Sharp at 12:00 the 5th of September 2018, Blekingetrafiken (managing body for public transport in the Swedish country of Blekinge) pushed the button and 260 screens in 130 buses started - at the same time - to stream media services. From that day forward, the Blekingetrafiken's new information channel - one of the deliverables in Work Package 4.3 of the INTERCONNECT project - is up and running. The Buss-TV shows to the passengers the real time traffic data, news highlights and details on the sites of interest passed by on the bus ride. Also, the new traffic information helps them out to choose the next travel segment when the bus approaches a transfer point.
The Buss-tv information is geographically profiled, which allows to ascribe the data to the bus line crossing the specific area. To exemplify, tv screens on bus line No. 6 connecting the downtown of Karlskrona with the ferry terminal promotes the ferry line service to Gdynia, Poland.
With this new system, Blekingetrafiken hope the passengers are going to experience the travel time as shorter, more useful and may help attract more customers to the public transport service in local and interregional travels.
This pilot demonstration work in INTERCONNECT project raised public media interest (local radio station as well as national branch magazines and local newspaper).
Estonia is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. And its capital, Tallinn, has been considered one of the cities with the most interesting communication solutions for years. It is no wonder that the fourth study visit within the Interconnect project took place in Estonia (and neighboring Finland).
Not everyone knows that free public transport has been operating in Tallinn for five years. Free for residents of the city - tourists and other people arriving in these pages, buy and delete tickets must. In addition, since July this year, free trips have been introduced throughout Estonia. But only for residents of individual regions. Together with partners working on the Interconnect project, we went to test communication solutions there - both local and international. After all, one of the goals of Interconnect is to develop the best solutions for cross-border traffic.
From the moment we got off at the airport in Tallinn, we were moving by public means of transport. We did not have any problem buying tickets. Special prepaid cards were available at the airport, which allowed us to travel by any vehicle (except taxis). You could also pay for the trip using a special application. We took a tram to the centre of Tallinn from the very exit from the airport. Then a bus that brought us to the town of Viimsi northeast of the capital of the country. Later, we returned to Tallinn, to get there from Helsinki by sea. Already on the ferry we got a ticket for public transport in Finland. Also in the form of a card - this time we chose a solution: an all-day ticket. And on this ticket we could also travel, what the heart desires all over Helsinki. For 24 hours from the moment of deleting the first vehicle.
During our travels we saw how the Estonian and Finnish system works in practice. We saw how people "bounce" in vehicles, how they deal with this activity and whether everyone complies with this obligation (although public transport is free, all except students and pensioners have the obligation of having a city card and performing so-called "want-in" when boarding to the bus or tram). We tested the intuitiveness of the operation of devices of the type, natural, which are suspended in vehicles. We studied how friendly the applications and the passenger information system are.
Although it is still too early for a deeper analysis and summary, we must admit that the solutions applied in Estonia have made a great impression on us. We also had the opportunity to take part in two seminars, during which people responsible for organizing communications in the visited regions of Estonia and Finland told us about the details of their systems and presented development plans.
There is one more study visit to the participants of the Interconnect project - in Klaipeda, Lithuania, where new solutions in the field of ticket distribution and control are currently being introduced. After completing the visit cycle, a detailed report summarizing the experience gathered and analysing the solutions applied in particular regions will be created.
The signing of agreements enabling pilotage on the joint ticketing system began on Thursday during the Seminar "Patterns for modern public transport". After the ceremonial signing of the agreements, participants of the seminar became acquainted with one of Interconnect Project’s reports, concerning the analysis of communication systems in different regions of the Southern Baltic Countries.
The agreements to join the pilot project were signed at the Marshal Office of the Pomorskie Voivodeship by representatives of the cities of Gdańsk, Gdynia, Słupsk, Tczew and Starogard Gdański and Pomeranian Voivodeship’s self-government.
23 participants, seven locations, four types of public transport, over 100 km of routes - these are just some of the numbers associated with the study visit in Pomerania as part of the Interconnect project . On 7th September, project partners visited our province and tested and analyzed communication systems in practice.
