OPTIMISM workshop on Collecting and Reporting Travel Behaviour data to be held on 14th March 2013

February 7, 2013 in Blog, News

One of the objectives of the OPTIMISM project is to gather, analyse and harmonise national travel data statistics in Europe, which are based on different methodologies. More specifically:
■To research, identify, gather and process relevant information and key factors about general conditions of national travel behaviour,
■To compile and analyse the identified data in order to understand differences in the individual national context of transport and mobility,
■To identify the different methodologies used for elaborating national statistical data,
■To determine the need of harmonising national travel data,
■To identify and assess various methods of harmonising statistical data,
■To develop a methodology to collect and report data on travel behaviour,
■To give guidelines and recommendations for harmonising differences of statistical data and scientific analysis on travel behaviour.

In order to achieve these objectives, the following three tasks are identified, of which the first two have already been accomplished in the first year of the project:

  1. Gather and analyse national travel statistics: A questionnaire was developed and sent to relevant authorities responsible for conducting the national travel surveys (NTS) in the respective countries across Europe. The results revealed that there is much variation between the types of data collected by NTS across European countries and harmonisation is problematic under the current survey methodologies and approaches. It is recommended that a consistent system be developed and agreed by member states, as well as a core set of data items to analyse transport movements and trends as a basis for future European and national policies.
  2. Develop a methodology to harmonise travel statistics: The information collected was analysed further for 15 countries in order to analyse data gaps, identify potential data formats that can be used for data collection and propose a methodology and common standardised structure for NTS. As a result, a set of parameters has been identified for which information needs to be collected in order to properly analyse the most important European transport policies that are linked to passenger transport.
  3. Define recommendations to collect and report data on socio-economic drivers of travel behaviour: This final task aims to propose a methodology to collect and report travel data with the identification of main data needs and gaps, and the analysis of alternative sources of information and new data collection techniques. It will start from a list of variables needed for policy making but unavailable/insufficient with the existing data collection methodologies. Then, it will investigate potential use of modern data collection techniques and their association possibility with the NTS.

For this purpose, a workshop ia being held at the Centre Albert Borschette in Brussels, Belgium on 14th March 2013 to discuss existing data collection techniques across Europe, elaborating the problem areas, gaps and needs for harmonisation of the NTS and indentify alternative sources of information and new data collection techniques with the help of stakeholders and experts from the public and private sectors of travel statistics. To register, click on https://jrc-meeting-registration.jrc.ec.europa.eu/Seville/March2013/OPTIMSIMWorkshoponCollectingandReportingTravelBehaviourData/tabid/2968/Default.aspx and for more information, contact Mert.KOMPIL@ec.europa.eu.


Complete the second expert online questionnaire on future mobility scenarios today!

December 12, 2012 in Blog, News

The second expert online questionnaire on future mobility scenarios is now launched at surveymonkey.com/s/P73GTRD. Please take a few minutes to complete it before 21st December 2012!.

As part of its activities, OPTIMISM has launched a forecasting study to build future mobility scenarios. To this aim, a Delphi survey is being carried out which includes a first expert online questionnaire, an expert workshop, and a second expert online questionnaire. For those interested in the results of the first online questionnaire and the workshop, a report is available at  http://www.optimismtransport.eu/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/OPTIMISM_Delphi_results_1st_survey__workshop.pdf.

This is the second expert online questionnaire which builds on the results of the previous stages of the Delphi study.  The questionnaire aims to collect expert opinions on the likelihood of implementation by 2030/2050 of the EU-level policy measures considered in the Impact Assessment of the European Commission’s 2011 transport White Paper;  two different energy (oil) price scenarios are considered.

The questionnaire consists of two parts (part A and part B), one for each of the two oil price scenarios, because it is assumed that the likelihood of a policy measure being implemented depends on the possible oil price. The first scenario is the reference scenario according to the European Commission’s scenario studies, the second is an alternative scenario. A brief description of each scenario is provided at the beginning of the relevant part. At the end of each section there is space for suggestions and comments. All information provided to this survey will be treated anonymously.

