The terrible earthquake that hit L’Aquila’s territory, the region’s capital, situated in Abruzzo’s inner part, forced more than 40.000 people to leave their houses, move to the coast, and travel every day from and to the town. The huge and sudden increase of cars along the communication roads with an unsustainable burden on the environment and enormous uneasiness on people, induced the local governments, first of all, the Region, to afford the emergency of rapidly reorganizing the public transportation network, through provisions, laws, and directives following national decrees and decisions. A good organization of these services became a key factor for the start-up of the town reconstruction, not only of its physical structures but also its social, cultural, and economic identity. After the emergency, indeed, the accessibility to L’Aquila from other areas of the region able to guarantee systematic mobility for students and workers is the fundamental support for the people who are waiting for the definitive re-settlement in their town and in particular for the great number of university students who lost their temporary residence.
The IPA space includes areas where a public transportation system has reached a good degree of efficiency and marginal areas (in the new EU members and Candidate or Potential Candidate Countries) where the transportation system is inefficient. Governments have to ensure development and cohesion, quality of life for citizens, and pollution reduction. These actors and policymakers need to develop competences and know-how to find out solutions able to improve accessibility on the local level and set up the basis for the creation of an integrated suitable accessibility system able to facilitate movements (of people and goods) between different regions and enhance the attractiveness of the IPA space. The emergency experience, due to the earthquake, led Region Abruzzo to develop competencies and know-how easily transferable to other areas through pilot actions well targeted and tailored to the different territories involved by the partnership. Thus, the project’s general objective is to enhance the competence and know-how of policymakers and local actors to improve marginal areas’ accessibility and contribute to the Gothenburg/Lisbon strategy achievement.
The specific objectives are:
- to increase the use of public transportation;
- to decrease the burden on the environment;
- to reduce the isolation and the feeling of abandonment in people living in marginal areas;
- to reduce the depopulation of areas where isolation prevents the full exploitation of their potentialities;
- to enhance social cohesion;
- to carry out pilot actions showing different applications in the transport systems of the tools developed as examples for policymakers.
The project activities foresee:
- a preliminary analysis of the territories in terms of resources and transport systems and people needs, identification of bottlenecks and opportunities;
- the realization of ICT tools (software) for the management of the collected data and the specific needs of the customers;
- implementation of the pilot actions representing 3 fundamental territorial needs and experimentation of the tools and methodologies;
- training of PPs on the developed tools;
- specific training of local actors/policymakers.
The project main outputs are:
- the creation of strategies/tools for the correct collection and use of data related to needs and opportunities;
- competence and know-how enhancement of policymakers and local actors for the wise management of local transportation responding to the real customers’ needs;
- creating a network of marginal areas able to apply the methodologies/tools for the improvement of accessibility;
- increase in public transportation use.
In this frame, WEST produced and demonstrated the functionalities of:
- A GPS receiver to track bus’ during its travels;
- WESTmote module, a platform of data acquisition from sensors to measure temperature, humidity, and acceleration, and radiocommunication designed for long periods of monitoring;
- WESTdongle module, a USB interface for a PC on the bus’s board to communicate with the WSN deployed within the bus and composed of WESTmotes.