With the contribution of the LIFE programme of the European Union - LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611

SOCIO - ECONOMIC EFFECTS

  • Improved know-how for 6 organizations from 3 countries (Greece, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic) beneficiaries of the project. A total of 48 research members (as it is shown in F1) from the beneficiaries will directly gain expertise and knowledge through the project and exchange their experiences and knowledge with other members of the consortium or other organizations (ex. Journey Planners (JP) invited to webinars ). Improved know-how not only increases specific environmental/transportation problem awareness, but mainly improves the beneficiaries’ competitiveness at national and international level.

  • At least 23 new part or full time positions will be created during GYM lifetime (recorded as additional (no existing) staff in the budget analysis): 1 Administrative/Financial Management, 1 Assistant/Communication Officer, 1 Engineer/Environmental Expert, 1 Engineer/SW Expert, 1 Graphic designer/Communication Junior Expert, 2 Junior Researcher - Engineer/Environmental Expert, 3 Junior Researcher - Engineer/Optimisation Expert, 1 Researcher -Engineer/Optimisation Expert, 1 Senior Researchers/Environmental Expert, 1 Senior socio-economic expert, 2 Software Experts, 1 SW Developer/Database Expert, 5 Technician/SW Developer, 1 Web technologies Expert.

  • Networking of beneficiaries with groups from different administration levels and different sectors: all of the beneficiaries are networking with bodies within and beyond their countries for the demonstration and the dissemination of GYM. The socioeconomic benefits of networking are important especially for Greek partners whose presence in European networks and initiatives is, in general terms, lower than the other countries’.

 

 

Implementation-related socio-economic effects

 

  • New rise to environmental and transportation policies.

  • Traffic emissions have become increasingly relevant in the discussion of air quality problems, climate change and mitigation policies. The need for a green transport gives rise to new transport policies aiming at reducing the GHG emissions. GYM can be used in combination with a simulation platform as a decision support system by authorities, agencies and companies in order to evaluate and test existing and new policies for the management of transport.

  • Improved know-how for 25 organisations from 15 countries (e.g. Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovak Republic, FYROM, Portugal, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, UK, Belgium, Austria) participating in demonstration and dissemination activities of GYM.

  • Improved technology for journey planners and transport operators in Greece and other European countries (at least 10). GYM will incite more transport operators to join the platform, having realized that they could potentially benefit from the increase in the use of public transport by the citizens.

  • Improved competitiveness of transport operators in countries either beneficiaries (Czech Republic, Greece, Slovak Republic) or interested parties (Italy, Romania, Slovakia, FYROM, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, UK, Belgium, Austria).

  • Enhancement of public health conditions, life and aesthetic quality of local communities due to reduced vehicles and more open space. An alternative modal shift substantially will decrease air and noise pollution in a city, which will incur large-scale public-health benefits. The people most affected by local air pollution from transport fuels are those walking along busy roads to work and school. This is predominantly less wealthy people without resources to cope with ill health and the economic consequences thereof. Quieter roads mean a decrease in daily travelling time and a subsequent increase in an individual’s free time. Aesthetic impacts are not only associated to environmental impacts; they also have a significant impact on the social well-being of the community and resident perceptions about the quality of life in the community.

  • GYM will also incite passengers to think of their carbon footprint while commuting or travelling, thus cultivating an environment-oriented way of making decisions and acting. During GYM 5 EU JP (e.g. CHAPS’s, INPROP's, GYM, and Romania) and minimum 6 (expected) between the 12 participated in webinars will include for the first time environmental considerations in the optimization process resulting the most environmental route for any journey planning request.

  • Another effect is the increase of workload and creation of jobs during replication of GYM in other journey planning systems. Models of GYM are expected to be replicated into the JP, at least those 12 participating in the webinars (Act. D3.2). The integration of GYM’s models in these JP will take place after each webinar (months 23 – 27) and we estimate that each JP developer will need around 90 man-days for the integration. Thus, it is estimated that in total GYM will indirectly create jobs equivalent to at least 1.080 man-days (at least 540-at least 6 JP will replicate GYM’s models). This estimation results directly by the cost described for B7 where 2 JP (CHAPS and INPROP) replicate GYM’s model s in their platforms. The possible development of a media business model is another effect, since journey planning is content that attracts audience for advertising that can stimulate local economic activity.

 

 

Additional socio-economic effects related to Greece

 

The use of GYM especially in Greece will:

 

  • Introduce a new business sector in Greece, the one of journey planners.

  • Improve the traffic conditions in regions with traffic congestion. GYM positively responds to the demand of enhanced public transportation services in Greece.

  • Facilitate vacation planners and provide them with incentives to use public transport rather than their car. Public transport is cheaper, timely and reliable, causes less fatigue for the driver, is less dangerous than travelling by car, and is greener.

  • Help transport operators to get lower prices thanks to the increase of passengers per vehicle.

  • Increase tourism in mainland Greece, since for the time being only Greek islands attract tourists.

  • Promote better quality services provided by the operators towards the passenger (new fleets, more infrastructures, more and well-trained personnel etc.). Since to satisfy the increased demand for public transport, an increase in the offer will have to occur.

  • Lead to the enhancement of public health conditions (decrease air & noise pollution), improved traffic conditions, life quality and of the aesthetic quality of local communities due to reduced vehicles on the cities’ roads and more open space in 16 Greek cities (Athens, Thessaloniki, Alexandroupolis, Chalkida, Florina, Ioannina, Katerini, Komotini, Lamia, Larissa, Patras, Serres, Thiva, Trikala, Volos, Xanthi).

 

Other socio-economic effects for Greece:

 

  • ​Offsetting social and economic isolation of certain regions of Greece: 13 regions min.

  • Increase the total number of passengers using public transport in Greece: 10% min.

  • Increase of the number of passengers per mode of transport: 10% min.

  • Increase of the number of passengers per km travelled: 10% min.

 

Furthermore, increased use of public transport results in commuter savings on fuel and maintenance costs. Lower traffic volumes result in reduced road maintenance costs. The inarguably heavy dependence on oil imports with long supply lines renders Greece vulnerable to fluctuations in international oil prices and supply disruptions. In an era when oil supplies appear to be raising this is likely to mean a substantial upward trend in the price of oil, with enormous consequences for our country economies.

 

GYM will also increase the accessibility of certain areas. The more accessible a location (defined as the quantum of economic or social activities that can be reached using the transport system) is, the larger the effective size of the local geographic ‘market’, which promotes economic activity between firms and fosters higher levels of local area competition. This is a fact that cannot easily quantified, however according to Smart Growth America (Transportation Funding and Job Creation, 2011), enhancing transit in communities with high

unemployment creates 2,5 times more jobs than in communities with low unemployment.

 

In Greece the general demand of open transport data is still not covered. GYM is the first co-modal and environmental transport planner in Greece which stores all available transport data in a unique repository and provides it in open format.

 

In addition, GYM platform and the smart phone application (Act. B5 & B6) will be available for public use, citizens and tourists, in the biggest 16 Greek cities. However, after the completion of the project, it is expected from operators, that will be informed through dissemination actions, to include other cities in the platform and expand it. Taking that into consideration, another expected long-term socio-economic effect is the increase of workload and possible the creation of jobs during this expansion. It is estimated that at least 30 other Greek cities will be added to the platform's database, and data collection, digitization, formatting etc. will be carried out by the operators. Based on that, we expect that for each city , operators need around 100 man-days (MD) to data mining and formatting. Thus it is estimated that in total the project will indirectly create jobs equivalent to at least 3.000 MD (focusing on developers, database expert and transport engineers).