Chapter on Sustainable mobility

1. Problem Statement

Here, the problem statement and outline of the future mobility system on Texel is presented. The problem statement includes the scale and focus, the societal needs, sustainability criteria and a sketch of the future system with a research question.

Here, the problem statement and outline of the future mobility system on Texel is presented. The problem statement includes the scale and focus, the societal needs, sustainability criteria and a sketch of the future system with a research question.

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1.1 Scale and focus of unsustainabilities

Figure 1.1.1. Mobility connectors on Texel and between Texel and mainland. 

The mobility on Texel rests on different means of transportation which vary in terms of scale and connection. The one ferry line departs from Den Helderand and connects the island with the mainland. It has been the main connection to outside since it seems to be the cheapest and most convenient mean to get on or off the island. The crossing takes 20 minutes and leaves at 30 minutes past the hour from 6.30am to 9.30pm; returning boats leave on the hour between 6am to 9pm. On some summer days there’s a service every half-hour. The Texel International Airport was founded more than 70 years ago. Annually 20-25,000 flight departures and landings take place at the airport. Alongside parachute jumping and round-the-island flights, the airport is often visited by national and international sport aircraft. These planes are used both privately and commercially. Many professional aviation schools use Texel as an in-between landing stop during flight lessons. The Texel airport is also used by police, coastguard and environmental aircraft. The airport has two exceptional grass runways which can be used by many types of aircraft in the summer months. Texel Airport is becoming increasingly popular amongst both private owners and companies as an alternative for the ever busier road traffic. The airport is open all year round and offers restaurant and hotel facilities plus and unique Aviation and Wartime Museum.These two options (ferry and airplane) can be investigated in the large scale, while the mobility on the island can be seen in a smaller scale because it transports people shorter distances on the ground, see figure 1.1.1  The smaller scale unsustainabilities can be divided into three subcategories for a systemic-based analysis. These three categories are: a. trucks (freight transport), b. private cars and bus and c. scooters, see figure 1.1.2. Each one of them might have different destination or purpose and therefore different impact either on the natural environment or local society’s and visitors’ (tourists) behavior. All the means of transportation can be analyzed among with the frequency of the need for transportation as well as its capability to service the population of the island.

Figure 1.1.2. Scale of unsustainable mobility on Texel.

1.2 Societal needs 

The sub-system has to fulfill needs regarding the mobility of the Texelaars and the tourists visiting Texel. Since the mobility needs are seen as different for these two groups, the description of their respective needs are divided. See figures 1.2.1 and 1.2.2. for an overview.

Local inhabitants (Texelaars)

Local inhabitants need to be able to transport themselves to and from work and school. The destination can in this case be both on the island and on the mainland. The Texelaar also needs to be able to fulfill “basic needs”, such as grocery shopping, pharmacy visits, doctors appointments, and other kinds of shopping. In addition to that, leisure activities such as trips to see relatives or trips to certain activities and hobbies need to be taken into consideration.

Figure 1.2.1 Societal needs of residents on Texel. 


Tourists that arrive on Texel will first and foremost need transport between ferry terminal and hotels/camping. In addition to that, they will also have to sustain their “basic needs” in connection to the location of their stay. Leisure travel and sightseeing will by far be the most important aspect of mobility for tourists, who need to be able to transport themselves to certain attractions and sites all over the island.

Figure 1.2.2. Societal needs of tourists on Texel. 

1.3 Sustainability criteria 

As seen in figure 1.3.1 we have defined 4 criteria for the subsystem of sustainable mobility of Texel. These are carbon neutrality, societal support, improved mobility and without harming the environment.

Figure 1.3.1. Sustainability criteria for the subsystem. 

Carbon neutrality

By aiming for carbon neutrality in the subsystem, the bar has been set quite high. With carbon neutrality, it is meant the reduction of all possible emissions and impacts and a contribution to a measured reduction elsewhere to balance the rest (Global carbon project).

Societal support

In order for sustainable mobility to thrive on the island, support of the local Texelaars is needed. To gain local support, transparency and clear communication is key. Without these two elements, misperception is easily created, which is strongly associated with general reduced levels of policy support and implementation (Ding, Maibach, Zhao, Roser-Renouf, & Leiserowitz, 2011).

