to embrace multiple modes of transport for the same journey!
Read the short examples below to see how sustainable urban mobility can work in practice:
- If you’re a commuter, then why take the car for a five-minute trip to the train station when you can cycle there instead? By cycling you would be saving money on parking and improving your health. It may even be faster and more convenient by helping you avoid the traffic jams. When you reach the train station, you can fold your bike or park it securely for a fraction of the cost of parking your car, get on the train and make the most of your commute by getting some work done before reaching the office.
- If you’re a student, then why don’t you try car-sharing? By using one vehicle for a number of people, you could save money, help the environment, and spend more time with your friends. If you want to enjoy campus nightlife by going to a bar or a concert, then just hop on the night bus to get home. It’s that simple!
- If you’re a family, then why not consider taking part in a walk-to-school scheme? Such schemes involve lots of children walking to school together in a group, led by a responsible adult to keep them safe. Not only are such schemes good for a child’s health, they also alleviate some of the stress of driving the children to school every day. If a walk-to-school system isn’t possible, then why not consider biking instead? You could all cycle together or even invest in a family cargo bike…
1. International Federation of Pedestrians
2. UITP factsheet
3. Trunk, G. (2011). Gesamtwirtschaftlicher Vergleich von Pkw- und Radverkehr. Ein Beitrag zur Nachhaltigkeitsdiskussion Masterarbeit am Institut für Verkehrswesen der Universität für Bodenkultur, Wien
4. Amsterdam City Council
5. Based on the Manchester Aquatics Centre and on the exchange rate of the 05/06/2012, see BBC Commonwealth Games Venue Guide
6. UITP Factsheet
7. Cycle like the Danes to cut carbon emissions, says study in The Guardian
The European Commission’s Sustainable Urban Mobility campaign, launched in July 2012, is a three-year initiative aiming to support sustainable urban mobility campaigners in the European Union’s 28 Member States, plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
The campaign is managed by the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport and funded through the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme – the EU’s support programme for non-technological actions in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
The central objective of this campaign is to promote the advantages of combining different modes of transportation. The campaign bears the slogan ‘Do the Right Mix’, and aims to highlight and advertise the fact that by using different modes of transportation for each journey as appropriate, people can improve their health, their finances and the environment.
The target audience includes existing campaigners and those new to the topic. Actors are provided with a platform and support to showcase their activities and increase collaboration with each other and with the wider world.