Rome Expert Workshop results now published

December 4, 2012 in News, Publications

On 18th September 2012, 24 mobility experts were invited to Rome to participate in the OPTIMISM project’s Expert Workshop on Passenger Mobility Scenarios for Europe. The results of the workshop can be found below. If you have any questions please contact Paolo Delle Site at paolo.dellesite@uniroma1.it or Eleni Anoyrkati at e.anoyrkati@coventry.ac.uk


Rome Expert Workshop on 18th September gathers invaluable input

October 9, 2012 in Blog, News

On 18th September 2012, some 24 mobility experts were invited to Rome to participate in the OPTIMISM project’s Expert Workshop. The experts invited to the workshop were from the list of 131 who responded to the first online questionnaire. In order to ensure as much as possible heterogeneous expert backgrounds, this identification of experts was based on getting coverage of all transport modes, different educational background, type of organisation and as many countries as possible. During the event, organised by The Centre for Transport and Logistics (CTL) at “Sapienza” University of Rome, the experts got to know the workings of the project, as well as the next steps to be undertaken by the European Commission and the Horizon 2020 programme.

This Expert Workshop was held within the framework of Work Package 3 to help define the future trends and their requirements for passenger transport and followed the online Delphi exercise. The organisation gravitated around its two main objectives:

  • give experts the opportunity to exchange their ideas, points of view and experiences with other experts;
  • selection of two scenario variables among a list of passenger transport key factors.

It was decided to use the World Café method during both the morning and afternoon sessions of the workshop to encourage interactive and lively discussions between experts, because of its relative simplicity, flexibility and effectiveness. As for the selection of the two scenario variables, it was decided to organise an electronic voting (e-voting) session at the end of the discussions in order to take into account possible suggestions on additional key factors resulting from the exchange of ideas between experts.

Café-style conversations were organised between experts at tables hosted by project partner members. The latter did not actively participate in the discussions, they just asked questions and encouraged experts to speak and took note of the outcomes. During six discussion rounds, various topics in relation to the future trends of passenger transport key factors influencing mobility patterns became the focus of attention. Mobility issues, demographics, economic theories, technological advances and many other topics were discussed at large.

On behalf of the OPTIMISM project, we would like to thank all the experts present for their cooperation, and we look forward to future cooperation! For more information on the workshop, contact Paolo Delle Site at paolo.dellesite@uniroma1.it.


OPTIMISM workshop for experts on 18th September 2012 in Rome

August 16, 2012 in Blog, News

The OPTIMISM project is holding an expert workshop in Rome on 18th September 2012 as part of a Delphi study within Work Package 3 (WP3) to build future mobility scenarios. This workshop follows a first online survey to collect opinions on the importance of critical factors in terms of their impact on passenger mobility and the uncertainty of the trend related to the factor. The survey closed in mid-July and some 143 questionnaires were received, of which 126 were fully completed.

The workshop will gather experts who have participated in the online survey with the aim of facilitating interactive and lively discussions about the foreseeable trends of critical factors and how these might shape future mobility patterns. Café-style conversations in restricted groups will enable the sharing of theories, stories and ideas. A final electronic voting session will identify the factors characterised by highest importance and uncertainty which will serve as dimensions for scenario building. A project management meeting will be held for all the partners in the project during the same week of the workshop.

OPTIMISM paper to be presented at ITRN conference on 29th August 2012

August 2, 2012 in Blog, News

Dr. Aoife Ahern of University College Dublin (UCD) will present a paper on OPTIMISM’s Work Package 2 entitled “National Transport Statistics- Travel in Europe” (written by by Aoife Ahern, Martin Redelbach and Angelika Schulz of DLR)  at the Irish Transport Research Network (ITRN) Conference on 29th August 2012 in the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. For more details, see http://www.itrn.ie/ and contact aoife.ahern@ucd.ie.


