The “Sharing a Green Travel Plan Culture” roundtable and workshop took place at the Valletta Design Cluster on the 18th of November 2022, and it was structured in 3 phases: the first phase included a presentation about Green Travel Plans (‘GTP’), the second phase included a roundtablewith experts, and the third one included a workshop & a discussion on how to develop a GTP.
The event was based on interactive activities, with the public being involved in the discussion on urban mobility in Malta. There was a lot of interaction between the experts and the public, and it was a great way to discuss about this topic.
During this phase, Dr Suzanne Maas explained us what the Green Travel Plan is, and why we need it.
Green Travel Plans look at reducing private car usage, improving mental & physical health of employees, reducing air pollution, parking problems, and promoting sustainable modes of transport likewalking & cycling..
- What is the GTP?
- Why does an organisation need a GTP?
- Benefits of creating a GTP
- What is the goal the GTP?
2nd PHASE: ROUNDTABLE
The 2nd phase was led by experts who discussed about finding new solutions to develop a Green Travel Plan in Malta. Sarah Scheiber (University of Malta), Raphael Mizzi (University of Malta), Yury Zammit (Adi Associates), Ritianne Buhagiar (Transport Malta), joined the roundtable, moderated by Dr Suzanne Maas.
The experts mainly discussed the topics of traffic, public transport limitations and road infrastructure problems.
When it comes to traffic, the main suggestion was to reduce private car usage and to promote public transport options instead. The experts also suggested that efforts to understand people’s travel behaviour & to collect data is needed in order to have a better picture of the current situation.
During the session, comments were made on the need for better planning of parking areas, as well as the sometimes lacking infrastructure to ensure safety for cyclists on the roads.
The experts mentioned that making people aware of the benefits of implementing a green travel plan is essential to support their creation. It is very important to develop a “greener” lifestyle for people.
- Better public transport infrastructure
- Road infrastructure problems
- How to maintain the GTP
- Developing a “greener” lifestyle
- Sarah Scheiber (University of Malta)
- Raphael Mizzi (University of Malta)
- Yury Zammit (Adi Associates)
- Ritianne Buhagiar(Transport Malta)
- Suzanne Maas (Project Aegle Foundation- Moderator)
3rd PHASE: WORKSHOP
During this phase 4 groups were formed, which worked on 2 different topics:
- How to encourage organizations to develop & implement a green travel plan?
- How to start a green travel plan for your organization?
How to encourage organizations to develop & implement a green travel plan?
Barriers = lack of awareness toward GTP and Environment in general // Lack of restriction of car use (why should I?) // better infrastructure comes with less cars
Opportunities = remote working, tax rebates
Barriers = lack of accessibility, poor infrastructure (target improvements, CCTV, site audit) // Finances (Tax credits, company maturity) // Lack of services (emergency ride, subsidies to complement market and services) // Agreements with cab service
This group found a few barriers when it comes to develop & implement a green travel plan: there is a lack of services (especially public transport services), which causes to use the private car more more often, including cab services. There is also a problem regarding the poor infrastructural system that needs to match with the GTP’s principles.
Opportunities (and how to enable them) = moral sensibility // tourism // self interest // health // reduce congestions CRS reputation // positive contribution // post covid new habits // champion the people already living a sustainably
How to start a green travel plan for your organization?
Interns to collect data
provide transport to certain towns at a certain time
encourage a supplier who uses sustainable transport
This group found a mechanism to start a green travel plan for an organization. Everything is based on collecting data that help to understand the current situation. They thought that if they are able to understand how people flow in the building, they know the modality of transport that people use the most (car, walk, bike etc). When the demographic traffic is identified, their contribution would be: encourage people to find a bus company that picks up them from certain towns according to a time they would establish.
GROUP 2: Green Plan for EcoSkola
- community as focal point = per schools, Junior, middle Schools
- Those which are close to each other they can combine measures
- Include parents, member, local council, teachers
- Barriers = Safety
- Elected by students
- Parents can be a barrier: concerned over safety
- data collection where we stand
- Survey to students and parents
- Modality of traveling to school
- Data on: mode of transport, what infrastructure is available
- Infrastrutture arriving at schools
- Pictures of roads and streets by students
- Students involved in data collection (car counts)
- communication with the skateholders / providers
- Make use of gratis e.g. Local councils can apply for bike racks for free
- Budget, timeline, priority
- Walking buses
- Lack of actions and plans to improve infrastructure
- “mobility champions”
- Rewards skate holders (e.g. community police)
- Promotion of measures, actual implementation
-post – measure questionnaires
- assessment of progress throughout questionnaires
- Contracts, share difficulties most people is dealing with and see how to improve / update
This group tried to find ideas on how to implement a green travel plan for EcoSkola. They identified a few barriers when it comes to develop a GTP. The major barrier includes safety, because not all the streets are safe to cross with healthier modes of transport (including walking and cycling), especially for kids. A way to implement a GTP is to involve students in data collection. The data collection would identify the mode of transport & what infrastructure is available. Students can give us pictures of roads and streets when they come to schools, in order to improve safety. We have to test the safest roads and taking notes as well.
But to develop a green travel plan is very hard, so it is necessary to have founds & establish a collaboration with the local council. Doing an assessment of progress through post – measure questionnaires, could be great way to maintain the GTP. Sharing difficulties most people is dealing with & also updates are necessary to improve.