New mobility services in urban areas

Title of the research project

DEMONSTRATE – Modal diversion, co-modality and technology applications in passenger transport systems

Scientific area

Transportation engineering, Mobility demand

Project coordinator

Marco Diana


The object of the present research is the study of modal diversion and co-modality in the passenger transport sector. The point of view that we adopt is to focus on the behavioral change issue concerning the use of different transport modes in urban areas, when both a set of new technology options and different regulatory and marketing actions are implemented. The final objective of the project is to allow us to find the “optimal” and “feasible” co-modality in terms of efficiency and effectiveness on one hand, as well as maximum possible extent of change of mobility styles on the other.

Description of the research project 

Promoting the behavioural change of individuals related to the choice of transport mode for their daily trips has been the core of extensive research and policy efforts. The goal of DEMONSTRATE is to clarify the relationship between the mix of interventions that can be jointly implemented according to the different relevant disciplines, and the maximum extent of modal diversion that can reasonably be achieved in an urban setting.  Transport Engineering can for example contribute to new technology implementations; Social Psychology  is crucial to understand how individual values and beliefs impact behaviours; Applied Economics to assess how performance improvements of the system impact the demand.  The project  will make possible to quantitatively define the optimal co-modality (i.e. the best combination of use of different modes) as a function of both the performances of the different transport means and of the maximum modal switch given individual attitudes and behaviours. Policy makers will so be able to individuate the most appropriate set of measures to achieve the optimal modal mix given a stated policy objective, the latter not necessarily being the same in all cases. Researchers should then be able to measure how far an urban transport system from optimal co-modality is, by quantifying the benefits related to the implementation of the measures that are needed to reach such optimum and by comparing them with their costs.

Impact on society

This project could have a significant impact on several different aspects related to transport systems:

  • boosting new mobility services that are enabled by modern information and communication technologies,
  • clarifying how new services and traditional modes (public transport, private car, bike and walk) interact in urban areas,
  • assessing to which extent the actual performances of the overall transport system can be improved through the behavioural change.

Research Results

The research group has conceived and realized a behavioural survey about mobility in the Torino area. Data collected have been analyzed and results have been focused particularly on car sharing, proposing possible models for car sharing adoption based on mobility behaviours.

In particular:

  • almost 4500 phone and web interviews in 3 year periods to take care of seasonal variations
  • Coordination of 1 new European Horizon2020 project  (STARS ) with 9 international partners
  • 2 work positions activated at Politecnico di Torino
  • Pubblication showing some results from the research

Working group

Marco Diana, project coordinator

Francesco Deflorio, Miriam Pirra, Riccardo Ceccato, Andrea Chicco

  • Budget: 121.000
  • Start date: 15/12/2015
  • End date: 14/12/2017