The study visit began at the Gdańsk Główny railway station to prosecute to Gdańsk Wrzeszcz. Here, participants visited the “Road and Green Areas Management office in Gdańsk”, heart of the intelligent traffic control system TRISTAR, where they learned about its principles and operation, and listened to lectures on the development of rail public transport in Pomerania.
On September 6th in Gdańsk (Poland), project partners of INTERCONNECT project will organized a seminar "Benchmarks for the current public transport system". The event will take place at the Office of the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship in Gdańsk (from 9.30 - 15.15). The seminar will include information about results of previous work in the field of quality analysis of transport systems made by InnoBaltica Ltd. in cooperation with Interconnect project partners. During the debate, the proposed benchmarks of the analyzed systems will be discussed and their potential for replication in other regions of the South Baltic area.
Hanseatic Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (HIE-RO) prepared and published a study report in the frame of INTERCONNECT project and the deliverable 3.1 on policy and user response to public transport services. The report focus on good practice in making the public transport attractive to policies and users in South Baltic (SB) area and other regions, based on review of relevant policy documents and practical results of past cooperation projects/initiatives on public transport. You can read the report here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1umgebBxYwdbtHg-6G6RtDO02wAGVco0L
Are you up for an exciting opportunity? The Interreg South Baltic Programme invites the South Baltic region’s 16-26 years old high school senior and university students (individuals or groups) to participate in a video contest producing a short film (up to 3 minutes) on these topics: sustainable tourism, green technologies, sustainable transport in the South Baltic region.
The aim of the contest is to promote South Baltic Programme’s projects, innovative solutions, opportunities for improvement linked with these themes, and helping to tackle potential issues, obstacles.
Prizes for 5 winners:
- 1st prize: Photo camera – Canon EOS 80D + lenses
- 2nd prize: iPad – 9.7-inch Retina display, iOS 11
- 3rd – 5th prizes: Bluetooth wristbands monitoring daily activity + laptop backpacks.
Find out more about this contest on the South Baltic website: https://bit.ly/2sisZmQ
We are happy to publish a report authored by Sven Borén and Henrik Ny at Blekinge Institute of Technology 2018, concerning the Working Package 3.2 of INTERCONNECT project. This report is the final deliverable from activity 3.2 of the INTERCONNECT project. It sums up the ‘raw data’ or outcomes of stakeholder workshops in the pilot areas. This includes regional visionary statements to lay the ground for a vision of sustainable public transport in the South Baltic area. Preliminary paths (plans) for how to reach the visionary statements and the sustainability effects of the current and future public transport mobility patterns are also included. A draft of the common vision is intended to later be put together by the authors of this report based on the visionary statements gathered from the participating regions. You can read the report here:https://drive.google.com/file/d/19C1-BrsZscCO0vpxQMW8QiFze20kFotu/view
INTERCONNECT can be considered as the successor of ‘Interface’ and ‘Interface Plus’ projects. These projects, co-funded by the South Baltic Programme 2007-2013, aimed to help revitalise cross-border passenger traffic without car as a comfortable, cheap and environmental friendly alternative to travel within the South Baltic area. The projects succeeded in introducing an integrated railway-ferry-bus ticket for the ride between the urban centres of Nyköping (Denmark) and Rostock (Germany), operated through an online booking system and supported by the dynamic passenger information system, the first cross-border facility of that kind in the South Baltic area. Now, joint marketing and information activities are being implemented in order this service to become more attractive in the widen public.
Given that, InterCombi Ticket is a initiative that should be showcased as good practise, and as example of successful Multi-modal ticketing system. InterCombi gives the opportunity to passengers to get different means of Transport (ferry, bus, etc) travelling from Denmark to Germany, using just single ticket! More specifically the InterCombi-Ticket is valid for:
- all public transport in Nykøbing (tariff zone 230)
- bus transfer from Nykøbing to Gedser
- crossing the Baltic Sea with a Scandlines ferry to Rostock
- all public transport in Rostock (tariff zone Rostock)
If you want to know more about this initiative, you can check here: http://www.intercombi-ticket.de
Overlapping with the 800th jubilee of the Hanseatic City of Rostock, the international Hanseatic Day (Hansetag Rostock 2018) took place from 21st to 24th June 2018. Among many events, the Hanse Congress 2018, an international economic congress, was organised.
