ARPAF - CrossBorder

Shared by: 
Action Group 4
Lead organization: 
Swiss Center for mountain regions SAB

Cross-border Mobility in the Alpine Region
ARPAF Project “CrossBorder”

Since the launch of the Strategy, the Action Groups as well as the Executive Board of the Strategy have identified a number of themes and issues that need further and deeper investigation and preparatory activities in order to achieve the set goals. To support this, the Alpine Region Preparatory Action Fund (ARPAF) was developed. Five projects, which start in 2018, were selected by the EUSALP Executive Board; amongst them the project “CrossBorder”.

The Office of the Tyrolean Government (AdTL) as AG4 Leader joins the AG5 Co-Leader, the Swiss Center for Mountain Regions (SAB), as well as CIPRA International in the project CrossBorder on cross-border commuter mobility.

The overarching challenge in the Alpine Region is to balance economic development and environmental protection. Thus, innovative approaches and mutually beneficial interaction between the mountain regions at its core and the surrounding lowlands and urban areas are needed to ensure that this region remains one of the most attractive living space as well as competitive areas in Europe. However, regarding the issue of transport, infrastructure networks have for a long time been planned in a purely national context. These transport networks therefore are no longer in coherence with the increasing passenger flows across borders. This holds particularly true for public transport systems. Most of the commuter’s transport flows across borders are by car. Congested roads with a negative impact on economy, society and the environment are the consequence. Tho tackle these issues on to improve cross-border mobility in the Alpine Region, the ARPAF project CrossBorder was set up.

The aims of the project are:

  1. To establish an overview of cross-border mobility across the Alpine Region with a focus on daily commuting;
  2. To identify gaps of cross-border mobility with respect to infrastructure and soft factors;
  3. To identify solutions for facilitating daily cross-border passenger flows by sustainable transport modes through new opportunities offered by digitalisation;
  4. To provide a basis for future activities of AG4 and AG5 of EUSALP;
  5. To implement the findings in several hotspots for cross-border-commuting in the Alpine Region.

Project information

Programme: Alpine Region Preparatory Fund (ARPAF)
Lead partner: Swiss Center for Mountain Regions (SAB)
Project partners: Office of the Tyrolean Government, CIPRA International
Project length: 24 months, January 2018 to December 2019
Total project budget: 698.742 Euro
EU financial contribution: 628.868 Euro



As important basis for the next steps of the project, the University Erlangen-Nuremberg on behalf of project partner Tyrol has produced an overview of cross-border mobility across the Alpine Region with a focus on daily commuting (WP2). The report includes an analysis of the quality of connections for road and rail infrastructure in twelve selected case studies. It allows classifying and comparing hotspots of cross-border commuting in the EUSALP perimeter.

The share of cross-border commuting within the EUSALP perimeter is significantly higher than the European average values, underlining the high relevance of the topic for mobility in the Alpine Region.

Summary of study results

Please find attached to this article the full report available for download.


Within the project a set of already existing cooperation models in the Alpine region has been collected. High-potential cooperation models possibly applicable to other Alpine regions have been defined and illustrated in a Storymap. The following Story Map will guide you through pre-selected best practice examples of cross-border commuter cooperation models in the Alpine Region.

START EXPLORING: Commuter Cooperation Models

WP3 Final Report on Cooperation in cross-border mobility in the Alpine region

CIPRA International, as project partner in the ARPAF Project "CrossBorder", has conducted a collection and analysis of eleven cooperation models for cross-border commuter mobility in the Alpine region. Looking for examples for management and governance best practices, key stakeholders from within these high-potential cooperation models were interviewed focusing on how co-operation across borders works in practice. Thus, clarity in structures, responsibilities, partners' legal statuses, and political encouragement; quality and commonality in relationships and objectives; as well as a give-and-take mentality and subsidiarity were identified as success factors in cross-border cooperation. Notwithstanding, several legal, interpersonal, functional, and content related aspects were identified as major challenges in cross-border mobility cooperation in the Alpine Region.

