Incentivizing Residents to Use Public and Alternatives Transportation

Hagen Challenge Brief

Full description: How can the City of Hagen increase the awareness of various ways of transportation available to the public and incentivize the use of either public transportation or more environmentally-friendly ways (e.g. micro-mobility, walking, cycling and other) as opposed to using private cars?

Although recently the City of Hagen improved the public transportation available to the residents and put in place different incentives for residents to get out of their private cars and use various, more environmentally friendly and healthier means of transport, the residents are reluctant to try them out. They believe the public transportation is too expensive and not efficient and they are often not aware of other choices available to them (e.g. E-Mark – electricity provider – offers a 250-Euro voucher for buying an electric bike when bundled with getting the “Eco-Electrical power tariff”).

The city wants to use the technology in order to raise awareness, incentivize the residents through free tickets, coupons and vouchers or other promotions to use public or alternative means of transportation.

CURRENT STATE: The residents are not sufficiently informed about the available means of transportation alongside other offers (e.g. 250-Euro voucher for buying an electric bike) and are not motivated to use them. The problem focuses on information and incentives that are not existing for residents to switch from every-day car use to using public transportation, although the municipality claims that they are interested in using public transportation or environmentally-friendly alternatives and are looking for ways to do that. Also, residents are not aware that the public transportation options combined with incentives and special offers can be substantially cheaper than using a private car.

In a survey conducted by the City of Hagen, where residents were asked about the transportation of their choice to get to/from work, 48% of the respondents claimed that the local public bus transportation (OPNV) is their favorite transportation type after the car. E-bikes and pedelecs were chosen by 32% of respondents as the second-best option.

The option for city-sponsored or partly reimbursed purchase of a bicycle was not very popular – about 32% of respondents welcomed such an option as a viable one. 38% of respondents would consider switching to the public transportation or a bicycle if the employer would sponsor the cost of the transportation. The contribution for a use of a bicycle that was welcomed by the respondents amounted to 25% - 5 EUR, 34% - 10 EUR and 19% - 20 EUR.

Carsharing was not a popular means of transportation among the respondents (54,1% did not interest in carsharing as a viable option for them).
Electromobility is growing in popularity, with 66% of the respondents claiming to be “interested in the topic” and 37% of respondents saying that they do ride an e-bike or scooter 37% and 24% claiming that they possess an e-bike or a pedelec at home.

In addition, in another survey conducted among the employees in one of the biggest Hagen-based companies, the following findings have been gathered:

  • The majority of surveyed employees were interested in a discounted job ticket for public transportation.
  • The most employees didn’t want to pay more than 30 to 40 € monthly for the bus ticket for commuting to work.
  • Only 18% of surveyed employees were interested in sharing their cars with others (Carpooling). The main reason for that was that they did not want to be dependent on other people in their scheduling.

Generally speaking, the city of Hagen – due to its topography – is not an ideal place to ride a regular bike, but the e-mobility solutions may start gaining traction when showed as eco-friendly and cost-friendly. Combined with various financial incentives, they may contribute to the residents of Hagen change their transportation preferences. The city is aware that it should invest in the appropriate transportation in order to achieve even more impact with e-mobility options.


Involved Stakeholders

The following parties are involved in the project:

HAGENagentur – the city’s economic agency
Hagener Straßenbahn AG is the most important stakeholder regarding public transportation in Hagen
Mark-E group (a Hagen-based company)
Depending on the offered solution, other stakeholders may be relevant (e.g. local retail shops etc.)


Desired outcome: Citizens are using environmentally friendly mobility alternatives. This leads to lower NOx emissions. The public transportation and the alternative transportation is well-developed and the majority of the residents use them as opposed to their private cars to get to work and move around. The developed incentives are attractive to the residents and are popular and taken advantage off, supporting the local offering as well (e.g. vouchers to the Christmas market make it even more popular with the residents. As an addition, the residents may be informed and be aware (through data and insights that they get) how environmentally-friendly they are, which helps them be motivated.

Things to think about:

  • It is important to understand that this challenge is about incentivizing and motivating residents to change their current preference in a technologically advanced way. We want to see ground-breaking solutions that create a real change.
  • Currently, there are not that many options for residents to use (either using a bus and buying a bike/electric bike). If you are startup introducing micro-mobility solutions, you are welcome to apply. Any ways of enhancing the local transportation alternatives will be seriously considered.
  • The pilot project is fully sponsored by Mark-E AG. Because of that the solution should integrate the company’s added value for the challenge, e.g. the opportunity to promote Mark-E products (Power, Gas, E-Mobility).