Sustainable Transport Flourishing In Greece Despite Economic Crisis
18 October 2012
The First Mobility Center in Greece opens in Thessaloniki
Despite the economic crisis in Greece, the city of Thessaloniki has forged new ground by establishing the country’s first Mobility Center – mobithess.gr. The new multi-modal transport platform helps citizens find the best way to get from A to B including bus connections, fuel efficient routes, traffic updates and car sharing options.
“We‘re very happy to be cooperating with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Integrated Transport Authority on this project,” says Markus Barnikel, CEO of ridesharing platform carpooling.com. “The integration of carpooling offers from our Greek site (pamemazi.gr) is an innovative solution that leverages the region’s existing infrastructure – helping people to save money, reduce CO2 and meet people within their community. At a time when citizens are struggling with crippling gas prices and traffic jams, the new transport platform in Thessaloniki proves that cities can show the way towards more sustainable mobility, even in the hardest of times.”
The broad urban area of Thessaloniki is home to around 1 million people - making it the second biggest city in Greece after Athens. It is a city that suffers from severe traffic congestion, double parked cars and the absence of an underground train network. The aim of the new mobility platform, mobithess.gr, is to provide optimal routing, traveler information and environmental awareness services to help citizens travel cheaply and efficiently. As a testament to his effort to make public services work better, the Mayor of Thessaloniki (Yiannis Boutaris) has also recently been named “Mayor of the Month” by citymayors.com - following in the footsteps of the Mayors of London (September) and New York (August).
In Greece, where the economic crisis has dramatically affected people’s lives, the city of Thessaloniki is creating a model for positive change. By raising awareness of how behavioural change can reduce air and noise pollution, the mobility platform represents an important first step towards increasing sustainable mobility in the region and improving the quality of life of its inhabitants.
Carpooling.com is the world's largest ridesharing network, transporting 1 million people a month. Drivers and passengers can book a seat online and rate each other for additional convenience and safety. Rides can be accessed from a computer, a mobile phone (iPhone, Android) or a social network (Facebook). By sharing a ride, people save gas and money, reduce carbon emissions and meet new friends. Thanks to carpooling.com, 860,000 tons of C02 and 430 million liters of gas have been saved; not counting the millions of savings by users and the thousands of friendships created (including more than 16 marriages!).
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