Please find attached to this article the full report available for download.

Toolbox with measures for sustainable commuter mobility

A toolbox that encompassed concrete measures for enterprises to encourage sustainable commuter mobility has been developed, with the focus on (1) organizational measures and incentive systems, (2) infrastructure measures and (3) information, actions and campaigns.

Survey of the mobility behaviors is the first step towards the definition of adequate measures of enterprise mobility management and to assess the success of initiatives as well as to raise awareness among employees. The toolbox proposes several best practice examples and implementation guidelines to support sustainable commuter mobility in companies, e.g. management of parking spaces, collaboration with public transport providers, logistical measures etc..

The Toolbox is available for download in all Alpine Languages: [EN] [DE] [FR] [IT] [SI]

WP4 Synthesis Report on Improvement of cross-border mobility and passenger flows – Innovative solutions for public authorities and transport operators

Building on and going beyond the results of WP2 and WP3, this study examined various good and best practice examples of innovative mobility solutions from the Alpine region and beyond in order to investigate their potential to improve cross-border mobility and passenger flows. As a starting point, the projects were examined in terms of the following characteristics:

  • project aims and user benefits
  • metropolitan, urban, or rural settlement characteristics
  • monocentric, linear, or polycentric commuting structure
  • modes of transport
  • number of countries involved
  • involved stakeholders
  • financial, technological, or political success factors
  • EU, public, or private funding/investment sources
  • intensity of cooperation

As a result, the projects can be categorized into classic projects, innovative projects, and new players in mobility.

From a closer look at the different types of public and private stakeholders, their goals, needs, and motivations as well as their differing levels of interest and influence the following observations ensued:

  • EU funding: a majority of projects heavily relies on it and it generally helps to facilitate cooperation between public actors.
  • Private actors tend to be active in multiple locations and secure global funding.
  • Often, potentials for significant user benefits are independent of public funding or intense cooperation with the public sector as with solutions involving open data, mobile ticketing, or coordination of time tables.
  • New players in mobility emerge where user benefits can be directly monetized; here, public regulation is necessary to ensure sustainable service provision.
  • When innovative products or services prove their success, they attract significant private investments for replication elsewhere.
  • Very close cooperation requires strong political support, economic appeal, and remains rare.
  • As they lack short-term results, research or infrastructure projects depend largely on public funding.

In the annex Project Factsheets, comprehensive summaries of the examination’s results for all projects can be found.

Taking all the above results of examining innovative mobility solutions into account, several project archetypes were deduced to lay out cooperation potentials for public authorities and transport providers.

  • Physical Link+: adding a digital attribute or branding to an existing link
  • Cross-border cooperation of transport authorities or operators: coordination of time tables or tariffs
  • Shared mobility in urban areas: usually provided by private companies for profit
  • Shared mobility in rural areas: usually in low-density areas to provide mobility where the public offer is weak or non-existent; require public subsidies; can encourage tourism and stimulate the economy
  • Digital solutions: platforms connecting user and service provider; usually no need for infrastructure investments
  • Harmonizing standards: to enable seamless access to infrastructure or data networks across borders
  • Multimodal hubs: facilitate seamless shift between modes, often including shared mobility services, potential extension to micro-logistics
  • Joint ventures: founding a legal entity across borders to formalize and perpetuate relationships

Subsequently, SWOT analyses were carried out for these archetypes of projects aiming at the improvement of cross-border mobility and passenger flows, which can be reviewed in the annex Archetype Factsheets.

Finally, to launch cross-border cooperation in dealing with commuter traffic, the findings of this study laid the foundation for the work in package 6, where potential solutions are discussed and eventually tailored to public authorities and service providers in the hotspots of cross-border commuting in the EUSALP perimeter, already identified in WP2.

Please find attached to this article the full report available for download.


Start and closure dates: 
January 2018 to December 2019