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Contact: Andreas SCHUSTER
Views:1972 Posted:December 2011
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Internet courses for senior citizens in Munich, Germany

The Munich-based environmental organisation Green City and the computer training centre Mediencenter 50plus offered an internet course focused on mobility for older people. The main goal of the course was to enable older passengers to use the internet to get information about mobility services and even buy tickets, make train reservations and participate in car sharing.

Background & Objectives

Although a large amount of information exists about being and staying mobile, much of it is only accessible through modern technologies like the internet and mobile phones. This is especially the case for more specialised information, such as in the case of sustainable mobility. A lot of older citizens who have an active lifestyle are not familiar with these technologies and have problems operating ticketing machines or planning their trips through the internet. The main goal of the course was to enable older passengers to use the internet to get information about mobility services or to buy tickets, make train reservations and use car sharing. The groups were rather small, with around 12 persons. Participants were able to use individual computers, making the working sessions very efficient. The course was divided into five sessions of two hours each, amounting to ten hours in total. The course included lessons about a CO2 calculator of different transport modes, links for interesting mobility web pages in Munich, obtaining travel information via mobile phone, route planning with Google Earth, a virtual ticketing machine exercise and how to rent a public bike and car.>

All lessons where combined with exercises undertaken either during the session or at home.


A key condition for implementation was an already existing and well-known IT training centre for older people, the Mediencenter 50plus in Munich. Delivering training to senior citizens requires special skills because the information has to be organised in small, easy-to-recognise and memorable chapters. Green City, a Munich-based environmental organisation, was in charge of organising the internet courses. It supported the courses by providing trainers in energy-efficient mobility and enhancing their publicity.


The internet courses were very popular among the participants. The average age of participants was 67 years. 78% of the participants were women and 22% were men. The majority hardly used the internet to plan their trips before but will use it more often now, as a result of experiencing this technique.

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This Case Study is part of the European urban mobility and transport best practice collection from Eltis - www.eltis.org.