The COMMUTE team
The COMMUTE reference framework (“Référentiel COMMUTE”)

The COMMUTE project aims at achieving more seamless mobility, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of transport and enhancing quality of life for Toulouse Metropole inhabitants and the conurbation. Following a co-creation and co-construction process, Toulouse Métropole and its partners have chosen to deploy a new model of collaborative management for urban mobility. This model is participative and innovative.

The project is reaching an end (end of January 2021). It has sometimes slightly changed directions, i.e., late adoption of an action on cycling, drop of the autonomous shuttle action - though always remaining true to its main goals. Local elections, and especially the COVID-19 pandemic, have impacted the implementation of the project and still are.

One of the main goals of the project focuses on transferability: on this, COMMUTE partners and the Work Package leader, Airbus, are working with AFNOR, the French standardisation agency, on developing a reference framework on collaborative governance of urban mobility. This should ensure that the project’s learnings can be transferred and replicated once COMMUTE has come to an end. Regular partner meetings enable the analysis of externalities and added value generated by that new governance system, which feed into the development of the reference framework. This work is still ongoing, and will be the last action of COMMUTE to be concluded. It could potentially lead to an EU standard on mobility management systems, as developed further below.

This 3rd and last Zoom-In provides an overview of the COMMUTE reference framework in its current state. It will highlight the scope, the methodology used to develop it, and explain how it was then elaborated by AFNOR and the partners, and how it is transferable. It will also mention challenges and next steps, including a possible ISO standard on collaborative governance for urban mobility.

This Zoom In follows a Zoom In 2 on the COMMUTE cycling action, and a first Zoom In on the Intercompany Workplace Travel Plan.

Executive Summary

The COMMUTE project aims at achieving more seamless mobility, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of transport and enhancing quality of life for Toulouse Metropole inhabitants and the conurbation. Following a co-creation and co-construction process, Toulouse Métropole and its partners have chosen to deploy a new model of collaborative management for urban mobility. This model is participative and innovative.

The project is reaching an end (end of January 2021). It has sometimes slightly changed directions, i.e., late adoption of an action on cycling, drop of the autonomous shuttle action - though always remaining true to its main goals. Local elections, and especially the COVID-19 pandemic, have impacted the implementation of the project and still are.

One of the main goals of the project focuses on transferability: on this, COMMUTE partners and the Work Package leader, Airbus, are working with AFNOR, the French standardisation agency, on developing a reference framework on collaborative governance of urban mobility. This should ensure that the project’s learnings can be transferred and replicated once COMMUTE has come to an end. Regular partner meetings enable the analysis of externalities and added value generated by that new governance system, which feed into the development of the reference framework. This work is still ongoing, and will be the last action of COMMUTE to be concluded. It could potentially lead to an EU standard on mobility management systems, as developed further below.

This 3rd and last Zoom-In provides an overview of the COMMUTE reference framework in its current state. It will highlight the scope, the methodology used to develop it, and explain how it was then elaborated by AFNOR and the partners, and how it is transferable. It will also mention challenges and next steps, including a possible ISO standard on collaborative governance for urban mobility.

This Zoom In follows a Zoom In 2 on the COMMUTE cycling action, and a first Zoom In on the Intercompany Workplace Travel Plan[1].

Introduction

The metropolitan area and Toulouse Métropole are experiencing rapid demographic growth. This population growth is accompanied by strong economic growth and creates problems of accessibility to the airport area, which alone provides for 70,000 jobs. The COMMUTE project is testing an innovative governance of collaborative public-private management of urban mobility with all the actors of the airport and aeronautical platform to decongest the traffic in this area and move away from the single-person car use habits by developing multimodal transport. This innovative project is funded by the European Union and its Urban Innovative Actions up to 80% and the remaining 20% ​​by the partners for a total cost of 5,240,523.55 million euros.

The COMMUTE project was born from a succession of initiatives which converged to become concrete actions. For more than ten years, the issue of mobility has occupied the airport and aeronautical area in terms of both congestion and air pollution. This observation has led private and also public players to identify solutions to facilitate access to this area, reduce polluting emissions, support the attractiveness of the territory and improve the quality of life of residents and employees.

