Euregio Meuse-Rhine - ConnectCopyright: AVV
The Interreg-Project "EMR - short for Euregio Meuse-Rhine - Connect“ dedicates itself to an implementation-oriented collaboration of eleven traffic departments, political decision-making bodies and universities from Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium in order to cope with the current cross-border challenges in the area of public transport and active mobility.
1st Joint Project Study - "Cross-border Mobility and Public Transport Usage" in the Euregio Meuse-RhineCopyright: Henrik Basche
Overall twelve students from RWTH Aachen University, six from University of Hasselt and one from Maastricht University participated in the 1st Joint Project Study and investigated “Cross-border Mobility and Public Transport Usage” in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine under the direction of Henrik Basche (RWTH Aachen University) empirically.
With special organisational support from Arriva Nederland and ASEAG nearly 200 public transport users were surveyed in Dutch, English and German in the following cross-border lines: 14 (Aachen - Eupen), 34 (Diepenbenden - Kerkrade), 44 (Aachen - Heerlen), 350 (Aachen - Maastricht), 20a (Maastricht - Hasselt, De Lijn), 45 (Hasselt - Maastricht, De Lijn) and RE18 (Aachen - Maastricht).
The highlight of the 1st Joint Project Study were the student presentations about the empirical results which were held in front of the emr connect consortium in the government building of the Provincie Limburg in Maastricht on the 24th May. The students reported i.a. on mobility patterns (incl. attitude towards cashless payment, frequency of cross-border mobility) and mental distance (in this case: feeling of closeness to cities in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine) with regard to the interviewees’ sociodemographic and regional background.
Due to the very positive experiences with the 1st Joint Project Study it is very likely that the second Euregional project study (label: “Joint Project Study 2.0”) will take place in the summer term 2020.
'emr connect' making progress - project partner meeting in LiègeCopyright: AVV
On October 11th all emr connect project partners met in Liège and reported on the project's progress. An extensive exchange took place at the district palace of Liège. Apart from already completed milestones, existing challenges were discussed. Even though a lot of things have been achieved, such as the expansion of the NRW-tariff until Heerlen, the installation of a VeloCity-station on the Dutch side of Kerkrade as well as the organization of the 1st Euregio Summer School with students from the universities in the EMR, there are still many things ahead in order to improve cross-border mobility.
In the months to come, the efforts will focus on RE18 - operating between Aachen and Maastricht, starting at the end of this year - but also the expansion of the pilot project for cross-border eTicketing and the installtion of a Euregional counter in Aachen, Heerlen and Maastricht. Moreover, Aachen, Arriva and ASEAG are working on the electrification of bus route 44.
All these measures aim at improving the cross-border local traffic situation and are meant to link the different regions of the Euregio Maas-Rhine closer to each other.
1st Euregio Summer SchoolCopyright: AVV
Between the 10th and 14th September the 1st Euregio Summer School which had been i.a. organised by the Chair of Economic Geography of RWTH Aachen University took place. Respective venues were the five biggest cities of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine - Aachen, Liège, Maastricht, Heerlen & Hasselt.
A total of 42 students from seven universities (of applied sciences) in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine - among them six students from the Department of Geography at RWTH Aachen University - worked on mobility-related issues. The students were i.a. inspired by lectures on Creative Thinking, Circularity & Prototyping.
The relevance of this until now unique event had been emphasised by contributions of prominent politicians: Gisela Walsken, Cologne Government Regional Office President & Chairwoman of the Stichting Euregio Meuse-Rhine, inaugurated the 1st Euregio Summer School. The final certficiate ceremony was given by Ivo Belet, Member of the European Parliament since 2004.
Due to the positive feedbacks and experiences the organising comitee intends to host a 2nd Euregio Summer School in summer 2019.