Five questions for… Betty de Boer (Regio Groningen-Assen)

Every month we ask one of our partners 5 questions. Read below what they do, how important mobility and innovation is to them and how they see the future of mobility.

We asked 5 questions to Betty de Boer, director Regio Groningen-Assen.

Company: Regio Groningen-Assen
Number of employees: 12

Can you tell us a bit more about your organization, what do you do?

The Groningen-Assen region is an administrative partnership that was founded almost 25 years ago and consists of the municipalities of Assen, Groningen, Het Hogeland, Midden-Groningen, Noordenveld, Tynaarlo, Westerkwartier and the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe. Within RGA we work together on the themes of economy, mobility, housing and spatial quality. Sustainability is a common thread throughout this. We coordinate where people live and spend their leisure time, how people can travel from A to B and how we can stimulate the regional economy. We are looking across municipal and provincial borders, because the entire Groningen-Assen region is one large daily urban system within which we depend on each other to make this system function properly.

What mobility challenges do you have or see?

The cohesion between the cities and villages within our region is only getting stronger. Accessibility is a necessary condition. We also see that mobility is growing. More and more people travel more often and further, and this means something for our current mobility network. Sustainability plays a big role in this. Rather than just laying new asphalt, new developments can ensure a more efficient and sustainable use of our current network. And getting people out of the car remains a challenge! This only works if you tackle it together: with cycle routes throughout the region, offering sufficient alternatives, transfer points to the P+Rs and behavioural change campaigns.

Which mobility innovations play a role within your organization?

The further development of smart mobility is one of the action points in our Future Agenda 2020-2025, where we look at what it can mean for the entire region. We are investigating how we can make better and smarter use of existing infrastructure. We have already taken great steps with intelligent traffic lights (iVRIs), P+Rs, Hubs and smart city logistics. We are also looking into new developments such as shared mobility and autonomous transport. And not unimportantly: we are working intensively on the digitization of mobility data so that we can monitor, analyse and translate it integrally into policy.

The future of mobility: what are you hoping it will look like?

I hope that in 10 years’ time the residents of the Groningen-Assen region will be able to travel from A to B easily, comfortably and in a sustainable way. They will then have the choice of several modes of transport. Via a Hub or P+R near them, they switch to the bicycle, the bus, the train or a shared vehicle. Car use will have decreased by 2030 because there are good alternatives, where as far as I’m concerned the bike is number 1!

Why is it important for you to be a partner of Hive.Mobility?

Hive.Mobility fits seamlessly with the mobility policy of the RGA. Hive.Mobility also connects the 3 O’s: ‘onderwijs’ (education), ‘ondernemers’ (entrepreneurs) and ‘overheid’ (government). This connection also characterizes the RGA. We have and keep knowledge about new mobility developments, partly because we also work well together with other partners in the Northern Netherlands. However, the RGA is a policy organization and not an implementing organisation. So, we can find each other very well in this way. In addition, the RGA also assures the participation of Northern Drenthe, which is part of our daily urban system. So, in all respects, we are confident about the cooperation with Hive.Mobility!

Photo: Sylvia Germes