The particular situation in Toulouse due to the balance of powers between the institutions and the economic fabric, in particular supported by the weight of a very large employer (Airbus) in the area and the presence of major players for the local economy, has enabled the voice of businesses to be heard better than elsewhere. In addition, the topic of mobility lends itself well to a collaborative approach because of the importance of a critical mass of employees to be addressed. Each partner had already in the past launched individual or bilateral actions and noted the limits of their actions.

At the same time as the creation of the Club Entreprise Réussir (CER), a mobility commission chaired by ATB (Toulouse-Blagnac Airport), Airbus and Toulouse Métropole signed an economic and territorial development pact which enabled the birth of the DEMETER meta project "Demonstrator of TERritorial Commitments for the reduction of emissions". These initiatives gave rise to the opening of privileged discussion areas between private and public actors, in particular around new ideas in terms of financing, which remained to be realised. The Métropole’s desire to increase European funding, coupled with the DEMETER project bringing together around thirty public and private actors, received a positive response to the UIA call for projects for mobility, and COMMUTE was born. The COMMUTE project, which aims to set up a collaborative urban mobility management system, implements various actions to reduce vehicle use such as the Intercompany Workplace Travel Plan, carpooling, teleworking, optimisation of modal shift and engaging communication techniques (pilots on walkability, bicycle service, digital platform).

The coexistence of projects converging towards the improvement of mobility, the deployment of a new legal framework, and the support for changes that this implies within companies, led to the birth of a local partnership with a view to a collaborative management of mobility. This can be considered as a criterion of maturity of the territory to be taken into account by any promoter of a similar project.

For three years, Toulouse Métropole, Tisséo Collectivités, Airbus, ATR, Safran, Afnor, Sopra Steria, the Club d’Entreprises Réussir and Toulouse-Blagnac airport worked together to change mobility patterns of transport users and reduce congestion and emissions between Toulouse Metropole, its conurbation and the Toulouse-Blagnac airport area.

The project’s main innovative feature is its private-public collaborative governance system. COMMUTE experiments innovative governance for the public-private collaborative management of urban mobility with all the players on the airport and aeronautical platform to relieve traffic in that zone.

The ultimate goal is to create a model that can be replicated at a greater scale and in new regions.

It includes four major strands:

• Setting up of a new Collaborative Urban Mobility Management System that will formulate suggestions and recommendations but also implement an innovative method for co-creation and cooperation.

• Creation of a digital platform dedicated to urban mobility, allowing the impacts of experimentations implemented to be measured and that can also act as a decision-making tool for mobility on the database in real time.

• Carrying out innovative actions contributing to reducing traffic by deploying innovative solutions such as new working methods (telework, modular working hours, etc.), mobility services (carsharing, carpooling over short distances, etc.), and new infrastructures (carpooling car parks and electric shuttles)

It is to be noted that the COMMUTE project has been a forerunner to the French Law on Mobility Orientations (“LOM – Loi d’Orientation des Mobilités). Digitalisation, collaboration, private sector involvement in the co-construction of territorial mobility – all these COMMUTE project aspects are also at the heart of the LOM.

Logo-Commute-Def-FR.png

The COMMUTE logo

Source: Toulouse Metropole

Scope

The COMMUTE reference framework establishes a method to lead an urban mobility project with a collaborative management mode and to deploy it on a territory.

It specifies the requirements to implement a collaborative management of an urban mobility project in a territory, within the framework of home to work journeys.

It also includes the general recommendations resulting from feedback from the partners of the COMMUTE project concerning the actions and the project management system.

The method and requirements of this framework are generic and intended to apply to any actor, public or private, whatever its size or sector of activity, engaged as an organisation in a collaborative mobility management project -whether either public or private, whatever its size or sector of activity, engaged in the collaborative management of a mobility project in a territory.

