Framing Digital Mobility Gap: A Starting Point in the Design of Inclusive Mobility Eco-Systems
Digital transport eco-systems worldwide provide great advantages to many but also carry a risk of excluding population groups that struggle with accessing or using digital products and services. The DIGNITY project (DIGital traNsport In and for socieTY) delves into the development of such eco-systems to deepen the understanding of the full range of factors that lead to disparities in the uptake of digital transport solutions in Europe. A starting point for developing digitally inclusive transport systems is to obtain state-of-the-art knowledge and understanding of where local transport eco-systems are in relation to the digital gap and digital mobility gap in terms of their policies, transport products and services, and population digital literacy. This chapter presents the methodology developed in the DIGNITY project to frame this digital gap, incorporating a self-assessment framework that may be used by public authorities to identify potential gaps in the development of local digital transport eco-systems. This framework is informed by results from customer journey mapping exercises that provide insights into the daily activities and trips of users, and larger scale surveys on digital technology access, use, attitudes and competence in the area. In the DIGNITY approach as a whole, the results from the framing phase are then used to inform subsequent work on bridging the digital gap through the co-creation of more inclusive policies, products and services. The chapter provides concrete results from the framing exercise in four DIGNITY pilot areas: Barcelona, Tilburg, Flanders and Ancona. The results clearly show that a digital transport gap exists in these areas, and that this is manifested in different ways in different local situations, requiring tailored approaches to address the gap.