Mobility platforms: how do they work?
You can’t talk about mobility without mentioning mobility platforms. For those who have trouble getting around, the platforms – both public and private – are a way of gaining autonomy. Here’s what you need to know.
There are currently more than 100 mobility platform teams in France training vulnerable people to find the right transport option for their needs. Most of these teams are backed by non-profit organisations working in the social sector, but some were created by local authorities to provide solutions to people living in isolated communities. A majority of mobility platforms are located in rural and suburban areas, where there tend to be more transport issues.
Platforms for facilitating autonomy
These facilities offer diagnostic assistance, solutions and individual support to anyone who faces difficulty getting around. “Mobility platforms are designed simply to give users the freedom to get out of the house. That can mean attending a doctor’s appointment, getting to work, sitting a job interview, maintaining contact with the outside world, or doing any number of things,” says Thomas Chevillard, Chairman of Mob’in France, a network of 150 regional inclusive mobility organisations.
Suitable candidates are first identified by government-sponsored job centres, social/job integration agencies, insertion workshops, social workers or disability organisations before being referred to the platforms. Thanks to the support of these services, people who are elderly, mobility-impaired or enrolled in socio-professional integration programmes can become fully independent in terms of mobility, which represents a big step towards integrating back into society.
Some platforms only exist online and do not provide individual support and follow-up. But having a personal adviser is often the key to success. Backed by special training, advisers identify the problems and needs of beneficiaries and guide them towards the best solution.
“Support makes all the difference. The people we help need more comprehensive mobility assistance than others, whether they’ve come to sit their driving licence test or rent a car. Our work includes teaching them to budget for transport, find their way around the local area, read a bus map and use digital tools,” says Chevillard.
The results speak for themselves. “Over 80% of beneficiaries are eventually able to get around independently, and stay that way over the long term. And half show real progress towards integrating back into society.”
Soon a quality certification for mobility platforms?
Currently, there is no standard model for the various mobility platforms that exist around France. Each emerged in response to a local need, in partnership with social stakeholders. As a result, there are significant differences from platform to platform. While Chevillard believes this is a big asset, he is also pushing for a quality certification for inclusive mobility players. In fact, that’s exactly what he’s working on at Mob’in France.