How to improve the benefits of transport, while limiting its downsides? This question was central to research project U-PASS (Urban Public Administration and ServiceS innovation for Innovative Urban Mobility Management and Policy).  The project – uniting researchers from China, the UK, and The Netherlands – aimed to offer innovations in the design of new services and policies in urban transport, with a focus on policies and services such as tradable credits schemes, automated vehicles, electric driving, ride sharing, car sharing, and cycling. On July 5 and July 7, 2022, project U-PASS presented her findings during an online final workshop. The workshop was divided into 4 sessions:

Session 1: Sustainability and new mobility services:  Knowledge led policy? 
(chaired by Simon Shepherd, University of Leeds)

Within and beyond U-PASS a key research ambition is to understand the implications of new mobility services for social, environmental and economic sustainability. This has developed our understanding of far- reaching potential implications of new mobility services across – often urgent – sustainability issues.

In U-PASS also large gaps were identified between this emerging knowledge and the focus of regulation and policy on new mobility services.   In some cases, the researchers find that regulation only considers narrow sustainability issues, overlooking major aspects of sustainability which research findings would expect to be strongly influenced by new mobility services. In other cases, the sustainability issues are recognised but the potential that new mobility services and measures have for addressing the issues goes unconsidered.

This session explored the work U-PASS has done to understand this knowledge-policy gap and considers the actions and governance processes which could effectively enable regulation and policy development to become better informed by research on sustainability of new mobility services.


Session 2: Innovative mobility services and policies
(chaired by Meng Xu, Beijing Jiaotong University)

To support urban mobility development, this session involved the innovation elements in developing mobility services and policies, in order to develop innovative management approaches of the public sector to accelerate transitions in urban mobility development, to tackle disparities in and between cities and urban areas in considering the implementation of innovative urban mobility services and policies, and to develop integrated sustainable mobility services and policies.

Several urban mobility scenarios, involving current and future mobility services and policies are developed. These studies bring new considerations and concerns on innovative public transport services development, tradable credits scheme, shared parking management, automated driving and integrated mobility managements. Specific surveys and investigations are carried out, case studies have carried out and policy briefs have submitted too. Two national patents are applied, two academic books are published, and a series of publications in leading transportation leading journals including Transportation Research Part A/C/E/F and Transport Policy.

Session 3: Modelling
(chaired by Xiqun -Michael-  Chen, Zheijang University)

This session proposed novel U-PASS modelling methodologies from the strategic, agent-based, and conceptual economic perspectives to formulate, simulate, evaluate, and optimize innovative urban mobility management and policies (e.g., automatic/electric driving, shared electrified autonomous vehicles, tradable credits scheme, and bike/car sharing and shared parking). The consortium contributed to (a) the development of a strategic model for Beijing based on MARS; (b) agent-based modelling, simulation and optimization of on-demand ride services; and (c) conceptual economic modelling for services and policies innovation. The major results include the MARS model for Beijing, ABMS and simulation-based optimization model for U-PASS evaluation in Hangzhou and Ningbo, and economic and behavioural analysis models for U-PASS impacts.

Session 4: Experimentation
(chaired by Kai Xian, Beijing Transportation Research Center)

To support innovative urban mobility measures implementation, this session involved experimentation and empirical studies to design the incentive systems on how to induce sustainable urban transport behaviour, and to investigate the long-term and short-term impacts of innovative policies in isolation and in combination. Several simulation experiments and innovative urban mobility tests were carried out based on the shared data and the model from WP3. Three innovative urban mobility policies experiments, involving bike sharing, tradable permit, and ride-sourcing, have been conducted. Four behavioural experiments, involving shared bicycles parking behaviour, riding behaviour, peak-avoidance behaviour, and departure time choice behaviour, have been conducted too. A series of papers were published in top transportation journals.

Presentations given (in order of appearance): 

  • Yamei Hu (BJTU SEM), Collaborative governance for shared cycle schemes
  • Gillian Harrison (ITS, Leeds): AVs and liveability: recognising the need to broaden the range of sectors and actors involved in decision-making
  • Jo-Ann Pattinson (ITS, Leeds): The case for tradeable credits as a policy measure, and the challenge of policy recognition
  • Xiqun (Michael) Chen (ZJU): Integrating ride-sourcing with electric vehicle charing under mixed fleets and differentiated services
  • Yacan Wang (BJTU): The impact of traffic demand management policy mix on commuter travel modes choice
  • Yacan Wang (BJTU): Travel behavior analysis of bike sharing and metro transit
  • Diego Candia (VU):Road pricing schemes in the autonomous era: a monocentric, general equilibrium approach
  • Gillian Harrison, Simon Shepherd (ITS): The development of the Beijing strategic model MARS and discussion of policy implications
  • Meng Xu, Wei Mao (BJTU): Modelling mobility services and policies with MARS in Beijing
  • Xun Li (BTI): Experimentation for Innovative Urban Mobility Management and Policy in Beijing,
  • Kexin Geng (BJTU), Yacan Wang (BJTU), Erik Verhoef (VU): Tradable Permits versus Congestion Charge on Managing Morning Peak Travel Behavior: A Field Experiment in Beijing

Interested in a presentation? Please send an email.

About the project
Motivated by the world-wide shared desire and need for more efficient, reliable and environmentally sustainable urban transport, the U-PASS project investigates how to improve the benefits of transport, while limiting its downsides. The project aims to offer innovations in the design of new services and policies in urban transport, with a focus on policies and services such as tradable credits schemes, automated vehicles, electric driving, ride sharing, car sharing, and cycling. The project studied short-run behavioural impacts through real-life experimental studies in both China and Europe, and long-run implications through advanced urban transport modelling approaches.

U-PASS unites researchers from

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Erik Verhoef,  Vincent van den Berg,  Jasper Knockaert, Paul Koster, Diego Candia Riquelme)
  • University of Leeds (Simon Shepherd, Susan Grant-Muller, Caroline Mullen, Chandra Balijepalli)
  • Beijing Jiaotong University (Meng Xu,  Xianyu Wu, Yacan Wang, Zhigang Cao, Lingling Xiao, Huiyu Zhou, Jingjuan Jiao)
  • Zheijang University (Xiqun (Michael) Chen)
  • Beijing Transportation Research Center  (Kai Xian)

U-PASS is part of the Sustainable and Liveable Cities and Urban Areas programme, jointly organized by nine European partners of JPI Urban Europe and the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), in order to encourage collaboration between researchers from Chinese and European universities, research institutes, research and technology organizations, cities and city planning departments, as well as European companies to develop knowledge, integrate solutions and decision support tools to a wide spectrum of urban challenges (Grant No. 71961137005).

Interested in U-PASS? Visit our webpage or send an email.


July, 2022