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Department of Spatial Planning

Namo: Seamless, barrier-free information and mobility chains for the elderly

Project goals

The goal of the project is to support the elderly's independent mobility and, hence, their inclusion in public life. This shall be achieved by implementing innovative information services combined with existent services and available modern ICT products. These shall serve as pre-trip planning tools and effective on-trip 'electronic travel assistants'.

The focus as regards content is on target group specific information about integrated and accessible door-to-door travel chains (intermodal travel assistant service). Public transport and individual travel modes will be integrated in order to support seamless mobility. The pilot areas will be in the region Rhein-Main.

In the development of the travel assistant systems, the needs and requirements of the elderly have to be addressed, not least because market implementation is intended. The benefit of the travel assistants has to be pointed out to the elderly. Its acceptability has to be analysed in order to ensure successful market implementation.

Against this background the project goals are based on three pillars:

1.         Development of an intermodal travel assistant service for integrated information on seamless mobility chains.

2.         The human takes centre stage – the project is developed starting from the human: consequent integration of elderly people and interest groups in attendant committees and workshops.

3.         Development of basics for a successful market implementation of the travel assistant service by analysing market acceptability and integrating disseminators.

In particular, the project addresses the following barriers and problems in elderly mobility:

•           Navigation, e.g. in transfer situations

•           walking access and egress trip stages

•           security and safety.

Improved subjective security and safety, improved navigation in public areas, and the alleviation of walking in travel chains contribute to increasing convenience in the elderly's travelling. People's inhibition to use public transport may decrease and, finally, be overcome.

The Department of Transport Planning focuses on the elderly's mobility skills and mobility constraints as well as their mobility needs and travel behaviour (analysis of needs and requirements). What is more, the department is involved in the evaluation of the travel assistant. The evaluation will examine whether the travel assistant meets the users' needs, as for technical reasons it is likely that the concept can not be perfectly realised. At the same time it will be examined how users judge the system, whether it improves mobility, and whether it contributes to changing travel behaviour.


The analysis of needs and requirements is based on a literature review, secondary analysis of available data (FRAME, Mobility in Germany, PatronTicket, and PatronTicket 2.0), and qualitative surveys in the study areas. The surveys will include focus group discussions, urban excursions, guided interviews with experts and key informants, and analyses of road safety based on police accident records.

The evaluation includes qualitative und quantitative methods as well (observation, questionnaire survey, focus groups etc.). It is based on exemplary tests of the developed services, and it takes the user perspective as well as the developers' and operators' views into account. The key element is a field test in the study areas.

The evaluation refers to the elderly's requirements and behavioural patterns established in the analysis of needs and requirements. Key elements are:

•           Acceptability and frequency of use,

•           users' level of satisfaction,

•           effects of use on mobility and travel behaviour,

•           suggestions for improvement,

•           suggestions for amendments of the service.

The project was executed at the transport research group, Department of Spatial Planning.


German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (

The project is part of the research programme "Mobile into an advanced age"

Project partners

Fachgebiet Verkehrswesen und Verkehrsplanung (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Holz-Rau, Prof. Dr. Joachim Scheiner)

Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund Servicegesellschaft (rms GmbH) (project coordination)

Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund GmbH (RMV) (associated partner)

Integriertes Verkehrs- und Mobilitätsmanagement Region Frankfurt RheinMain (IVM GmbH)

HaCon Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH

PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG

Evangelische Stiftung Volmarstein

Forschungsinstitut Technologie und Behinderung (FTB)

Forschungsgesellschaft für Gerontologie e.V. (FfG)/ Institut für Gerontologie an der TU Dortmund

Stiftung Gesundheit Fördergemeinschaft e.V.

Projec start and end 02/2012 to 01/2015


Prof. Dr. Joachim Scheiner,, Tel.: 0231 755-4822



Scheiner, Joachim (2013): Nahtlose Mobilität für Ältere. Zielgruppen für ein inter- und multimodales Reiseassistenzsystem. In: Der Nahverkehr 31(3), S. 32-38.