Deliverable 3.1 outlines research scheme for transport system and mobility behaviour

August 2, 2012 in Blog, News

Deliverable 3.1 of Work Package 3 (WP 3) Demand and supply factors for passenger transport and mobility patterns – status quo and foresight entitled “Research scheme for transport system and mobility behaviour” has been submitted to the European Commission. Tasks 3.1 and 3.2 of WP 3 provide the research framework for WP 3 by analysing the passenger transport system with its demand and supply factors. Therefore, a desk research of related projects and publications of the past transport development and defining the megatrends of the future society is needed. Based on this framework, the relevant variables and relations within the transport system will be figured out as input for the modelling of future mobility in task 3.3. This includes collecting the available information on demand factors (economic development, income, age, gender, etc.), gathering data on supply factors (infrastructure, car ownership, mobility costs, etc.) and analysing the gaps and interdependencies between demand/supply factors and travel statistics. Megatrends – as main influencing factors of the system – will be detected by a meta-analysis of current socioeconomic and technological developments; at a second step the megatrends will be evaluated regarding their impact on future development of the transportation system and mobility behaviour.

The aim of this Deliverable is to describe the process of the desk research phase within the tasks 3.1 and 3.2 and give a first overview of factors which should be considered for further work. The Deliverable includes:

  • Object of investigation (definitions of the object of investigation and used terms, general framework of the research scheme)
  • Fields of relevant factors and key drivers on transport development
  • Scenario building
  • Process of analyzing the relevant factors and key drivers of transport development
  • Interrelations to other WPs/Tasks and COMPASS

For more information, contact Dr. Merja Hoppe of Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW) at merja.hoppe@zhaw.ch


Deliverable 2.1 Analysis of NTS in Europe now submitted

August 2, 2012 in Blog, News

Deliverable 2.1 of Work Package 2 (Harmonisation of national travel statistics in Europe) of the OPTIMISM project entitled “Analysis of National Travel Statistics in Europe” has now been submitted to the European Commission. The objectives of this task were:

  1. To establish what countries are collecting National Travel Surveys (NTS),
  2. To identify the information and travel data that is collected in those NTS,
  3. To examine how the surveys are designed in terms of classification of data, sampling and survey implementation, and
  4. To compare travel data from different countries.

With this in mind, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to the relevant authorities with responsibility for travel data collection in a number of countries. Based on the ensuing analysis of current NTS in European countries, a first series of recommendations can be derived:

  1. A core set of data points should be developed e.g. trip length, absolute values
  2. Clear methodologies and methodological frameworks for all NTS should be put in place,
  3. It is recommended that EUROSTAT decide what groupings in relation to the different data sets (age, trip lengths etc) are appropriate and develop a fixed methodology with clear frameworks of data collection,
  4. New technological advances to be examined for future use, e.g. smart phone technology, training for such advances, and
  5. Exploring how records from different sources can be used together to enrich our awareness of travel patterns and travel behaviour would be a useful exercise.

In the further progress of the OPTIMISM project, task 2.2 and task 2.3 will develop methodologies and recommendations how NTS can be improved and harmonised across Europe. For more details on this Deliverable, contact Dr. Aoife Ahern of University College Dublin at aoife.ahern@ucd.ie.

Second OPTIMISM newsletter now published

June 28, 2012 in News, Publications

Click on the link below to take a look at the second OPTIMISM newsletter, which includes an overview of progress for each of the six Work Packages, a preview of Work Package 3 workshop in Rome on 18th September 2012 and overvierw of the associated COMPASS project. Contact Lars Akkermans at lars.akkermans@tmleuven.be with any questions about this newsletter.

OPTIMISM 2nd newsletter





Developing future mobility scenarios survey sent out to key experts

June 27, 2012 in News

As part of its activities, OPTIMISM has launched a forecasting study to build future mobility scenarios. To further this aim, a Delphi survey is being carried out; this includes a first expert online questionnaire, an expert workshop, and a second expert online questionnaire. High-profile experts and key players in sustainable mobility have this week been invited by email to take part in the first round Delphi Expert Consultation. A selection of respondents will be invited to take part in the expert workshop which will take place in Rome on September 18th 2012 (travel expenses will be paid by the OPTIMISM project).

If you are an expert in sustainable mobility, please complete our online questionnaire before 15th July. The process is very simple and should not take more than 15 minutes to complete. To complete the questionnaire please use the link below:


All experts will be contacted for the second round of the Consultation in a few months time. Further details, the programme and the agenda of the Rome workshop will follow in due course. Contact Paolo Delle Site, Delphi Survey leader at paolo.dellesite@uniroma1.it for more details.