Travel behavior

F'kes ride along: plenty of opportunities, but it is not self-evident

Published on July 9, 2024

Hitchhiking is a sustainable and social way to travel. It also provides more transport options in areas where public transport is less available. To encourage hitchhiking, a pilot has been running since last year with six lift columns in De Kempen: F'kes ride along. A survey among residents shows that it is not yet self-evident to use it.

'Riding along with F'kes, we test and investigate whether hitchhiking can be a good alternative to using your own car in four participating municipalities in the Kempen. So there is no right or wrong outcome from this test project. We investigated the awareness through a survey and were curious about possible points for improvement," says Eline Swinkels, project leader F'kes ride with Brainport Bereikbaar.

Users very satisfied

The reputation of the lift columns is good. 81% of the 180 respondents has already heard of the elevator columns. Only 2% has actually used it. 'These users are very satisfied with the lift columns, they give a score of 9.5 to 10.' It is striking that more than a third of respondents are critical of the project. 'We mainly see this point of view among people who have little or no experience with lifts themselves. For these people, the 'expected' negative consequences predominate. We also often hear that people think that the project costs too much. Our challenge is to increase usage so that people can have a pleasant experience themselves,' says Eline. 'Especially because we see that almost 60% of respondents from the Kempen never use any form of public transport or shared mobility. And only 16.6% mainly uses the bicycle. So there is a lot of potential to travel more sustainably.'

Improve and continue to look critically

The next six months will therefore be used to implement suggestions from the research. 'For example, by broadening the network and improving the return guarantee. We may also use an app at a later date. But we also remain critical of the results of this joint regional investment. It may be that hitchhiking in the Kempen, via F'kes or in some other way, turns out not to be a suitable alternative mode of transport after research and testing in practice. In that case, the pilot gives us input to make a substantiated choice for other options to reduce car use in the Kempen and improve the accessibility of villages.'

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Brainport Bereikbaar facilitates and encourages mobility solutions that are better, faster, cleaner and healthier. Such as cycling or riding together. No promises for the future, but results on the street. That cannot be done alone. Brainport Bereikbaar involves travelers, employers, educational institutions and the logistics sector. Brainport Bereikbaar collaborates with 21 municipalities in Southeast Brabant.

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