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TRANSPORT

Accessible transportation is crucial if young people are to see rural regions as viable places to live, especially since basic services (e.g., healthcare, access to amenities, job opportunities) are often limited or unavailable in such regions. When it comes to providing or improving transport solutions, there is often a lack of funding, as well as a lack of cooperation between key actors. Transport, whether public or private, is often expensive, and therefore inaccessible to many young people who have less disposable income. Public transport in rural regions is often non-existent, infrequent, or impractical. The bus does not take you where you need to go, and services are too infrequent to be practical. The infrastructure is often poor, as roads are often ill-maintained and in bad condition. Young people in rural areas need accessible and efficient transportation options. In order to realise a just green transition in the transport sector, affordable public transportation and diverse and locally adapted multi-modal transport options must be prioritised. 
We recommend: 
  • Increasing the efficiency of transport routes by splitting routes through hybrid bus systems and by combining larger and smaller buses (as well as other vehicles). The routes should reflect the settlement structure, and they must reflect peak times for work and school commuting. 
  • Ensure that prices for diverse public transportation options in rural areas are socio-economically and spatially just. All actors responsible should evaluate the sustainability and environmental impact of existing transport options, ensure that lower-impact options are prioritised, and adjust accordingly. In places where there is an infrequent but essential need for public transport, rural carpooling and on-demand services could be an option. 
  • Ensuring participatory processes in local and regional transport planning. Public transport is for the people, and the timetables should be regularly re-evaluated to reflect the needs of the public in rural areas. This can be done through simple surveys, e.g., via QR codes at bus stops. 
  • Prioritising infrastructure to ensure connectivity. We want an infrastructure that connects rather than isolates rural areas, and that takes people where they need to go. We need a plan that enables the inhabitants of rural areas to travel safely all year round, and therefore makes it possible to live in rural areas. Frequent ferries is an important part of this infrastructure.