The Social Support Act (Wet Maatschappelijke Ondersteuning – WMO) has the goal to ensure that everybody can participate in society. Being able to reach family, friends or certain facilities is essential. With a so-called WMO-pass, people who are not able to travel autonomously can make use of target group transport which caters to the needs of less mobile individuals for a reduced fee.
Municipalities want to cut back on the target group transport budget for WMO-pass holders. Therefore, the integration of target group transport and public transport is a hot topic at the moment. The elimination of thin flows in public transport is another hindering factor; in February 2019 it was announced that the accessibility to public transport has decreased by 0.3% compared to 2015. How do we make sure that the drive for efficiency both in public transport and target group transport does not adversely affect the target groups which are less mobile? Can a deeper integration of these two types of mobility contribute to enriching our mobility, both in urban and peripheral areas?
With a new tool, the WMO-atlas, Over Morgen is able to map the current state of public transport routes versus WMO-users in specific municipalities. By means of a heat map, the WMO-atlas shows where the pass holders live and where their rides start and finish. Afterwards, the rides are analysed by length and distance to the bus stops. Through the comparison of this data with the existing public transport network, we can establish a good basis for further research into new transportation options and/or adaptation of fixed public transport lines.
With this tool, municipalities, provinces and regions that share transport services can adapt or expand their public transport routes and increase the use of public transport by WMO-groups. This can be done by changing stops in off-peak hours, modifying routes or introducing local neighbourhood buses. If we employ fewer (small) taxis for the target group transport, we reduce the mobility flow and make passenger transport more sustainable.