Living Lab Jelgava

The Living Lab in Jelgava develops requirements and mechanisms to improve location accessibility by optimising public transport and other CO2-neutral transport infrastructure.

Key questions
  • How will the optimisation of the public transport network and the impact of other factors help ensure that the necessary mobility budget is met, as residents would switch from private vehicles to public transport changing their mobility habits? 
  • What are the effects of voluntary support mechanisms to promote change?
Expected results

This Living Lab generates data-based proposals to improve the public transportation network, like multi-modal services and route changes. The results can lead to a policy instrument which measures mobility behaviour changes. 

Optimising Municipal Traffic

How can the public transport network be optimised to reduce carbon emissions? Which measures help to convince residents to switch from private cars to public transport? These questions lie at the heart of the Jelgava Living Lab, which is actively developing strategies for promoting sustainable transportation behaviours.

The Lab explores a variety of measures, including park & ride facilities, free public transport initiatives, and personalized discounts. The Jelgava Living Lab brings stakeholders together and employs rigorous data analysis techniques, such as transport cell data analysis and surveys.

Jelgava serves as an ideal testing ground for innovative mobility initiatives. With a population of 64.000 inhabitants, it is the fourth-largest city in Latvia and lies about 40 kilometres south of Riga, the Latvian capital. The project is conducted in cooperation with the Jelgava City Council, the local transport operator and the Latvia’s largest mobile operator LMT. The project partners are actively involved in all stages of the projects, from the formulation of research tasks, to the implementation of the survey research and implementing changes to the transportation network in Jelgava.

In partnership with these stakeholders, the Living Lab conducts a comprehensive survey among 1.500 residents. Here, respondents were for example asked about their daily travel behaviour. This data is combined with cell phone data and transport data, to construct a mobility budget model. The project also analyses how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced mobility behaviour. This extensive dataset serves as the foundation for generating recommendations aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the local public transport network.

The Jelgava Living Lab places a strong emphasis on fairness and accessibility. The goal is to ensure a high level of accessibility to critical infrastructure and points of interest. The results demonstrate that an optimised public transport network can provide the same level of accessibility as private transportation currently does. Here, the use of park and ride infrastructure offers a particularly high potential. Furthermore, the results may provide insights about the potential of price-based mechanisms and optimised transport routes.

The results of the data analysis will be shared with the Jelgava municipality and other stakeholders through a series of workshops. Here, the target groups gain an in-depth understanding of how to mitigate environmental pollution stemming from individual car usage. Particular attention is given to the development of communication principles using visual modelling to facilitate the adoption of necessary measures. In this way, the Jelgava Living Lab contributes significantly to the reduction of private vehicle reliance, the enhancement of traffic safety, and the mitigation of air and noise pollution.