ISO standard for mobility management systems

The initial goal of a COMMUTE standard for mobility management has been transformed into a reference framework – which can serve as a possible basis for a future standard. Legal requirements linked to intellectual property rights prevented the development of a standard as such. All COMMUTE deliverables have to be made public – this is not possible for the development of a standard, which then legally belongs to the standardisation committee. AFNOR decided to apply a process that is similar to a standard, so this reference framework follows the ISO model for mobility management systems. If COMMUTE partners wish so, this reference framework could become a European or international standard in the future. Project partners would then have to commit to the development of the standard and fulfil all legal requirements, including related costs linked to participation in the standardisation committee.

It is to be noted that several French mobility stakeholders wish to develop sustainable mobility standards: discussions are ongoing regarding a set of ISO standards on sustainable mobility.

Within the development of the reference framework, a normative mapping has been carried out for the project’s pilots, led by Tisseo. The aim was to identify existing reference frameworks and feed into the decision on the COMMUTE framework and the pilots’ deployment. It also contributed to provide references in order to avoid “reinventing the wheel”. For instance, it helped to understand the standards and norms for electric vehicles’ charging (charging points at COMMUTE carpooling hub). Norm ISO 37101 on management systems for sustainable development within territorial communities also inspired the COMMUTE reference framework.

There has also been support and advice on normative engineering (ITS standards, etc.): Sopra Steria led on this, as well as on the digital platform. It made the link with the AFNOR Strategic Committee, with a focus on information and digital communication.

Elaboration

The COMMUTE partners wished to record their collective COMMUTE experience in a reference framework (“Référentiel” in French). It is a guidance tool that will help cities replicate the COMMUTE collaborative management model. The experience included in this tool covers aspects such as co-construction, collaborative governance of mobility, pilots testing new mobility solutions and working methods, and a strong digital dimension.

The methodology used to develop the framework is based on the following

  • A framework of deliverables proposed by AFNOR to the other partners at the start of the COMMUTE project and regularly reviewed with the partners in weekly meetings

  • Face-to-face and remote development workshops, sometimes with all the partners, sometimes in a small proofreading committee (remotely by e-mail and phone)

  • Bilateral exchanges

  • Validation workshops in weekly meetings with partners to discuss written and oral contributions

Links have been regularly drawn between the COMMUTE actions and deliverables, feeding into the COMMUTE reference framework, which is built on the shared experience feedback from partners and on technical action sheets (annexed to the reference framework).

The reference framework has also been adapted to the partners’ needs: it proposes a "COMMUTE method" to successfully launch and manage public-private governance of home-work mobility in a region, including two major dimensions, collaborative and digital.

As previously mentioned, the COMMUTE project "anticipated" the French Mobility Orientation Law (LOM). In a sense, COMMUTE has been a frontrunner regarding digitalisation and collaboration in urban mobility – two focuses which are at the core of both the LOM and COMMUTE. This also applies to the role of companies in the co-construction of territorial mobilities..

The reference framework is drafted as a plan according to the ISO model for management system standards, with COMMUTE content. To meet replicability objectives, each chapter contains requirements and recommendations applicable to any situation. Examples of the COMMUTE case are presented, and examples and practical sheets from the COMMUTE case are also included in an annex.

The template used for the development of the reference framework corresponds to a typical ISO template. The COMMUTE reference framework has been structured following ISO standards, in order to enable transferability and replicability. It is to be noted that the reference framework replaces the initial goal of an ISO standard – legally, the latter was not possible to include within the framework of the project at its early stages. Hence the proposal of a reference framework, which can then potentially lead to a standard, should partners wish to. This process is currently under discussion with partners.

The reference framework has been positively welcomed by project partners: its development has been useful as it contributes to clarify and validate key aspects of the project with partners. It stimulates discussions and exchanges that have proven to be useful throughout the project.

The reference framework - The content

The framework includes the general recommendations resulting from feedback of the COMMUTE partners concerning the actions and the project management system.

The method and requirements of this standard are generic and are intended to apply to any actor, public or private, whatever their size or sector of activity, engaged in the collaborative management of a mobility project in a territory. These are also illustrated by specific examples from the COMMUTE project.

