Inter-Connect PLUS first project consortium meeting

First meeting held online

The first Inter-Connect PLUS consortium meeting was held online on 2nd February 2022. This six-month capitalisation project, coordinated by the Municipality of Igoumenitsa and funded in the framework of the 4th ADRION restricted call, aims at building upon the main results of the Inter-Connect project implemented in 2018-2021. Inter-Connect PLUS will therefore seek to update policy and technical tools and assess the pandemic's impacts on passenger transport solutions in the ADRION area. This work might also pave the way for further activities in the next programming period, 2021-2027.

Mr Karapiperis welcomed participants on behalf of the Municipality of Igoumenitsa and provided an overview of the implications of COVID-19 on the transport sector and the new challenges that the pandemic entails, including the need to enhance the promotion of public transport at local and cross-border levels to mitigate the shift to private transport based on safety concerns.
Ms Myrovali of the Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas / Hellenic Institute of Transport (CERTH/HIT), which is responsible for the coordination of technical activities, provided an overview of the three main lines of action in Inter-Connect PLUS:
a) upgrading of the main tools developed by InterConnect, such as the Roadmap and the Toolkit;
b) improving the recommendations on where and how to invest in supporting sustainable connectivity of ADRION cases – focusing on the smart integration of different public transport solutions;
c) revising the Slovenian and Croatian Inter-Connect case studies new norms brought by COVID-19.

After this presentation, Ms Karpodini Evangelia, the financial officer of ADRION JS, presented the critical administrative aspects to be followed in the project implementation.

The following technical session was opened by CERTH/HIT, which described the updating of the "Inter-Connect Roadmap" and the "Intermodal Transport Capacity Building Toolkit", providing insight into the upcoming development of new training/topic guide materials.

The Institute for Transport and Logistics (ITL) presented the technical activities focusing on understanding the existing best practices in terms of soft measures for a seamless connection of coastal areas to the city centres at regional and national levels and the TEN-T network main nodes. ITL highlighted that the main intent is to update the policy recommendations to promote intermodality for passengers' mobility in the ADRION area developed by the previous project to include the impacts of COVID-19 on intermodality.

Furthermore, the Regional Development Agency of Ljubljana Urban Region (RDA LUR) presented the updates to the previous pilot action on developing intermodality solutions between the Slovenian coastal area, the Ljubljana Urban Region and the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport that will now consider COVID-19 impacts.

The Croatian Railways Passenger Transport Limited Liability Company (HZPP) presented the revision of the Inter-Connect Croatian feasibility study, defining a methodology for determining passenger flows between the railway node of Zagreb Adriatic coastal area, taking into account COVID-19 pandemic impact.

The last part of the meeting focused on communication activities that include dedicated promotion through established communication channels (website and social media) and a series of high-level events in participating cities that will seek to engage a specific target group or tackle a particular issue. So, for instance, the event organised by HZPP will focus on behavioural change. At the same time, the Municipality of Igoumenitsa will endeavour to promote stakeholders' cooperation principle for reaching passengers' sustainable mobility goals, while ITL will delve into passengers' intermodal transport solutions, and MIE will analyse specific mobility-related needs of IPA countries.

Moreover, Inter-Connect PLUS will organise an online training session for travellers' engagement in sustainable mobility planning (CERTH/HIT), participation in ADRION Programme and other relevant events, as well as liaison with the ADRION thematic clusters (the previous one on passengers' mobility and the 2nd call thematic sub-cluster No3 in tourism).

Stay tuned for more news available on Inter-Connect PLUS’ website and social media. Technical events, training sessions and other activities are coming up!

This press release has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. Its content is the sole responsibility of Inter-Connect PLUS partnership and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union and/or ADRION Programme Authorities.