Entrepreneurs and scientists from Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and European Hanseatic cities were invited to participate. HIE-RO took the opportunity to present the Interconnect project.
The idea pitching event was split into 7 cross-industry topics (life science, logistics, tourism economy, renewable energy, food & agriculture, creative industries and maritime economy) and 7 parallel lectures, limited to 800 seconds per lecture and 800 second discussion.
Participants of the Interconnect lecture engaged in the discussions about common ticketing systems and the issues of long distance / cross-border travels via public transport.
What a fantastic 2 days in Klaipeda for ERB Delegation, attending the Annual South Baltic Conference “Unlocking the potential for blue and Green Growth”. The conference was held in Klaipeda, Lithuania the dates 23-24 of May 2018 and it was a valuable experience for the team of Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic, consisting of Sebastian Magier, Malgorzata Samusjew, Agata Ludwiczak, Valentina Scandola and Andreas Karadakis.
The Annual Event of the Programme was dedicated to mark the successful implementation of the Programme and to present to the public the most important and interesting joint projects of the Western part of Lithuania and other regions of participating countries - Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Germany. Every year, this event takes place in another South Baltic region’s country participating in the Programme.
The opening session was marvellous. The Mayor of Klaipeda welcomed the participants and Anne Thomas, Head of Euroregion Baltic Executive Board gave an inspirational speech, stressing out the importance of working together for common goals.
On the first day the participants of the Event discussed the progress of the Programme and the future prospects of the South Baltic region after 2020. The thematic areas of the event were: sustainable tourism, transport, green technology promotion in the region, increase of the qualification and cooperation skills of employees, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
Participants of the Event had also the opportunity to take part in the boat tour and see closer a project co-financed by the Interreg South Baltic Programme - the LNG terminal. Another group of participants cycled to the sites of projects that are being implemented in the city of Klaipeda.
During the second day participants were given the chance to attend parallel sessions about 1)communication and dissemination project strategies and 2) clustering of projects.
European and INTERREG projects bring about a positive change in the life of European Citizens and the local communities. During the communication and dissemination session it was stressed that besides good intentions and actions, is equally important for those involved in European projects to effectively communicate and spread the project results and success stories. Also, they were presented efficient communication strategies and more “ catchy” tactics to draw the attention of the widen public.
The session for clustering of projects was very constructive as well! “Project clustering across different priorities could provide additional benefits when the results are linked into add value chain” - said Arturas Razinkovas-Baziukas, Moderator on project clustering workshop.
An example of project clustering that was presented as good practice during this session is the cooperation of 2 projects managed form the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic; CaSYPoT (Capacity Building for Strategic Youth Policy and Transnational Cooperation) and SB YCGN ( South Baltic Youth Core Groups Network). SB YCGN project, sharing similar goals and values with CaSYPoT, is meant of using the survey tool that was developed for the latter to conduct another research that will be finally compared to CaSYPoT’s results. SB YCGN aims to increase capacity building of local actors working with youth, demonstrating the benefits of soft cross border cooperation in solving youth issues. Clustering of CaSYPoT project with GaYa project is worth to be mentioned too. GaYa aims to increase the quality of democratic processes in the Alpine space by enhancing the involvement of young people. The stakeholders of the 2 projects met and exchanged views and insights from their projects providing valuable feedback to each other.
Green Transport Session had a special interest for Euroregion Baltic since the organization is a partner of INTERCONNECT project. During the workshop it was underlined the importance for the stakeholders in the Baltic Sea to search for good practises and innovation in European (public) transport and especially in other INTERREG projects. Also there was a reflection of the Ten T-days Conference for Sustainable Transport that was held in Ljubljana and the projects that were showcased there. Synergies and cross border cooperation are essential elements in order to be developed a joint integration vision for the European regions and to show the benefits of better connectivity to European Citizens. Last, It was emphasised that the goal of one ticket system for various means of transport across Europe should be a priority.
ERB delegation is back in base full of priceless information and experiences, more wise and nuanced, committed to continue working for the achievement of the common goals in the South Baltic towards the prosperity of the region.