The content of the framework is addressed to other cities wishing to use a collaborative governance model for their urban mobility management. It is designed as a guidance tool to accompany cities in designing and implementing such a governance model. AFNOR, the Work Package leader, structured it around 4 axes:

- Context of the partnership

- Leadership

- Planning

- Support

Context of the partnership

- Context of the organisation (in the sense of partnership):

The reference framework recommends that the management of the partnership which launches the urban mobility project with a collaborative management mode must be entrusted to a territorial entity which has authority over economic development, roads and mobility.

- Understanding of the needs and expectations of interested parties in terms of urban mobility in a territory:

It also recommends ensuring the clear understanding of the needs and expectations of interested parties in terms of urban mobility in a territory. It is necessary to identify the spheres of influence of the urban mobility project and to map the actors for each of these spheres of influence.

- Benefits of collaborative management of urban mobility:

An organisation launching an urban mobility project with a collaborative management on a territory expects that this collaborative management brings the following: added value that could not be obtained working outside this project; better acceptance and dissemination of implemented measures; increased innovation; search for recognition by the network and a federation of the latter; better knowledge of the ecosystem.

- Determination of the scope of collaborative management:

The framework also underlines that the benefits of collaborative management of urban mobility should be clear to all partners, as well as the definition of the scope of collaborative management: partners should be clear about what is collaborative management about and what is the scope and limits.

Example of contractual relations - COMMUTE project

Source: AFNOR

Leadership

- Leadership and commitment:

The management (in the sense of public mobility authority) must demonstrate its leadership and commitment to the collaborative management of the urban mobility project.

It is important to note that piloting must be entrusted to a territorial authority which has jurisdiction over roads, economic development and mobility.

- Collaborative management policy for urban mobility:

The management (public mobility authority) must establish a collaborative management policy for urban mobility.

- Roles, responsibilities and authorities within the organisation (in the sense of partnership):

The governance bodies must allow the collaborative management of an urban mobility project to achieve defined objectives, taking into account the relationships with the various stakeholders at the various stages of the project.

Organisation model from the COMMUTE project

Source: AFNOR

Collaborative management of an urban mobility project implies associating several actors of the territory to the project. These need to be taken into account in the decision chain and to carry out actions.

The management (public mobility authority) must ensure that the responsibilities and authorities of the relevant roles are assigned and communicated within the organisation.

Planning

- Actions to be taken in the case of risks and opportunities:

Collaborative work can serve as an effective basis for reducing risk, however with the multitude of actors and their interdependence, it can induce an additional risk (addition of new subjects, time factor) which had not been previously identified. The organisation (in the sense of partnership) must have a defined process for the initial and ongoing risk assessment. This process should include defined approaches for the identification, analysis, mitigation, ongoing management and review of risks.

The organisation (in the sense of partnership) must take into account two important points in the planning:

. actions and thematic orientations that may need to be modified following consultations with stakeholders.

. the specificity of the public-private partnership and the constraints of political agendas.

- Objectives of collaborative management for urban mobility and action planning to reach them:

The organisation should define objectives for the collaborative management of the project, at the relevant levels and for the relevant functions. Objectives should be coherent with the collaborative policy for urban mobility (as defined in the project); be coherent with employers’ requirements regarding quality work life (HR, CSR, QVT); be measurable and take into account applicable requirements; be monitored, communicated and regularly updated.

Support:

- Resources:

The organisation should identify and provide the necessary resources for the establishment, implementation, updating and continuous improvement of the collaborative management of the urban mobility project. EU co-funding for the project facilitates the human resources engagement throughout the project.

- Competences:

The organisation should also ensure that a code of conduct is proposed and respected. It is a prerequisite for the success of collaborative management. Respect, trust and honesty between partners of the project should be discussed and validated by all.

Necessary competences should be determined well in advance and the organisation should ensure that entrusted parties comply with all the requested competences.

- Awareness-raising:

Partners working under the control of the organisation should be made aware of the legal framework, the collaborative policy for urban mobility, the importance of their contribution, and the repercussions linked to the non-respect of the project’s requirements for collaborative management.

