As one of the most important trading powers, port authorities, cultural cities and residential areas in Belgium, the government in Antwerp has always considered eco-friendly mobility a top priority to keep the city accessible and clean. In recent years, the city has undertaken a number of mobility measures: the Low Emission Zone (LEZ), new tram lines (Noorderlijn), the construction of tunnels (Oosterweelverbinding), additional bike infrastructure and more.
However, the city still needed an innovative tool to encourage drivers to leave their cars at home or on the outskirts of the city and use alternative modes of transport. With the help of smart mobility company Be-Mobile, the city created ‘Smart ways to Antwerp’.
Be-Mobile and the city of Antwerp decided that Microsoft Azure was the ideal solution for the project, which had already benefitted Be-Mobile’s parking guidance solution. Due to its scalability, it was able to handle the vast amount of mobility data from the city’s cars, public transport, bikes, parking, water buses, etc. If each of the city’s 500,000 citizens were to use the platform at the same time, it would still perform smoothly.
The intermodal route planner features every relevant mobility detail and is available online and in the form of an app. It suggests multiple routes to travellers using two or more transport modes in one single trip.
Take Amanda for example. Amanda wants to go shopping in the city centre, but her car is not allowed to enter the city anymore, so she will need to find another way to get there.
‘Smart ways to Antwerp’ will suggest several options using multiple modes of transport. One of her options is to park the car at a Park and Ride location, take the tram to the city centre and then walk to the shopping street.
Amanda just made her trip easier, avoided an LEZ fine, did not have to look for a parking spot in the busy city centre and saved parking costs.
“I believe a city of informed people commuting economically without congesting our roads is the future we need to work very hard for, and the work we’ve done with Be-Mobile has set us in the right direction,” says Koen Kennis, alderman for Finance and Mobility in the city of Antwerp.
The city of Antwerp recently won the Agoria Smart City Award for Smart ways to Antwerp. With two million web users and 5,000 app downloads they were able to stop up to 14,000 cars entering the city by encouraging drivers to make better mobility choices.
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