INNOBALTICA has announced a tender process for the provision of cloud services directly related to the pilot program, which is one of the essential elements of the INTERCONNECT project implementation. The announcement of the tender process is a milestone in the preparation of a pilot connection between the Pomeranian - Blekinge regions in Sweden. It is also an important element in the implementation of one of the main objectives of the INTERCONNECT project, which is: "Development of solutions that will enable passengers to travel internationally using regional and urban transport based on one integrated ticket (...)"
You can read more about tender process here (in Polish): http://innobaltica.pl/1_12_zamowienia-publiczne.html
As it is regularly scheduled, representatives from the Hanseatic Institute for Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (Germany), Region Blekinge (Sweden), Blekinge Trafiken (Sweden), Innobaltica ( Poland), Viimsi Municipality, (Estonia), Euroregion Baltic (Poland), in an on-line meeting regarding INTERCONNECT Project. This was the 4th on-line meeting between the project partners and it was held the 14th of June 2018. The participants went through the schedule and the planned activities of the project, discussing and analysing the progress that has be done and identifying challenges in the implementation of the working packages.
Some important issues that were discussed are:
- A study visit, combined with the benchmark seminar, will be held in Pomorskie, Poland on 6-7 September2018. Furthermore, a study visit - to Helsinki, Tallinn and Viimsi - will be arranged for 2-3 of October;
- The work-plan for the Working Package 5 will be updated and will be spread out to the Project Partners, with first activities to be launched in late 2018.
All the project partners are passionate and committed to continue working systematically in order to find sustainable solutions that will make public transport more attractive to citizens in the South Baltic Sea Area. We promise to keep you updated!!!
The Executive Board of Euroregion Baltic met in Klaipeda on 22nd May 2018 to discuss about the progress, the challenges and the priorities of the organisation in the coming year. The main topic of the meeting was the development of the ERB 2030 Agenda and discussion on the proposals already submitted by some of the ERB members. The discussion served as a source of inspiration and provided relevant content to the development of the document later this year.
The ERB also continued the dialogue on the pontential enlargement of the organisation by inlcuding a new member from Sweden. To this end a representative of the Skåne Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet Skåne) presented the organisation and their expectations towards the ERB as a potential future member organisation. The process is expected to be finalised at the next Board meeting in September 2018.
Much discussion was dedicated to the question of continuation of the South Baltic Programme under the new proposals submitted by the European Commission. It was agreed unanimously that the Programme should continue as an independent financial tools with significant budget allowing its stakeholders to tackle different challenges identified in the region. In order to provide an effective lobbying for the Programme the Board decided to develop a position paper highlighting the achievements of the Programme and lobbying for its continuation after 2020.
Communication manager of INTERCONNECT, Agata Ludwiczak, was also present in the meeting, presenting to the Board the progress and results of the project so far.
The 42nd Annual Congress will be held in Rostock, Germany from 19th to 21st of September 2018 and has the ambition to facilitate the dialogue among all the urban stakeholders irrespective of their scale of involvement and of their sector of activities either private, public or third sector. The Congress in Rostock, in the North East of Germany, is an opportunity to understand the territorial and urban management changes taking place in one of the most advanced industrial countries, and the new relationships that are being established between the central, regional, metropolitan and rural levels in the production of efficient, effective and enjoyable urban society. The East German City Rostock managed the widespread changes in society and economy in a model like way; is prospering, vibrant, works now on new masterplan Rostock 2030 preparing next quantum jump. Moreover, public transport will be a significant topic in the discussion during the Congress. Different Interconnect project partners will active contribute to the workshop4: T4: Sustainable mobility - integrated multimodal public transport;(access by multimodal public transport). Because of lack of integrated transport authority and multimodal services, connections between small and medium-sized areas and with the main urban centres hardly meet customer's expectations who do not see clear benefits of choosing public transport over private car. Planning, market incentives and promotion campaigns to change the travel pattern of people living and working in small and medium-sized areas tend to fail. Would multi-stakeholder governance, and user-adjusted tools such as interoperability of the local and regional transport services, enhance the public transport service and curb the car -reliant mobility? Could every small and medium sized areas afford its own public transport system, how technology can help in organising interregional and cross-border cooperative transport solutions? Herewith, Interconnect has the pleasure, contributing from South Baltic Sea regions perspective to UN discussion of new urban agenda, Habitat III.