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Cooperation - for better or worse

A multiannual research project has asked important questions about how cooperation works in practice in public transport planning. The project was presented last week at a breakfast seminar in Kollektivtrafikens hus in Stockholm.

For three years, a number of researchers have worked extensively to explore one of the key issues in public transport planning: collaboration. The research group has tried to understand how to do in three major Swedish regions: Stockholm, Västra Götaland and Skåne. There they have worked primarily with interviews at agencies, local authorities and with operators - not those who use public transport, but those with the clear mandate to develop the systems.

The view of the interaction varies

The results show several interesting aspects. Secondly, it is not obvious what is included in the concept of "collaboration", how it is practiced looks different in the different regions and can be made more or less structured. For example, in Skåne, decisions are taken quite informally through a phone call, while in Göteborg there are many reconciliation moments and arenas.

It's all about "tuning off" and "keeping the municipalities informed" to sit down and actually work together. You simply mean a few different things with collaboration, says Karolina Isaksson, researchers at K2 and VTI, who were in place during the seminar to present the research.

Karolina Isaksson är forskare på K2. Här presenterar hon sitt forskningsprojekt inom samverkan. Foto: Johanna Stenius

Common to all types of interaction, however, is that you work towards a certain target image. And that is also part of the challenge. A common goal image is simple at newcomers but more difficult in heavy times. Karolina Isaksson cites one of the interviews that have been made:

"It's not wrong with different skills, but if anyone is in a hurry and we still have traffic analyzes and want to turn on long-term planning, it's hard to get ahead. You have completely different approaches, target images."

Does not always work

You can not always do what you prefer in an ideal situation. It's usually too many people involved to work, everyone has to be on the toes and it has proved difficult, according to the interviews.

Many people feel a big responsibility for interacting with different things, but it may not be possible. A political decision is required, says Karolina Isaksson, who concludes with a tip:

The importance of understanding what each organization carries in its form and history. It is very different and it is when you meet any region in Sweden.

Calendar from K2