- Communication:

The organisation should determine the relevant internal and external communication needs for the project, including on which topics to communicate, when to communicate, with whom to communicate, and how to communicate.

- Documented information:

The project’s collaborative management should include documented information required by this reference framework and by the organisation. Information covers for instance the size and fields of activity of the organisation, competences of staff and the complexity of processes and interactions.

EU co-funding helps providing this level of information.

- Control of the data collected by the digital platform:

The digital platform is a decision support tool and a knowledge platform to support elected officials and mobility referents around different levels of governance and level of action.

The various dashboards of the digital platform are presented in the annex of the reference framework.

Evaluation

The reference framework has been subject to two types of evaluation so far:

- The COMMUTE mid-term review with a focus collaborative management: it has demonstrated that governance within the project has been resilient and adaptative. Due to local redirections of policies and budgets, including local elections and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the COMMUTE consortium has had to adapt and ensure that the project continues to deliver. New actions, for instance on cycling, have emerged during the course of the project, as a result of partner companies’ interest in the matter. Throughout these years, COMMUTE has be able to adapt to the needs and interests of the project partners in a very inclusive and flexible way. This flexibility and resilience has regularly been praised by all partners of the project.

- The cost-benefit analysis (CBA): within the framework of the COMMUTE project, the establishment of collaborative governance between public and private partners is at the heart of the project. It has enabled the establishment of major action components such as carpooling, bicycle mobility, the Intercompany Workplace Travel Plan, the Action Plan to raise awareness and support for changes in mobility and the creation of a digital platform. This analysis is therefore based on the various CBAs carried out by all of the following actions, making it possible to determine their net present values ​​(NPV): carpooling, cycling, Intercompany Workplace Travel Plan, digital platform, and collaborative governance.

While the CBA of collaborative governance highlights significant benefits, in the overall CBA, these benefits are broken down into the actions it has optimized, which explains a negative NPV.

The CBA of the COMMUTE project testifies the viability and the socio-economic interest of the pilots carried out. It shows that the project proposes an effective framework of actions for the implementation of initiatives similar, at the agglomeration level, or in other localities.

The cost-benefit analysis was carried out in compliance with the guidelines of the European Commission and ISO 14007.

The final evaluation will be provided at the end of the project, taking into account the views of the various stakeholders, including the employees who participated in the pilots. The objective is to provide a quantitative and qualitative review of the project.

Transferability

The COMMUTE project is part of an international dimension where mobility is an issue at global level. It is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations and European with the calls for projects launched with urban authorities in Europe, with the aim to implement innovative solutions to face their urban challenges.

The main objective of UIA is to provide urban areas across Europe with the resources to test innovative urban solutions, and to appreciate how these solutions work in practice and respond to the complexity of real-life situations. It is in this context of commitment and political will of the European Union that one of the expected results of the COMMUTE project is to ensure the replicability of its innovative strategic governance by other urban areas of Europe. In doing so, it shares the following information:

- the organisation and governance proposed,

- the necessary legal framework,

- and the economic model adopted.

This governance is a solution that can be adopted by any other European urban authority and must bring together the key conditions for the success of the project:

- a public-private collaborative model,

- the use of new technologies,

- the will to change behavior,

- a significant number of employees involved in the project,

- and the implementation of new sustainable solutions.

The dissemination elements that are developed within the reference framework of the project constitute one of the levers allowing other urban authorities to replicate the project.

It is important to note that COMMUTE focuses on home-work journeys only. Therefore, the replicability of the project can only apply in this context.

The added value of the collective dimension within this project is the participation of employers. This makes it particularly interesting and replicable. AFNOR tried not to overly focus on the mobility authority, since in Europe the distribution of roles and competences in the management of mobility vary significantly.

The digital aspect has also emerged as a key aspect for replicability: the digital platform and availability of data makes it particularly interesting for employers, who can visualise journeys of employees and better understand their needs.

COMMUTE partners have been invited to AFNOR workshops, for instance on transport and logistics with a focus on needs for structuring future ISO norms on sustainable mobility (« Smart mobility, supervision of autonomous mobility, cybersecurity and mobility », etc.). These workshops helped to identify possible options to promote the transferability of the COMMUTE method via international standardisation (voluntary norms).

