Transportsystemet er i endring. Private biler med fossilt drivstoff blir gradvis mindre dominerende i transportbildet. Denne endringen skjer sakte. I Norge har de viktigste virkemidlene for omstillingen vært støtteordninger til elbil og nullvekstmålet i storbyene. Støtteordningene til elbil bidrar til å gjøre det eksisterende mobilitetssystemet mindre forurensende. Nullvekstmålet søker å endre atferd.
Covid-19 pandemien kommer som et eksogent sjokk inn i denne omstillingsprosessen. Prosjektet ser på effektene av Covid-19 på transportsystemet langs tre ulike akser. 1) Arbeidsliv, her ser vi på hvordan støtteordningene for næringslivet har slått og slår ulikt ut for nye og etablerte aktører. Eksempelvis ser det ut til at inntektsbortfallet er mindre og støtteordningene bedre for etablerte busselskap som kjører på fylkeskommunale kontrakter, enn for drosjer, ekspressbusser eller bildeling. De sistnevnte er i mye større grad direkte eksponert for kundebortfallet. 2) Omstilling, her ser vi på hvordan oppfattelsen og bruk av nye, og/eller mindre forurensende transportmidler endrer seg som følge av pandemien. Vi undersøker om dette bidrar til å forsinke eller framskynde omstillingen. 3) Transportmiddelfordeling, her ser prosjektet på hvordan pandemien påvirker opplevd ulempe ved å reise. Eksempelvis, i hvilken grad vil trengsel på kollektivtransport bli oppfattet som større ulempe gitt økt smitte i samfunnet. Med bakgrunn i denne typen vurderinger har vi utviklet et verktøy som nå brukes for å inkludere smittevern sammen med andre målsetninger om mobilitet og tilgjengelighet.
1) The project has helped understanding the distributional effects of market risk between new and traditional mobility services. This has resulted in project reports being extensively used in the (as of 2023) ongoing work on revising the Norwegian vocational transport act. The project lead has also been included in the committee working on the official Norwegian reports (NOU) on the issue. First NOU published in 2023, second to be published in 2024.
2) The project has created a better understanding of landscape level shocks. In particular we have provided insight into how the response of niche mobility actors differs based on business models (i.e., type of organization, operation and transaction). This applies to semi-established segments as car sharing as well as emerging segments as dockless micromobility. Some of this has resulted in contributions to publications that were mainly funded by other projects. With other publications still being in the pipeline.
3) The project was actively used in policy making during the pandemic, in particular to adjust recommendations related to public transport use. This work has later been developed into academic papers.
The transport sector and mobility solutions more broadly are in a transition from a private car based fossil fuel burning system, towards a less polluting future. This sustainability transition has been taking place slowly. In Norway it has its two most prominent features are the support mechanisms for electric vehicles and the zero-growth objective for urban mobility. The first, focuses on reducing GHG-emissions within the current mobility regime. The second, focuses on changing mobility behavior. The Covid-19 outbreak has come as a landscape level shock. This creates a situation that is sparsely described in academic transition literature. How does this affect the ongoing transition?
We look into how the Covid-19 shock influences the mobility sector along three different paths.
First, we focus on labor, where the availability of support mechanisms is different between new and established actors. Established actors mostly operate on public contracts, where income risk is minimal. The smaller and new actors on the other hand, face a massive drop in demand, while the support mechanisms have mechanisms that limit the payout to these actors, as they have a deductible and use previous years’ turnover as a reference.
Second, focusing on effect on the sustainability transition, the project looks at how the covid-19 outbreak changes the use and perception of new and less polluting modes of transport. Apart from the obvious, compulsory and temporary adjustment in mobility behavior, does the outbreak accelerate or disrupt the sustainability transition?
Thirdly, focusing on desired mode choice, the project looks at how a change in valuation of factors such as crowding on public transport modes, affect the social cost of such services. The project will develop a tool that can help optimize the transport policy response, so that the objectives, maintaining mobility accessibility and reducing the spread of the virus, can be achieved at lowest possible social cost.