November 2018  - The Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) was established by the German Government, has just celebrated its second birthday. Since its launch in October 2016 at the Habitat III conference in Quito, TUMI has trained over 1,500 urban mobility decision-makers and provided seed funding to scale-up and replicate innovative pilot projects .

The Initiative aims to  support cities to transform their transport systems and move towards policy and investment decisions to support sustainable mobility.

TUMI has various global partners such as UN-Habitat, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), German Development Bank (KfW), Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) and the World Research Institute (WRI). It has led to an estimated commitments of EUR 1.4 billion towards financing large-scale urban mobility improvement projects.

There have been several important TUMI Initiatives including the Academy of Sustainable Urban Mobility (AoSUM) set up by Doppelmayr cable cars and GIZ in April 2017. TUMI played a key role in planning and conducting this training course constituting of lectures by mobility experts complemented with field visits. The course aims at empowering decision-makers to develop action-oriented policies along with technical advice on implementing innovative mobility projects. Two AoSUM courses have been held in Vienna, Austria, with 51 participants from 28 different countries. One participant, Roman Barabanov from Almaty, Kazakhstan said he had shared experiences with professionals from all over the world.

“I took note of some interesting ideas and projects that relate to the functioning of public transport and the creation of the cycle highway (like between Russelsheim and Kelsterbach near Frankfurt am Main). This year, I proposed to create a cycle highway along the main channel in Almaty,” he said.

As part of the successful implementation of the “Sustainable Transport Solutions for East African Cities (SUSTRAN) Project” funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UN-Habitat, a study tour to the Dar es Salaam operational Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system was facilitated by TUMI in March 2018. Government officials, public transport operators and policy-makers from Kampala and Nairobi studied key aspects of planning, managing, implementing and operating the Dar es Salam Bus Rapid Transit system (DART).

Government officials from Egypt participated in a study tour to Bogotá, Colombia, aimed at building their capacity on BRT planning, operations and maintenance by studying the Transmilenio BRT system along with improvements such as 300 km of “complete” streets, a pedestrianized city centre, and new public spaces.  “What l have learnt will have an impact on the technical advice and support in this regard. It was an effective forum that melds numerous experiences and line of thoughts in the field,” said  Khalil Shaat, Senior Technical Advisor to the Cairo Governor.

In addition, as part of TUMI’s Global Urban Mobility Challenge, UN-Habitat is partnering with two projects selected competitively by TUMI. One project is establishing a Mobility Accelerator at the University of Nairobi to support start-ups and young entrepreneurs in “accelerating” their innovative ideas through mentorship, seed capital and technical advice. The second project is in collaboration with “Open Streets Cape Town”, a South Africa based NGO that promotes road safety for pedestrians and cyclists and streets as public spaces.

Under TUMI’s capacity building support, officials from Lagos, Addis Ababa and Cairo took part in a public bike

sharing workshop in Nairobi, from 8 to 12 October 2018 to learn from mobility experts and also from the experience of the two pilot bike share systems in Nairobi at the University of Nairobi campus bike share project which has 30 bicycles and the bike share system at the United Nations Offices in Nairobi  which has 100 bicycles.

“The program was highly enriching as we shared and learned from each other. It has expanded my network, exposed new frontiers for collaborating with private sector leaders in the industry, African experts and advocates to sustain our local cycling efforts in implementing projects and advocacy in Nigeria,” said Emmanuel John from Lagos who took part in the workshop which was organized by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) with technical support from UN Environment, UN-Habitat and ITDP Africa.