LEAP ON THE BUS
The “Bus Leap” project, co-ordinated by Sitra and the City of Jyväskylä, has set itself very clear targets: more public transport passengers and lower carbon emissions and fuel consumption. As a result, emissions of particulate matter in the city will be reduced and air quality will improve.
With the modal share of public transport having been in decline for decades in the Jyväskylä area, the goal is to use the Bus Leap project to create an upward trend in passenger volumes. Public transport accounts for only around five percent of total traffic in and around Jyväskylä.
A wide range of measures will be implemented to increase the modal share of public transport in the city. One involves studying and testing how staggering the start and end times of workdays among various employers could make the public transport system better, smoother and faster, in order to smoothen out spikes in traffic volumes. Staggered working hours could be applied in educational institutions, workplaces and service points. The starting time for compulsory education could be moved from 8 a.m. to 8.30 a.m., for example, allowing pupils and workers to take different buses.
The project involves creating an innovative route guidance system for city residents, providing information on travel connections, times and fares, as well as the carbon footprint associated with public transport use. A range of campaigns will be run in co-operation with companies, to increase the use of public transport and encourage residents to ditch their cars when travelling short distances close to home.
As part of the Bus Leap project, the city of Jyväskylä will also create an educational model for sustainable transport, aimed at introducing sustainable modes of transport through play. During the project period, this model will be used in all first-year classes in every elementary school in Jyväskylä.
Bus Leap forms part of the Towards Resource Wisdom project, co-led by Sitra and the City of Jyväskylä, with the aim of identifying new ways of reducing emissions and natural resource consumption in a given region, while at the same time improving well-being. Increased use of public transport would be of major assistance in conserving fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The Bus Leap project is a continuation of Try at least once, a practical trial during which the residents of Jyväskylä had limitless use of public transport free of charge for a day. According to an impact assessment conducted by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), during that day carbon dioxide emissions within the Jyväskylä region fell 60 per cent, or ten tonnes, lower than usual.
Deputy City Engineer Kari Ström
kari.strom(at)jkl.fi, tel. +358 14 266 5139