East Tyrol - Austria

East Tyrol is situated in the eastern part of the federal state Tyrol, West Austria, on the border with Italy. It is characterized by a mountainous territory extending to an area of 2,020.13 km2, with a total population of 48,833 inhabitants spread over 33 municipalities. The population ratio varies within the region, with the municipalities in the valley floor around Lienz being more populated than the ones in the peripheral valleys. More specifically, the capital Lienz is the biggest town, counting 11,844 inhabitants, and the surrounding municipalities Nussdorf-Debant and Dölsach have 3,325 and 2,338 inhabitants, respectively. Similar in size are the municipalities in the region’s two main valleys: Matrei in the Isel Valley, counting 4,667 inhabitants (second to Lienz), and Sillian in the Pulster Valley, with 2,051 inhabitants. The most important urban hub in the region is the city of Lienz, which is centrally located at the intersection of the main valleys. At the same time, the most important rural hubs are Sillian and Tassenbach (Puster Valley) and Matrei (Isel Valley). The distance between the above towns to the centre of Lienz is approximately 30 km.

The average age of the population in the district is relatively young compared to the others in Austria, with an average of 44 years. Despite this, it should be noted that almost a quarter (25%) of East Tyrol’s population is over 60 years old.
Tourism in Osttirol is not particularly strong compared to other touristic regions in the rest of Tyrol. However, it has recorded over 2,000,000 overnight stays per year in recent years, with a slight majority of tourists in the summer season, compared to winter. While the winter sports areas of Hochstein and Zettersfeld led to strong growth in winter tourism, Lienz recently benefited from day tourists who use the Drau Cycle Path from San Candido to Lienz in the summer. Tourism is managed by the Osttirol Tourism Association, with Lienz belonging to the Lienz Dolomites region.
East Tyrol, owing to its alpine landscape and its high rate of nature conservation areas, hosts the district’s National Park “Hohe Tauern”, which accounts for 30.5% of the total area.

Population:

48,753 (2019)

Type:

Led by Regionsmanagement Osttirol (RMO), a non-profit association based in Lienz aiming to promote regional development and to improve the infrastructure and economic conditions in the district of Lienz.

Key characteristics

The region is located in the middle of the Alps and thus has an alpine and rural landscape. East Tyrol has 2 main valleys and several peripherally located side valleys, each surrounded by the alpine mountains.

Mobility & tourism challenges

The main challenge facing mobility and tourism in the region is the limited coverage of the public transport network, which makes it difficult for people to get around the area without a private car. Additionally, several hubs and settlements are underserved, which exacerbates the problem. Furthermore, the frequency of public transport services is quite low, particularly on weekends, which makes it difficult for tourists to use public transport to explore the area. Meanwhile, the few connections in the early morning or late evening during the week, when shift workers (particularly women who often work part-time) have to commute don’t encourage the population to reduce the use of their own car. In addition, the very high alpine morphology and the difficulty on the movement during the winter season (snow and steep roads) represent other key factors in the huge use of private motorized transport, both for residents and tourists. Concerning the communication aspect, the availability of information on mobility services is rather limited, and the dissemination of information regarding public transport or carsharing to locals is inadequate. This situation highlights the lack of a central mobility centre, which could promote and provide information to residents and tourists, and foster the integration of the mobility offers between the municipalities of East Tyrol. The public flexible services aren’t promoted, and there are few offers for CO2-friendly vacations for tourism. In addition, municipalities are partly financially dependent on the tourism association and the regional government; and they need also additional authorization to establish and implement DRT services from a higher level.