Improved mobility

The third criterium for the sustainable mobility, is an improved mobility. With this criterion, it is of utmost important to map the current dissatisfactions about the subsystem and aim to solve these issues. This does not necessarily mean more frequent and more connections, but rather focusses on improving the quality of the mobility over the quantity, whilst making it more sustainable at the same time.

Harmless for the environment

The last criterion, is that the transition into a sustainable mobility system, cannot lead to harmful effects to the environment. This criterion will have to be subdivided into other subcriteria, such as noise levels, horizon pollution and so on. 

Sketch of future system

Based on the above, we can draw an outline of the future socio-technical mobility system for Texel.The scope of the research (mobility) is defined as all the traffic of human beings and goods on and across the border of the island. These forms have been established and quantified. Since Texel is an island we can establish that it is locked-in to certain forms of mobility. Since there is no bridge or tunnel available, visitors will need to use the ferry or a plane to arrive at the island. This lock-in however is not yet an entrenchment, it is still possible to adapt these forms of transportation.

The research criteria are based on mobility systems that fulfill both the societal needs of the inhabitants and visitors of Texel, as well as the sustainability criteria listed above. From the multi-level perspective as described by Geels (2004), these research criteria could be considered as the socio-technical regimes in the new socio-technical system. To establish these regimes in society, the old regimes will need to be removed. Since mobility is a part of everyday life, any change to a mobility system will influence the users of that system, for instance the inhabitants, entrepreneur and visitors of Texel. The objective of this research is not only to select certain technological niches which could be implemented in the new mobility system, but also to incorporate the values and interests of the actors in the socio-technical system. This so-called Value Sensitive Design will help to minimise resistance in society (Pesch, 2014).

Summarising, three problems that need to be faced during this research can be listed:

  • Finding technological niches that could improve, or (partly) replace the current mobility systems on Texel.
  • Selecting and shaping these technological niches using the research criteria.
  • Incorporating values and interests of actors involved in order to minimise resistance to change from the users.

Our research question is therefore formulated as follows:

How can the mobility need of both the visitors and inhabitants be met in terms of a sustainable transport system?



Ding, D., Maibach, E. W., Zhao, X., Roser-Renouf, C., & Leiserowitz, A. (2011). Support for climate policy and societal action are linked to perceptions about scientific agreement. Nature Climate Change , 1, pp. 462-466.

Geels, F. W. (2004). From sectoral systems of innovation to socio-technical systems Insights about dynamics and change from sociology and institutional theory . Research Policy , 33, pp. 897-920.

Global carbon project. Carbon Neutral. Collected from Global carbon project: the 29th of November 2014 

Pesch, U. (2014). Engineers and Active Responsibility . Science and Engineering Ethics . DOI 10.1007/s11948-014-9571-7

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2.1 Current socio-technical system

In this section some data is presented on the current mobility system on Texel. The chapter also elaborates on which actors are involved in the current system.

In this section some data is presented on the current mobility system on Texel. The chapter also elaborates on which actors are involved in the current system.


Table 2.1.1 lists the amount of vehicles present on Texel in 2014. These are vehicles owned by residents and local companies. Vehicles owned by visitors of the island are not included in these numbers.

Table 2.1.1. Motorised vehicles on Texel in 2014. Source: (CBS).

Motorised vehicles 2014


All Vehicles



Passenger cars



Commercial vehicles
















Special vehicles



Touring cars


Trailers and semitrailers












Scooters and mopeds




Light mopeds












Personal transport

Figure 2.1.1 shows the results of an annual vehicle count on the Pontweg, the road to and from the ferry, between 1997 and 2011. This figure clearly shows the increase of traffic in the summertime due to tourists visiting the island. In December and January between 3000 and 4000 vehicles pass the road to and from the ferry, in august the amount of cars is between 8000 and 8500.


Figure 2.1.1: Cars per day passing the Pontweg. Source: (CBS)

Table 2.2.2 shows the distance that the inhabitants of Texel on average need to travel for their basic facilities. These numbers clearly show that the inhabitants of Texel do not need to leave the island to do their day-to-day shopping activities. Only the amount of department stores is limited. As the figure 2.1.1 has clearly shown, Texel is visited by many tourists. This explains the high density of cafes, cafeterias, restaurants and hotels. Scholars can choose from one secondary school on the island, or must take the ferry to the mainland.

Table 2.2.2 Average travel distance on Texel. Source: (CBS).


