What does sustainable mobility mean?
Sustainable mobility encompasses a set of processes and actions aimed at achieving rational use of both private and public modes of transportation. The ultimate goal is to meet transportation needs with minimal environmental impact.
Policies on sustainable mobility that are carried out by public administrations focus on reducing roadway congestion and promoting the use of alternative vehicles. In the beginning, these policies focused on urban areas, but little by little, they are spreading to interurban and medium- and long-distance routes.
What are the goals of sustainable mobility?
Policies to promote sustainable mobility must include several objectives:
- Setting up a more efficient transportation model to improve the competitiveness of the production system.
- Improving citizens’ social integration by providing more universal accessibility.
- Improving quality of life for citizens.
- Not compromising citizens’ health conditions.
- Providing more safety while on the go.
What is the plan for sustainable mobility?
The catalog of public policies to be developed in order to achieve the objectives of efficiency in mobility is quite broad, but here are some proposals:
Planning and urban design that are favorable for sustainable mobility, prioritizing urban design that boosts non-motorized trips, applying proximity to services, and promoting responsible regulation of car use in the city.
Taxation that favors the use of eco-mobility with tax deductions for public transportation, biking, and carpooling and carsharing. Subsidizing the acquisition of electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as electric bikes and other vehicles with low unit consumption and low emissions. Procedures must also be put in place to prevent fraud, following models from countries like Belgium.
Change in the fare models of public transportation in urban and metropolitan networks to promote the use of flat-rate subscriptions (monthly, quarterly, or annual) to achieve a use level of 70% to 80%. Subscriptions with this regularity and with a flat rate must also be created for getting around across an entire Autonomous Community. Following the models of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, long-distance and high-speed RENFE (the National Network of Spanish Railways) trips must have a fare system that becomes attractive for travelers with lower purchasing power, who have abandoned this mode for air traffic (which is highly subsidized).
Electrification of urban public transportation.
Investing in interurban transportation to improve the commuter, regional, and narrow gauge rail networks (FEVE, in Spain) and having bus lanes and rapid transit buses for getting to cities.
Prioritizing management of and easing traffic in cities instead of building tunnels, shortcuts, or increases in car capacity.
Taxation of fuel for air transportation in the medium-term to make it equal to fuel taxes for conventional road transportation.
Approving a basic regulatory framework that regulates mobility and establishes a new law for financing public transit to address the growth that it will have in the ideal scenario for energy efficiency.
What is a sustainable mobility ordinance?
The Sustainable Mobility Ordinance reinforces road safety on urban roads, especially on sidewalks and pedestrian areas, as well as for the most vulnerable groups (minors, the elderly, dependents, people with disabilities, and those with reduced mobility).
Madrid’s City Council has approved the preliminary draft of Madrid’s new Sustainable Mobility Ordinance: a series of measures that will turn the city into the capital of efficient and low-polluting mobility. This plan includes the creation of Special Protection Low Emission Zones that will replace what is currently Central Madrid and expand restricted access to vehicles without a DGT tag to other areas of the capital. It also regulates the use of bikes and personal mobility devices (PMD). It also establishes dynamic rates for regulated parking, renewal of the municipal vehicle fleet, parking spaces reserved for carsharing vehicles, and so on.
What benchmarks in terms of sustainable mobility are there in Spain?
The Ferrovial Company has, for more than thirty years, been a leading company in supporting projects and plans associated with sustainable mobility through specific measures. For example, the carsharing campaign, efficient driving courses for company employees (which have led to 91% of attendees reducing their fuel consumption by an average of 8%), and using electric motorcycles for their messenger service.
Ferrovial has also developed infrastructures tailored to the new CASE (connected, autonomous, shared electric mobility) technologies. In addition, the Spanish Railways Foundation (FFE) and the country’s Biodiversity Foundation have launched the Más Vías Verdes, Menos CO2 (More Greenways, Less CO2) campaign to promote and increase the number of non-motorized trips through greenways and raise citizen awareness in the fight against climate change.
Fun facts about sustainable mobility
- Bicycles have the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over their life cycle compared to other modes of transportation.
- The electric vehicle is older than the conventional vehicle.
- Buses emit less than half the GHG per km than private vehicles.
- Recharging an electric vehicle costs about half as much as filling a conventional vehicle with fuel. In addition, maintenance is less because the electric model has much fewer parts.
- Norway and the Netherlands set 2025 as the deadline for removing fueled cars from their streets. The United Kingdom and France plan to do so by 2040