Short description of the project
Motive / Need
Exchange of experience, analysis of the situation, language competence
Establishment of room for manoeuvre in the different fields of cooperation
Programme of action for regional public transport
Evaluation and writing of the “local transport plan Sønderjylland / Schleswig“
Within the scope of the discussion about an intensifying of the cross-border partnership in the Sønderjylland-Schleswig region, the question of further developing the cross-border public transport arose in the regional council and regional committee in charge of planning and infrastructure. In connection with the discussion about a necessary improvement of cross-border rail traffic, the task of checking the cross-border bus transport offer for possibilities for improvement as well as investigating and using chances systematically, arises. The aim of the project is to make the two very different existing systems either side of the border compatible to each other in order to develop a cross-border public transport plan, as well as the implementation of extra express bus routes in the region.
Within the scope of the discussion about an intensifying of the cross-border partnership in the Sønderjylland-Schleswig region, the question of further developing the cross-border public transport arose in the regional council and regional committee in charge of planning and infrastructure. In some areas only the beginnings of cross-border public transport are taking place. The network of lines that exists at the moment requires a passenger to change bus or train very close to the border in order to reach a destination further away.For the passengers, the people responsible for the service and the bus companies on both sides of the border, barriers in the area of cross-border public transport still exist. In “Case Study No. 4“ of the project CONPASS “Better Connections in European Passenger Transport“ a few problem areas have already been identified. In connection with the discussion about a necessary improvement of cross-border rail traffic, the task of checking the cross-border bus transport offer for possibilities for improvement as well as investigating and using chances systematically, arises.The biggest problems for the transport companies, despite the dropped legitimate restrictions, exist due to the different public transport systems in both countries. Next to an intensifying of the exchange of experience between competitors, an adaptation of their organisation structures is required for the creation of a cross-border structure.The biggest barriers for the passengers are the different and insufficiently coordinated timetables, price structure, deficit of information, language and the need for changing bus or train. On both sides of the border different timetables are valid that are also changed at different times (in Denmark, the last week of June and in Germany on the 15th of December). Within the project these barriers are to be overcome in order to ensure a better uniformity of cross-border bus transport. A call for action is also seen in the areas of timetable information and consistent pricing.
The priority aim is an optimal networking and marketing of the cross-border public transport offer in order to improve the guidelines for taking up cross-border work, to put demands on cross-border services, to use cross-border cultural offers, to develop the cross-border offer to tourists on both sides of the border and the relief of cross-border personal contact. As a result of cross-border public transport improvement, the connection between the universities in Flensburg and Sonderburg and the conditions for cross-border areas of study can be improved.These targets can also include an expansion of immediate cross-border traffic services as long as this is economically justifiable.
The target group of the project is the population of the whole region, especially the people who commute for their job or training, as well as students. At the same time a higher use of leisure transport is expected.An enhancement for tourists and visitors to the region is expected along with the positive effects for the inhabitants of the region.Due to teamwork with the working group, the communication and exchange of experience between the people responsible will be built up for a long time. Furthermore, the knowledge of the different public transport systems will be improved as well as support for a better coordination of the different planning systems. The inclusion of the transport companies in the conversion phase will also result in better communication with these cross-border partners. This will guarantee a regular exchange of experience and a lasting improvement in the collaboration.
A guidance group will collect and assess existing offers and enquiries in the region. The guidance group, which is made up of a representative from the districts of Nordfriesland and Schleswig-Flensburg, the LVS, City of Flensburg and Sydbus, will be trained as the people responsible and should meet once a month. At this meeting, the very different structures that exist at present relating to product, passenger information system, prices, marketing, networking of lines and timetables will be investigated.The aim of the investigation, on the basis of the existing and newly written transport plan as well as existing studies on local transport in the border region, should be to bring the market conditions and effective mechanisms in different parts of the project to a European level and make them transparent. At the same time, the aims of the plan should be checked for their congruency and conflicts to do with this should be reduced. During the analysis of the different public transport systems final internal chances of optimisation concerning the economic and effective factors will be derived. Assuming general acceptance and simple feasibility, an express bus connection between Husum – Flensburg – Sonderburg, as well as Apenrade, as already suggested as a pilot project by the regional council, can be prepared and implemented. As a condition of a lasting cooperation process, the people involved in the project should be trained in language as well as subject work, whereby special stress should be placed on the learning of subject terminology.
The second phase of the project is concerned with the determination of possibilities for action for a better cross-border connection of the public transport systems, especially in the areas of network of lines, timetable, prices, information, marketing and development of product. The final thing mentioned there includes, for example, the questions whether, where and how the insertion of cross-border bus lines can be designed successfully. With the help of expertise advice and with participation of the public, ideas for the measures needed should be gathered and analysed. In this way, the transport companies that are active in the region will be immediately included, as far as is necessary. In the appropriate committee, a decision will be made about the carrying out of the measures.
The result of the decision made by the cross-border committee from now on serves as a “cross-border transport plan”, which is subject to concrete financial decisions by the committee of the people responsible and will be implemented in relation to each measure (network of lines, timetable, prices, information, marketing, products etc.). In the scope of the implementation it will be necessary, based on the findings of the cross-border transport plan, to take into account the infrastructure of the new circumstances and in particular to improve passenger information. Electronic passenger information at important centres, that is end points, is thought of as well as a new equipping of the bus stops. A final commitment of the measures to be carried out will follow after the completion of a needs analysis.
Following the implementation phase, the activities will be evaluated, in order to check individual project success and to create conditions for the decision about their continuation. Acceptance by the customers, the economics and the dismantling effects of the border controlled barriers serve as the controlling features.As long as most of the elements of the “cross-border transport plan” are carried out, full integration into the planning procedure on both sides of the border is offered.
A cross-border public transport system should be established in the region with a standardised price, easy to read and understand timetable information as well as a cross-border marketing plan. Through regular updating of the local transport plan a new potential of cross-border public transport will be identified and regular controlling guaranteed.