In addition to the reference framework, AFNOR also developed a “methodological kit”, which includes:

- Methodology for the design and implementation of an Intercompany Workplace Travel Plan

- Methodological sheets for each COMMUTE action: carpooling, cycling, new ways of working

- Digital platform dashboards

- Self-assessment grid, etc.

The added value of best practice sharing and feedback from the COMMUTE experience is that other territories can use this method too and replicate the learnings from the COMMUTE project.

Challenges

The development of the COMMUTE reference framework has been a key goal of the project since the very beginning. For COMMUTE partners, it was important to be able to replicate this innovative mobility management model in other cities.

Given the public-private nature of the project, the elaboration of this framework has required flexibility and adaptability, so as to take both private and public sectors’ recommendations into account. AFNOR has had to adapt its services throughout the project, and to support the partners in the learning process of working collectively. The reference framework is the result of both collective work and bilateral exchanges.

Discussions on the content of the reference framework often helped to reach a consensus among partners on certain aspects of the project. Competition regarding leadership within public-private partnerships is not unusual. In the case of COMMUTE, there are several sources of leadership, which makes the implementation of the project more challenging: the delegation and distribution of mobility competences in Toulouse Métropole and its conurbation is very specific, with Toulouse Metropole as managing authority, and Tisséo Collectivités as deputy mobility authority on behalf of Toulouse Metropole. For COMMUTE partners, Tisséo Collectivités was viewed as a mobility provider only. Working with this provider and understanding its joint role with Toulouse Métropole was something new for the project partners. Therefore, one of the key learnings from the COMMUTE reference framework is that the allocation and weighing of competences, as well as the exact role of each partner, should be made very clear and understandable for each partner at the beginning of any collaborative governance. Each partner needs to be aware of the limits of its own competences, and also needs to know who takes decisions on which action. Such clarity is of outmost importance for any project wishing to implement a collaborative governance system.

The reference framework rightly includes these requirements. It also reflects the importance to learn how to work collectively, and to respect a certain code of conduct, which is especially crucial for technical negotiations.

CONCLUSIONS

The establishment of collaborative governance between public and private partners is at the heart of the COMMUTE project. It has enabled the implementation of major actions such as carpooling, cycling, the Intercompany Workplace Travel Plan, support for change in mobility and the creation of a digital platform.

One can say without hesitation that he COMMUTE project governance has been flexible and resilient: local elections and the COVID-19 pandemic have led to changes in the project, without moving the project away from its core goals. This flexibility and resilience, as well as more than 20 recommendations from project partners on collaborative governance for urban mobility management, have been included into a key deliverable – the COMMUTE reference framework. Based on learnings and feedback from COMMUTE partners, it proposes a public-private governance method at scale of a territory, which highlights two major dimensions of the project: collaborative and digital. This method is intended to provide other partnerships with a replicable framework to embark on a process of territorial co-construction of mobilities.

In terms of legacy, it is also to be noted that the establishment of the local mobility committee enabled to create a collaborative governance body that allows the project to be extended to other stakeholders and / or to perpetuate it, even after the end of COMMUTE.

Last but not least, the COMMUTE reference framework also serves as a basis for a COMMUTE standard on collaborative mobility management, which is a possible next step to look forward to. In addition to the many pilots conducted, materials and reference framework produced during the project, an ISO standard would give COMMUTE the recognition it deserves and would leave the best legacy such an ambitious project could wish for.

References:

 


[1] https://www.uia-initiative.eu/en/uia-cities/toulouse-metropole

About this resource

Author
Vanessa Holve - UIA Expert
Project
Location
Toulouse Metropole, France
About UIA
Urban Innovative Actions
Programme/Initiative
2014-2020

The Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is a European Union initiative that provided funding to urban areas across Europe to test new and unproven solutions to urban challenges. The initiative had a total ERDF budget of €372 million for 2014-2020.

Go to profile
More content from UIA
1129 resources
See all

Similar content