Public transport

Travelling to Texel by public transport is possible. From Den Helder station, a bus service connects to the ferry. Texel offers a series of bus connection from the ferry harbour to the different villages. Other services provide connections between the villages as well (Texel).


In this section the actors involved in the mobility system of Texel are listed together with an estimation of their problem definition, needs and interests.


The inhabitants of Texel are of course entirely dependent on the island’s mobility system for their personal mobility. Therefore usability, reliability and quality are the most important notions in the problem definition for the inhabitants. Usability and reliability are important because when a system shows defects, these will inevitably lead to annoyance with it's users, which will lead to resistance to the system. Because the inhabitants use the system every day, when the system is not working properly, these effects will show up very soon under inhabitants. Quality is important because the inhabitants are already used to a certain quality of their mobility network. A decline in quality will measurably lead to a resistance towards the system. The ferry is their only connection with the mainland and therefore of utmost importance. A possible change to the mobility system should not decrease the quality of mobility for the inhabitants of Texel.


Tourists are an important actor for Texel, because they are one of the main drivers of the local economy. With regards to mobility, the tourists are concerned with the same notions as the inhabitants. Any changes however, might be less apparent to tourists because they use the system less often. Tourists may therefore be less demanding than the inhabitants of Texel. Regular visitors might be confused with any changes, but for non-frequent users the island is a strange environment anyway. The tourists wants to enjoy the island, without being distracted by mobility issues. Usability is therefore the most important notion for the tourists.

Public and private transport providers

This includes bus and taxi companies on the island. The public transport on the island is currently undergoing some changes. This means that the inhabitants and the tourists might experience some troubles with the public transport in the coming months. Both the public and private transport providers will be eager to increase efficiency as well. With a higher occupancy for instance, services can be executed more cost efficient and the companies can make more revenues. Reliability therefore is the most important notion for the transport providers. When the system is not reliable, these companies cannot provide their service. This will lead to unhappy customers and when the problem continues ultimately to declining revenues.


TESO provides the ferry service to the mainland. This company is very important for the inhabitants. This is shown by the fact that a lot of inhabitants own equity in TESO (TESO). The main interest of TESO is to provide a reliable service to and from Texel. Any changes to the system should not interfere with the reliability of the service, comparable to the public transport providers.

Rental companies

In order to give all tourists with non-sustainable transportation the opportunity to use sustainable mobility on the island, a lot of vehicles need to be rented. Rental companies will benefit from this. An increase in the amount of rental companies can be expected as well. These companies have comparable interests as the transportation companies. They want to provide a reliable service and generate revenues.

General mobility service and maintenance companies on the island

This category represents different smaller groups of local companies like garages, car washes, but also charging docks, petrol stations. These companies will have to adapt to the changing nature of the mobility system and especially the vehicles on the island. Car mechanics for instance might need to be educated in how to maintain electric motors and batteries. The same goes for bike mechanics. Petrol stations might adapt to a decline in demand and invest in electrical charging poles. A transition in the market in which these companies are active call for a transition within the companies as well. It is important that the design takes this into account. 

Businesses in the tourism/hospitality industry

This category consists of companies like hotels, camp sights, restaurants, attractions and other companies that depend on tourists. Their main concern is that the island remains attractive for tourists. Therefore they will be very much concerned with the perseverance of the nature on the island and with the quality of the mobility system. These companies will need to adapt to the new mobility system as well. An increasing amount of electric vehicles calls for more charging possibilities on the premises of these companies for instance. Since Texel Airport is also mainly depending on tourism, this company can also be listed in this category.

General local businesses

Local businesses are of course as dependent on the mobility system as the inhabitants of Texel. Therefore the same notions are important to them. These companies will need to adapt maybe even more. Some companies may have car parks that they want to replace in order to fit in the sustainable mobility system. This is a considerable investment for such a company. Shops might also need to invest in charging possibilities for electric vehicles in their car parks. It is important that the designers of the system and the decision makers listen to the values and interests of these local entrepreneurs.

Local governmental bodies

The municipality is responsible for the rules and regulations on the island as well as permits. If any structural changes should be applied to the mobility network, permits will be necessary. The local government represent the local community, and therefore their position will be very much determined by the public opinion on the island. The same notions that are important for the inhabitants are important for the local government. However, the municipality also needs to control the budget of the transition and therefore has an extra interest in the shape of costs. The local government has also set the goal to become a fully sustainable island by 2020.

