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Creation of a "mobility" trend chart in the RER zone (Ministry of Communications and Infrastructure)

Research project AG/EE/064 (Research action AG)

Persons :

  • M.  TOINT Philippe - Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2002-1/1/2005
  • Dhr.  VERBRUGGEN Hans - Langzaam Verkeer vzw (LV)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2002-31/12/2004
  • Dhr.  CUYVERS Rob - Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg (PHL)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2002-31/12/2004
  • Dhr.  WETS Geert - Universiteit Hasselt (UHASSELT)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2002-31/12/2004

Description :

Project description

The main aim of the overall mobility project known as RER is to promote a modal transfer from the car over to public transport for journeys between home and work and towards the Brussels-Capital Region within a radius of 30 kilometres around Brussels by means of:

- considerably strengthening public transport services;
- integrating services of the four public transport companies in this zone (schedules, fares, information);
- accompanying measures to encourage public transport use.

This project entails the adoption of a co-operation agreement between the three Regions and the Federal Government.
It also entails close collaboration between the transport companies, representatives from the Ministries concerned and their respective administrations.

To this end, the draft agreement makes provision for a consultative body: the "steering group". This body is intended to provide the driving force (as it were) behind the project and its evaluation.
The steering group will be supported by a federal administrative unit under the jurisdiction of the Surface Transport Administration: the "RER Unit". This latter body will administer the relevant database involved in the AGORA project.

The project for which scientific support is desired aims to create a databank relative to the mobility of people in the Brussels RER zone. Its ultimate intention is to enable the establishment of:

- mobility needs and their evolution in the RER zone;
- descriptions of journeys in this zone;
- the potential for modal transfers from the car over to public transport for each station and for each public transport route.

The project is split into four phases. Only the first three phases are covered by the present request. The final phase will be the subject of a later call. For each of the phases, active collaboration is necessary between the administration and the scientific team.

- The purpose of phase one is to define the necessary data. These come in two parts: on the one hand, data relative to public transport and individual supply (car, bicycle, walking); on the other hand, data relative to mobility needs, or mobility demand. The latter section will be fed chiefly by a household survey concentrated on the RER zone. The basis for this survey may be provided by the methodology developed in the initial mobility survey conducted by FUNDP.
The two parts of phase one may be entrusted to two different teams, on the condition that they consult one another closely.

- The purpose of phase two is the creation of the actual databank to be financed by the Ministry. It covers the gathering of all data (survey or other), encryption, supervision of researchers and any counters as well as result verification. It entails a transfer of know-how from the scientific team to the administration, which should have the databank at its disposal in its offices and be able to use it by the end of this phase.

- Phase three is aimed at the creation of the trend chart. It comprises the exact definition of indicators and the development of a metabase. Its aim is to exploit the databank in the form of translated requests.

- Phase four represents an additional valorisation component for the database. Its relevance will be evaluated once the trend chart has been in operation for a certain period of time.

A detailed description of the phases is provided below. Annex 1 contains a diagram.


Section on public transport and individual transport supply

- Completion of an inventory of sources of mobility statistics and their availability.
- Evaluation of the credibility and relevance of existing sources in relation to the project’s aims.
- Identification of missing data and establishment of a methodology for gathering these.
- Elaboration of the agreement protocols necessary in order to feed the database.

Section on journey demand

- Same elements as in the section on "supply".
- Finalisation of a survey methodology responding to the project’s aims and based on methodology defined by the "Household Survey, 1999" study conducted by FUNDP.


- Completion of the survey.
- Gathering of other data.
- Design of a databank (data warehouse = repository for data, the sources of which are kept confidential).
- Encryption and verification of data.
- IT equipment.


- Definition of indicators (metabase).
- Definition of data-processing, access (request possibilities, etc.) and layout modes.
- IT equipment.


- Identification of necessary additional data, definition, gathering.
- Finalisation of a model.

Development to be implemented by the scientific team(s)


Section on public transport and individual transport supply

- inventory of sources - scientific team
- availability of sources - administration
- evaluation of credibility and relevance - scientific team
- missing data and methodology - scientific team
- agreement protocols with transport companies - administration

Section on journey demand

- inventory of sources - scientific team
- examination of their availability - administration
- missing data and methodology - scientific team
- agreement protocols for information exchange - administration
- stratified sampling plan - scientific team
- adaptation of FUNDP questionnaire (mobility survey) to project needs - scientific team


- survey (interviewer training/supervision) - scientific team
- gathering of other data - scientific team
- encryption and verification of data - scientific team
- databank design - scientific team
- IT equipment - administration


- definition of indicators - scientific team
- creation of the metabase - scientific team
- transmission of know-how - scientific team
- finalisation of access, layout - administration
- IT equipment - administration

End product expected from the scientific team(s)

The end product from phase I will be an inventory and an accurate, operational definition of existing data and of data required in order to create the database.
The end product from phase II will be a databank placed at the administration’s disposal.
The end product from phase III will be the trend chart.
The end product from phase IV will be the journey model applicable to the database, enhanced by data required for this purpose. (Not covered by the present request.)

Valorisation of the result

A) Integration within the institutions's workings

A tool for the implementation of the RER project and, generally speaking, a mobility observatory centred on a major city.
It will contribute to the:

- inspection and management missions incumbent upon the public authority;
- policy evaluation;
- strategic mobility project design.

B) Valorisation for scientific circles and the general public

- Advances in establishing standard methodologies for data gathering.
- Advances in the definition of relevant and credible mobility indicators.
- Making available of statistical data on mobility, integrated between the different transport modes and public transport services.


Ministry of Communications and Infrastructure
Surface Transport Administration
Mobility, Co-ordination, Inspection
RER Unit

Documentation :

Création d'un tableau de bord "mobilité" dans la zone RER : rapport final    Bruxelles : Politique scientifique fédérale, 2005 (SP1375)
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