In April and May of 2016, an innovative pilot took place in the city of Ragusa. This initiative, conceived and implemented by Edisonweb, in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz and within the scope of the European acceleration program "FrontierCities," aimed to test the first version of the Smart Mobility Mvmant platform and evaluate the effectiveness of innovative marketing strategies to support a new approach to mobility, such as involving local businesses in sponsoring sustainable mobility actions.
Listening to people and engaging them
What truly set the Ragusa pilot apart was the people-centered approach. The goal was to make direct contact with the citizens, listen to their opinions, and actively involve them in decision-making. To do so, we relied exclusively on digital tools, particularly social media.
The Facebook page of MVMANT was a crucial tool during the Ragusa pilot. Posts published on the page received over 70,000 views and more than 15,000 interactions in just three weeks. The engagement was exciting, and every comment or private message was carefully considered and responded to. This direct interaction with citizens contributed to creating an atmosphere of enthusiasm and involvement.
One of the most surprising aspects to emerge from the Ragusa pilot was the result of a survey conducted among citizens. In fact, while 72% of Ragusa citizens use private cars for travel, only 3.6% use public transport. This statistic seems to confirm why the city of Ragusa, with its 70,000 inhabitants and 30,000 households, records as many as 50,000 car registrations and why most families own two or more cars.
How many cars are available to the household?
Three or more
However, there was a surprising turnaround when the crucial question was asked: "Would you be willing to give up a family car if your city offered an efficient transportation system?" Almost 90% of citizens responded yes.
Would you be willing to give up a family car if your city offered a comprehensive and efficient urban transportation system?
And that's without counting the economic advantage for families, estimated at 6,000 euros per year if they were willing to give up one of the cars owned by the household.
This statistic opens the door to a possible revolution in mobility, showing that the inhabitants of Ragusa are willing to consider alternatives to private car ownership.
A possible revolution
The Ragusa pilot demonstrated that a revolution in urban mobility is possible. Not only did citizens, but also businesses, taxi drivers, and NCCs join the project, both through sponsorships and as drivers for the experiment. Thanks to the contribution of merchants and businesses, it was possible to cover 35% of service costs.
Moreover, the service allowed citizens to enjoy the historic center of Ragusa, improving access and contributing to the consumption of local businesses. At the end of the pilot, there were over 2,200 registered users in three weeks, more than 13,000 km covered, and 2,400 tickets issued.
A quote from one of the citizens sums up the change underway:
"I hope one day to give up my car and that the savings from direct and indirect management costs will finance parks and gardens for my children."
The pilot showed that moving people instead of cars is the sustainable model for the future, and the enthusiastic support from Ragusa's citizens proves that this revolution can happen anywhere.