The municipality is assisted by the so called dorpscommisssies (village committees), which represent the interests of the separate villages on the island. 

Higher government bodies (provincial, national, EU)

Higher government bodies are more concerned with the rules and regulations on a provincial/national/European level. These governments have more financial resources than the local government. Subsidies could be requested from these governments if necessary. Since Texel is a separate environment, it is an ideal location to try new initiatives on a small scale with relatively little costs.

Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s)

NGO’s all have their own goals. Underneath some NGO's that play a part in the mobility on Texel are listed:

- ANWB (general mobility)
- Duurzaam Texel (sustainability)
- Ecomare (wildlife)
- Greenpeace (nature and wildlife)
- Rover (public transport)
- SIGT (accessibility for disabled people)
- TOP (local entrepreneurship)
- Urgenda (sustainability)
- Veilig Verkeer Nederland (mobility safety)
- VVV (tourism board)

It is important in value sensitive design, like in this research, to involve these NGO’s in an early phase of the project. NGO’s often have a strong influence on public opinion. Please note that this list is never complete since parties can enter or exit the process at any time. This is just an indication of the NGO's that are active on Texel at this moment in time.

Suppliers of technology

This is a wide array of companies that is responsible for the supply of new, sustainable technologies that improve the mobility on Texel. In this stage of the research it is not yet clear what kind of companies these are. The only thing that can be said about their values is that they will want to sell their products, but for the right price. These are companies that have the goal to make profit from their sustainable technologies. Just because they sell sustainable technologies does not mean they are not in the market to make a profit.


TESO. Bestuur en toezicht. Collected from TESO: the 29th of November 2014

Texel. Public Transport. Collected from Texel: the 29th of November 2014



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2.2 Technologies and elements

This chapter discusses how technologies are embedded in culture and behaviour on Texel.

This chapter discusses how technologies are embedded in culture and behaviour on Texel.

The most important technology in the socio-technical subsystem of sustainable mobility, is the ferry connection between Texel and the mainland. This connection is the life-line of the island. The island benefits greatly from the influx of tourists (see figure 2.2.1), and the vast majority of these tourists come by ferry. Moreover, all the services and goods Texel needs to import come by ferry, but the ferry is also used for the exportation of goods.

On the island there are proper bus connections as a way of public transport. Still, the municipality of Texel strives to improve the bus connections by 2020, stimulating Texelaars and tourists to leave the car and make use of the public transport network. It also aspires to make public transport free during winter periods for school youth in the rural areas and for retired people all year long (Gemeente Texel, 2012). The municipality foresees a more dominant role for bicycle on the island in the near future. It wants to improve bicycle infrastructure and connections.

Figure 2.2.1. Map over the socio-technical mobility system. 

Texel also has an airport. In the past there used to be some opposition against this airport, but it seems the Texelaars nowadays have embraced the airport and the opportunity it offers. According to the Texel municipality (2012), the airport should have a functional use however, to take people to and from the island, instead of a recreational use. The recreational use of the airport, such as parachute jumping using small noisy airplanes, can cause nuisance during tourist season.

How are the elements (technologies, industries, organizations, people in the system interrelated?

Residents: use of the socio-technical network, are depending on legislation from local governments, are depending on development of innovation in subsystem, have a strong relation with the tourism industry and will have to satisfy the users (tourists) of this industry by compelling a proper mobility system.

Tourists: Also use the socio-technical network, although temporary. Are strongly depending on legislation with regards to car-use. Are depending on the municipality and the Texelaars for alternatives for car use and are depending on technological innovations (such as electrical bikes) to have proper alternatives for car use.

By which rules and regulations is the system organized?

On a national level, the system falls within the policy boundaries of the ministry of environment and infrastructure. This ministry is responsible on a national level for proper infrastructure connections over land, through water and air. The ferry connection Texel and Den Helder is such a connection. A lot of responsibilities are passed on to the province of Noord-Holland however. Under the province policy is executed on municipal level. In the case of Texel, the municipality has made a mobility plan in conjunction with the ‘dorpscommissies’ (committees of the villages), the TOP, the SIGT, Veilig Verkeer Nederland, the VVV and the TESO. Together they have identified a set of bottlenecks and opportunities and they have written guidelines and ambitions for the future mobility of Texel.


Gemeente Texel. (2012). Knelpuntenanalyse mobiliteit Texel 2012. Gemeente Texel. Texel.

