More insight into mobility Campus Groningen through data

Campus Groningen is collecting and researching more and more data. A specific type of data concerns the mobility data, in particular the traffic data on Zernike Campus. Data analyst Emanuela Avagyan of Campus Groningen shows how this data can help the Campus to remain accessible in the future.

The analysis of traffic data collected over a longer period of time via AI-based intelligent sensors provides an overview of the modal split, the percentage of travelers using a certain mode of transport, on the Zernike Campus and helps Campus Groningen to set smarter goals for sustainable mobility in the future.

Mobility on Campus Groningen

Mobility is the ability to move freely by having access to transportation options we can count on to get us where we need to be. Improving people’s mobility is at the heart of any transport project. Mobility is an important topic for Campus Groningen. The Zernike Campus, one of the locations of Campus Groningen, currently houses around 40.000 students and 8.000 employees. Under similar circumstances, these numbers are predicted to grow linearly over the next few years, reaching nearly 60.000 Campus users by 2030, an increase of 22%. However, the surface area of the Campus is limited geographically and Campus Groningen wants to manage and utilize the space that is becoming increasingly scarce.

As the number of students and staff increases, the demand for mobility will also increase. This is likely to have a huge impact on the limited physical space. As a result, the Zernike Campus may face challenges such as deteriorating air quality, severe traffic congestion, security issues and increasingly congested public transport. To address these challenges, the Action Agenda Smart Mobility 2022-2030 was introduced in early 2022. It strives for a hospitable, accessible and lively Campus and includes ambitious goals such as reducing cars on the Zernike Campus and promoting change in the travel behavior of students, employees and visitors by 2030.

Set smart goals

“In order to formulate future goals more clearly, we must first evaluate the current situation,” says Emanuela. “To understand our current transport preferences and behaviour, we need to look at the modal split, the distribution of traffic volumes across the different modes. By assessing our current modal split, we can set modal split goals for the future. With this we hope to achieve a modal shift, a change in the share of transport modes, ideally in favor of more sustainable options.”

Modal split analysis Zernike Campus

Using AI-based intelligent traffic sensors called FlowCubes, data on incoming and outgoing traffic volumes on the Zernike Campus was collected on weekdays for 8,5 months. Bicycles make up just under half of all incoming traffic on campus, at a whopping 48,53%. Car and public transport users have similar proportions at 21,05% and 17,13% respectively, but their total combined value is still lower than the number of bicycles. The remaining traffic share, approximately 13%, is distributed among pedestrians, scooters, buses and other modes of transport (e.g. trucks, motorcycles). On a working day, an average of 15.740 people visit the Zernike Campus.

“The data also provides insights into the average working day, which allows us to better investigate trends. For example, as the days get warmer, the use of bicycles increases. Drops in the data on certain days can also provide us with interesting insights,” says Emanuela. . The hourly traffic to the Campus can also be closely monitored. The morning rush hour is at 08:00 and the afternoon rush hour is at 15:10 and 16:10. These rush hours are probably due to the combination of two factors, working hours and lecture times. “However,” she warns, “more data is needed to elucidate the underlying reasons for the differences in the observed numbers.”

Mobility Agenda

Large-scale collection of traffic data on the Zernike Campus is part of the broader mobility agenda of Campus Groningen. The exploration of the current data has already proved extremely useful in providing an overview of traffic volumes and behavior. Emanuela: “With further research and collaboration with parties involved in regulating the complex mobility network of the Campus, we can perform more advanced analysis to set clearer goals for the future as we move towards more sustainable mobility.”

Read the full article (in Dutch) on the Campus Groningen website.