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Good practice examples of sustainable transport in the mountainous areas of the Alps and the Carpathians at the Access2Mountain midterm conference

From 16th to 18th October 2012 a midterm conference to the project Access2Mountain with international participation took place in Košice.

 The aim of the Access2Mountain project is to improve the environmentally friendly accessibility to sensitive and vulnerable mountain areas.

After one year and a half of in-depth analyses and first pilot activities the midterm conference aimed to provide an opportunity for presenting first outputs and results accomplished during the period from the beginning of the project (May 2011) to the present. At the same time external experts and stakeholders from the transport and tourism industry were invited to present their experiences.
 
It is worth mentioning an example of best practice from South Tyrol - Vinschgau line where the train line has been upgraded and now provides a comfortable train ride - there are the train and bus stops on one platform so passengers can conveniently change from train to bus and thus benefit from the multimodal connection.
Another interesting example was so-called "AlpenTaxi" from Switzerland that focuses on the closure of last mile in public transport services which in practice means that the tourist who wants to get to a place where there is no public transport has the possibility to call a taxi to get to his/her destination.
We learned also about eco-mobility management in the National Park Lake Neusiedl in Austria where tourists can borrow bicycles for transportation around the lake and can enjoy various benefits if they purchase Neusiedl card during their stay.
An example of good practice from the Carpathian region was the presentation of narrow gauge railway Greentrain which operates in Western Ukraine (Ivano-Frankivsk region) and the presentation of the Tatra Electric Railway in Slovakia.
These are only few examples of good practices from the area of utilisation of railways in tourism and multimodal transport presented at the conference.
On the last day of the conference 18th October 2012 a study visit to High Tatras and ride on the Tatra Electric Railway took place as it belongs to the sustainable means of transport transporting tourists directly to the High Tatras which are a very popular destination for tourists.
After the midterm conference, as part of the Access2Mountain project, a meeting of the Working Group of the Carpathian Convention on sustainable industry, energy, transport and infrastructure, took place from 18th to 19th October 2012. One of the objectives of the Working Group is to develop a draft Protocol on sustainable transport and infrastructure.
 



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