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2.3 Unsustainabilities mechanisms

In this chapter, the major unsustainabilities in the mobility system on Texel are discussed. The chapter also focuses on the dependency of cars in a more general sense.

In this chapter, the major unsustainabilities in the mobility system on Texel are discussed. The chapter also focuses on the dependency of cars in a more general sense.

Current system.jpg

One major unsustainable mechanism that can be seen in Texel’s context, is the ferry service. The ferry service that operates between Texel and Den Helder on the mainland is run by TESO, a private company founded in 1907 as an initiative of Dr. A Wagemaker. TESO allowed the increase of cars in the Island by operating two double deck ferries with a roll-on/roll-off system. The harbors at both ends (Texel and Den Helder) are designed to transport a capacity of 300 vehicles and 1750 passengers on each ferry as efficiently as possible. The growing number of cars on the island increasingly causes problems (long waiting hours for the ferry, shortage of parking spaces and overcrowded roads) (Global islands network). 

With regards to safety and non-CO2 emissions some successes have been achieved through the use of regulations (Kemp, R., Avelino, F., Bressers, N. 2009). Attempts to promote public transport and reduce car traffic however have more or less failed. It has proved impossible in car-based societies to create transport systems that are attractive for users and attractive for society as a whole in the sense of reduced negative impacts (Kemp, R., Avelino, F., Bressers, N. 2009). Given that most of the problems are related to auto-mobility, the question arises whether the existing transport system can be transformed into something more sustainable and the role of cars in these. In respect to the transition management theory (Kemp, R., Avelino, F., Bressers, N. 2009), the basic premise here should be that sustainable development requires transitions; non-linear processes of social change in which a societal system is structurally transformed. As Sheller (2004) writes: “Cars will not easily be given up, just because they are dangerous to health and life, environmentally destructive, based on unsustainable energy consumption, and damaging to public life and civic space. Too many people find them too comfortable, enjoyable, exciting, even enthralling. They are deeply embedded in ways of life, networks of friends and sociality, and moral commitments to family and care for others”.

In reality, is it so difficult to change the mobility based on cars at Texel? It is impossible to give an exhaustive explanation for this, but the reasons have to do with the need for multiple changes: in infrastructure, economic incentives, better public transport, public transport services (for example, dial-a-ride services), being able to do small repairs on a bicycle, and the decision to no longer own a car but to rent it, something which would encourage a more selective use of cars. Who can support such motivations? Usually the main activation is taken by profit or non-profit organizations for sustainability and innovation, such as Urgenda for instance. Nevertheless, according to Kemp, R., Avelino, F., & Bressers, N. (2009), even when people in their everyday life use different modes of transport (often in combination), presently there is no regime for intermodal travel, there are no organizations one can turn to, no one assumes responsibility for services towards this end, transport systems are not organized towards this end. Equally, there are no powerful actors behind slow modes of transport. Bicycling associations have no political clout. Car users are not asking for this; even those who are unhappy about the many negative effects see it as a necessary evil.

Figure 2.3.1. YUTPA-analysis for the current mobility system on Texel.

Figure 2.3.1 shows a YUTPA-analysis for the current mobility system on Texel, from the Texelaars' point of view. Looking at this, important factors that should be improved to increase sustainability are found. In the current system, environmental impact is high, which is a bad thing. This should be reduced in the future system so as to not pollute (noise, emissions, aesthetic) in a less extent than today. Synchronizing performance is low in the current system and this can be improved for the future system, to make different modes collaborate better and go create "seamless transfers". Reciprocity and reputation are currently low, and these need to be increased in the future system. Taking care of synchronizing behavior and environmental impact is believed to automatically increase reputation, which then can boost reciprocity and in the end the feeling of engagement and communion. It needs to be noted that this YUTPA-analysis was made before visiting the island and talking to locals. The analysis is therefore based on estimations and assumptions. 

In conclusion, the model for transformation must be based on transition management which allows various actors to be more engaged with long-term change.


Elzen,B., Geels,F.W., Green,K. (2004). System Innovation and the Transition to Sustainability: Theory, Evidence and Policy, USA, Edward Elgar Publishing

Global Islands Network, collected from Global islands network: the 2nd of December 2014

Kemp, R., Avelino, F., Bressers, N. (2011). Transition Management as a Model for Sustainable Mobility: Trasporti Europei Special Issue: "New frontiers of transport research”, 47, pp. 25-46.


