Mobility is about getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, and for many people it means jumping into their cars. Ideally, mobility planning should start with the question ‘how should I go there?’ The Sofia Urban Mobility Website helps to answer exactly this question in an easy-to-use manner.
Background & Objectives
Over the past two decades, the level of motorization (i.e. private car use) has grown very rapidly in Sofia. For example, car ownership and use has grown by 50% since 2002.
Multimodality used to be the norm some time ago, but now many people use their cars, even in those cases where it may not be the most appropriate – especially in the rush hours. The urban structure of Sofia was not planned to deal with such a high level of traffic, and therefore some solution had to be found to make sustainable travel planning easier.
The Sofia Urban Mobility Center’s website was created exactly for this purpose. Inside one integral and easy-to-use interface, it provides real time information relating to public transport, parking and cycling. This grouping of services also reflects the organizational responsibilities of the Sofia Urban Mobility Center itself.
The use of public transport is made easier by an on-line time table. Users can either search by route or station, or can use the interactive map, in which they can enter the start and finish points. All these are accompanied by detailed information about service schedules.
If users wish to cycle for their journeys, the website also contains an interactive cycle map, which includes details of cycle paths, places of interest or danger, bicycle parking locations, cycling shops, and recommended cycle routes.
These interactive services are accompanied by lots of additional information, and website users are encouraged to contribute or interact through the on-line discussion forums, or by telephone. The website is also optimized for mobile devices, in this way all the travel information can be easily access through smart phones.
Over the past years many improvements were made in the transport infrastructure in Sofia: a new metro line was built, a real-time passenger information system was introduced, 26 km of cycle paths were constructed, and a new zone-based parking system was introduced.
However, infrastructural developments need to be accompanied by real-time information to allow users to use those services. In this regard, the Sofia Urban Mobility Center website has proven very useful, attracting over 25,000 users each day.