City: Sprimont (BELGIUM)
Coivoit’stop is a secured proximity hitchhiking plan that was initiated by the Youth Council of Sprimont within the PCS and finally broaden to a dozen of villages of the area.
Image from Covoit'Stop
- Holding organisation: GREOA, the economic regional group of Ourth and Ambleve’s Valleys.
- Financing: Start input from the city of Sprimont (8000€)/ Ministry of Environment and mobility (30,000€)
- People involved in the project: any local citizen from the participating cities
- Public partners: Walloon Region/ Liege Province/ Local cities in the Liege Area
- Private partners: Ethias (ltombola organized for new registered users)
- Creation date: September 2011 (Sprimont)
- Contact Person: info à covoitstop.be
- Main project links: http://www.covoitstop.be/
Covoit’Stop is a Secured proximity hitchhiking system enabling citizens to go from one hamlet/ village to another with a visual mutual recognition badge for both registered drivers and passengers.
The local context
Sprimont is a small city of 14,000 inhabitants located on the Condroz Plateau in the Liege Province. This widespread semi-rural city is composed of 29 hamlets and villages.The city belongs to the economic regional group of Ourth and Ambleve’s Valleys (GREOA) which is the coordinating structure for the project.
The starting point
Teenagers taking part in the Youth Council of Sprimont expressed their mobility problems within this semi-rural area. They underlined the difficulty for them to visit a friend living in a close hamlet (5km) with the lack of public buses connecting these hamlets and the refusal of some parents to drive them or let them go. They came to the idea of a specific hitchhiking system where they could get a ride from local drivers. The project was first run by the City itself but they contacted the regional economic umbrella association (GREOA) to promote, manage and replicate the system elsewhere. Sprimont was the “test city” for the system.
How it works
- Registration: Passengers and drivers must register on Covoit’stop.be (FREE) and sign the Charter (formulars are also available in the participating cities’ mobility services). The cities then send a kit to the registered persons: a member badge with a personal ID, a fluorescent armband, a direction card and a sticker for the drivers.
- Ride system: the hitchhiker goes to one of the Covoit’Stop road sign and waits until a Covoit’Stop car stops and gets him to the desired spot. Both of the persons have to show their badge and people under 18 can check the driver by sending a SMS to a dedicated phone line;
- 70 road signs have been installed in the City of Sprimont. There are almost 300 other road signs installed in the 17 neighbourhood participating cities.
- The system takes its inspiration from the association VAP (Voiture à plusieurs/ Vehicule and partners) that already operates in more than twenty cities in Wallonia and Brussels.
Participation and effective results
Target people: registered inhabitants in the area. Open to anyone but not recommended for people under 15; Youth people under 18 must provide a parental signed permission. The city of Sprimont was the test-city; the regional mobility Minister accepted to support and enlarged the system if 10% of the inhabitants would register to the system. In a 6 months period, the number of participants was reached. In March 2013, there ware 1900 registered persons. According to the first statistics: 52% are drivers/ 21% are pedestrians/ 27% are both. People between 7 and 24 years old represent the majority of pedestrians (53%) People over 45 represent the majority of drivers (52%).
- Project coordinator: The GREOA:
- platform management
- information for the towns willing to join the project
- collective kits purchasing
- project promotion: flyers/posters/ events
- Logistics and financing support Partners:
- The Wallon Ministry of Environment and Mobility
- VAP (Voitures à Plusieurs)
- GAL Pays des Condruses
- TEC (Walloon Public Transportation system)
- SPW DGO Routes et Bâtiments (Road Federal Service)
- Local implantation: the participating cities:
- Covoit’stop road signs financing and positioning
- members inscription and kits sending
- local promotion during events
Added value of the project
- safety: registered members can send a Sms to a dedicated number to signal the ID of the driver/passenger with whom they travel.
- flexibility: covoit’stop can be a complementarity tool to public transportation by linking not well reached areas.
- conviviality: meet your neighbours and strengthen local life
- environment preservation: sharing a car to lower down carbon footprint.
- accessibility: the service is free of charge and easy to use
Other valuable projects
PCS carpooling schemes; database available online Here