Mobility and tourism solutions

Flugs E-Carsharing

Flugs is an electric car-sharing station-based system operated in East Tyrol Region, Austria. The service was started in 2015 with one shared e-car in the city of Lienz and integrated over the years reaching 9 locations in 2018, a fleet of 11 e-cars (2 of which act as replacement cars) and 31 regular users. Municipalities or private companies act as local e-carsharing partners which different forms of partnership.
Since 2019, integrated ticketing and multimodal trip planning of e-carsharing with public transport buses have become available. Between 2019 and 2021, within the SMARTA2 Project, the service has been extended with 4 additional stations and 4 additional e-cars. The carsharing system can be booked and paid via a website and app application. The current tariff system is made up of a membership fee, kilometre-costs and hourly costs. It offers two options: “Tauernwind” (without fixed monthly fees) and “Dolomitenglanz” (with a fixed monthly fee).
Flugs provides an innovative and affordable mobility offer in the region as a supplement to the public transport. The focus of the project lies on “sharing instead of owning” with the view to replace second cars in the householders and therefore reduce cars in the public space. The private association “Energy Impulse East Tyrol” (main initiator), the Regional Management East Tyrol (RMO), Verkehrsverbund Tirol Public Transport operator (VVT), and the city of Lienz are the main stakeholders. The carsharing system is constantly used by locals, companies and by the public service sector.

DefMobil

DefMobil is a hailed shared taxi system meeting local mobility needs and linking the last mile for residents and tourists.
The three municipalities of the Defereggen Valley have been operating the service since 2010. This service fills gaps within the existing public transport service and provides residents as well as tourists in the valley with an improved range of mobility. The defMobil operates with a fixed timetable and certain bus stops. The service can be used upon payment of an appropriate ticket. Online applications for booking and different ticket options (single ticket, weekly, monthly, yearly ticket – for a single person and for a family) are not available. The operator is a local association managed by the three municipalities (St. Jakob, St. Veit and Hopfgarten).
The service ensures connectivity to important transportation nodes and since its implementation in 2010, it counts more than 41,000 users. In December 2017, the service was integrated in the regional transport association. Since then, its ticket prices have been unified and integrated into the overall public transport ticket system, reducing the financial burden for the municipalities. The service is seen as best practice for flexible transport services in Austria.

SMART RIDE

SMART RIDE is an application (app) provided by the public transport operator VVT that offers integrated information on the:

  1. Timetables

  2. Ticket price

  3. Connections in real time

  4. Traffic routes of the public transport

  5. Information on the use of alternative methods (e.g., car, bike, walking).

The app is also linked with individual GPS data, showing stops with arrival/departure times, using map material from “Basemap”. SMART RIDE app is based on services of “Traffic Information Austria”, and every citizen in Austria can access it online free of charge, provided that he has an IOS or Android device.

Multifunctional e-cars for the last mile

In East Tyrol, 8 municipalities are using multifunctional e-cars to address the last mile with door-to-door taxi services. Out of these 8 municipalities, 7 are having e-car stations (and e-cars), operating as hailed and shared taxis with volunteer drivers. To present, more than 160 volunteer drivers are involved in these non-profit taxi services, indicating the willingness of the local community to support such initiatives. Taxi services address the mobility gap between front doors, bus stops, shops, doctors, or recreational facilities and are meant to replace a second or third private car for families, which is often essential due to insufficient public transport and dispersed settlements. These services operate only upon request and have flexible routes to individual destinations within each municipality’s border. A key issue for their success and social acceptance was the broad participation processes and workshops with citizens in each municipality. These services come under various names such as “e-defmobil 2.0”, “PRÄmobil” or “KALSmobil”, “Virger” “Assling Mobil” and “RegioTax”. Finally, it should be noted that 6 out of these cars are operating as part of the “Flugs” on the weekends.

The organisations involved at the Lighthouse Site

Regionsmanagement Osttirol (RMO), Website: www.rmo.at

Verkehrsverbund Tirol (VVT): local public transport operator, Website: www.vvt.at

Regionalenergie Osttirol: the e-car sharing provider in East Tyrol, responsible for the operation and maintenance of the service, Website: www.regionalenergie-osttirol.at

Municipalities of Lienz, Oberlienz, Obertilliach, Sillian: local public authorities engaged for the installation of the additional e-car sharing station within the SMARTA2 Project.

 

Mobility solutions at the Lighthouse Site

Flugs e-carsharing, Website: www.osttirol.com/en/mobility/getting-around-in-osttirol/flugs-electric-car-sharing/

SMART RIDE, Website: https://www.vvt.at/page.cfm?vpath=timetable&switchLocale=en_US

DefMobil, Website : www.defereggental.eu

 

Contact

Philipp Schlemmer: p.schlemmer@rmo.at

Mayur Gowda Kumargowda: m.kumargowda@rmo.at