Taking on the role of mobility organising authority - the pioneering example of the Lunévillois region

janvier 2023

Association Nationale des Pôles territoriaux et des Pays (ANPP - Territoires de projet)

The Pays du Lunévillois became a Mobility Organising Authority on 1 January 2018. Car-sharing, solidarity mobility, car-pooling… The range of existing and future forms of mobility in the Lunévillois region is expanding rapidly. This requires a commitment from the public and the general public, careful observation of feedback and a wide range of services. In the Grand Est region, the Lunévillois region, a pioneer in this field, is setting an example and emphasising the importance of communication/information to enhance the model’s influence.

À télécharger : enquete-mobilite-1.pdf (1,9 Mio)

As one of the first PETRs to take on responsibility for mobility, the Lunévillois region’s experience sets an example and illustrates the Pays philosophy of coordinating public policies and pooling resources to implement them. To implement this remit, the AOMs must commit adequate financial and human resources. The mobility payment is an important budgetary lever, which the Pays du Lunévillois has been able to activate. The possibility of raising it was one of the main reasons why the Pays du Lunévillois took on this responsibility. The financial volume is sufficient to ensure the operation of the urban service in Lunéville, the urban centre of the PETR, which absorbs around 60% of the budget, while at the same time enabling the development of alternative modes of transport, such as car-pooling and car-sharing. For this rural area, the cost of providing mobility services to the population is significant. The scattered nature of the population, the low density of certain areas and the deep-rooted practice of car-pooling all contribute to a cost/user ratio that may seem high, but is difficult to compress in these conditions. For Guillaume Cornil, Director of the PETR, « mobility in rural areas, which is a key factor in the ecological transition and in the issues of employment, access to healthcare and the right to the territory in general, involves significant but essential expenditure ». By taking on this responsibility, the strategy and actions of the EPCIs that make up the Pays will not be dispersed. This decision was based on a diagnostic study comparing the capacity for action of each EPCI in dispersed order and the potential for joint implementation. The wealth of services offered by collective support argued in favour of this second option, supported by a culture of pooling that is well established in the area. By way of example, the area has had a transport-on-demand service since 2010, a service financed collectively, reflecting the solidarity between intermunicipalities with unequal resources. Responsibility has been taken for all transport services, except school transport, which remains the responsibility of the Region. Since then, there has been the deployment of charging points for electric vehicles, steered by a master plan for their installation, and the development of a master plan for cycling, in which local players have been involved in organising links between communes.

State agency funding is essential for local development players. They enable them to « take more risks », to commit to large-scale, innovative initiatives. For example, equipping the region with 42 car-sharing vehicles would not have been possible on this scale without aid, especially as it will take two to three years to gain sufficient hindsight to make an initial assessment of the operation. The same applies to the roll-out of community transport. The PETR organised itself as an AOM following a major project that required the involvement of three consultancies, one legal, one technical and a third working on the mobilisation of organisations and players. Today, 2.5 full-time equivalents are working on this issue within the structure. The AOM operates with a mobility committee within the PETR, made up of elected representatives from the intercommunal bodies, each of which enjoys equal representation, regardless of size. It is backed up by a COPIL, which brings together institutions, the Conseil général (particularly for issues relating to shared transport), funding bodies and service users, the inclusion of the latter being a key objective. A number of initiatives have been deployed to this end, including meetings with stakeholders (professionals, associations, residents), and awareness-raising events at community festivals, popular events and markets. The presence of this multitude of players clearly demonstrates the cross-cutting nature of mobility issues, linked to regional cohesion, employment and access to healthcare. The only downside to the assumption of responsibility is that communication is not yet sufficiently well-calibrated to ensure that the full range of solutions on offer is known. For example, the Local Mobility Agency’s information line receives questions mainly about the existence of a solution. Ultimately, the PETR hopes to achieve a more satisfactory level of knowledge, in order to respond as effectively as possible to social, economic and climatic needs and emergencies. In this respect, it appears that the effects of the current economic crisis and the pressure on fuel prices have benefited the solutions proposed by the region, with car-sharing, for example, seeing a 30% increase in use, as has car-pooling. An example of regional resilience. The Director’s answer to the question of whether this highly successful initiative can be replicated in other areas is affirmative, although the specific conditions of the Lunévillois region need to be taken into account. According to him, it is above all a question of political will, of taking collective responsibility for mobility issues, in order to provide solutions for each of the area’s municipalities and inter-municipalities. As a very rural area, the Pays lends itself particularly well to this kind of pooling. An area with strong inter-municipal polarities might face other constraints. The balance between the various players is a factor that facilitates dialogue and the development of joint responses to mobility issues.