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2.4 Trends, developments and initiatives

In this section, developments in the mobility sector on Texel are described, in addition to more general trends in tourism and technology.

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3. Design of the future mobility system

In the following chapter the design of the future mobility system will be explained, along with a discussion on who the stakeholders are and how this mobility system fits in its context.

In the following chapter the design of the future mobility system will be explained, along with a discussion on who the stakeholders are and how this mobility system fits in its context.

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3.1 Four mobility concepts

The mobility concepts are clustered in four modes of mobility. The first two modes are the private and the public mode. Both these modes describe the transportation of people in their daily life. The difference between these modes is that in the private mode people use ways of transportation that are their (temporary) property like their own cars and bikes but also rental vehicles. The public mode describes ways of transportation that are publicly available, and that is shared with other people. Please note that for some initiatives the barrier between these modes will be low. For instance, a rental bike may be publicly available, but a rental bike is still considered a private mode since it does not have fixed routes, timetables or is shared with other people. 

The third mode is the transportation of personal goods, in this case defined as transportation from the physical or digital shops to the houses of the consumers. The fourth mode describes a tourist attraction initiative that could enhance the mobility while showing tourists some sustainable initiatives on the island.

3.1.1 Private transport


Table 2.1.1 shows that 6619 passenger cars are owned by Texelaars. Figure 2.1.1 shows over 3000 cars pass the road to the Ferry during low season. Unfortunately this count does not list how many of those cars are tourists and how many of those are Texelaars travelling to the mainland but even if only a quarter of those cars are commuters that would be over 750 cars on a daily basis. A good starting point towards a more sustainable Texel would be to try to reduce this amount of vehicles. An initiative that could easily be implemented with low cost is carpooling to and from the ferry. Carpooling is sharing your car with another person that needs to travel in (approximately) the same direction. This therefore decreases the amount of cars on the road. Although Texel is a small community, it might be that someone from De Koog doesn’t know that another person from Den Burg works in the same neighbourhood. A website or an app could help to bring these people together. This app could also function as a sort of mediator between both parties that keeps track of costs. Once on the mainland, people can continue carpooling or transfer to their own vehicle which is parked in Den Helder. Another possibility is using rental cars on the mainland which is discussed in the following section.

Greenwheel style Rental

Carpooling could be combined with a greenwheel styled rental service. Greenwheels is a company that offers subscribers the possibility to frequently rent a car at relative low costs. People reserve a car via the website or by using a app. Cars are placed all over the Netherlands because people can find them where the last person who rented it left it. A comparable service could be a solution for Texelaars who carpool towards the mainland and then transfer to a rental car that can take them to their destination. These rental cars could of course also be placed on Texel. Both Texelaars and tourists could use these cars, which will of course be sustainable electric vehicles. These vehicles will be used exclusively on the island and since travelling distances on the island are small, they can be fitted with smaller battery packs. This would reduce the weight and therefore the energy consumption of the car as well as the purchase price. A possible downside of this project is the large amount of initial investment in the purchasing price of the vehicles and the adaptation of the infrastructure (installing charging poles). Crowdfunding combined with a partnership with a car manufacturer could be possibilities to finance this project. Like with the TESO company, Texelaars could also be asked to invest in this project for which they get shares in return. This immediately also involves the Texelaars in the project and they will have an incentive to promote the use of these cars to tourists. Tourists can use the service to get around on the island, when they aren’t using bikes. 

Bike system

A decision to take the car instead of the bike can sometimes be due to the fact that goods need to be transported, for instance grocery bags from the store. To solve this problem while promoting biking as a mode for transport, a number of “bakfietsen”  (see figure 1) will be present on the island for rent. The bikes can be stationed to certain spots on the island where people who are in need of a bike can rent one and return it to whichever other station. The stations should preferably be located close to shops. The fee for renting a bike will be small, just to cover the maintenance. By using the same payment system/fare system as with the buses, it will be easy to use the bakfietsen in combination with the buses, and the use of cars can be avoided as far as possible. It is an option that stores on the island, such a grocery stores, could sponsor this service and in return get rental locations close to their shop and space for ads or other commercial messages on the bakfietsen. 

Figure 3.1.1. An example of a "bakfietsen". Source: (Bakfietsen)

3.1.2 Public transport

Bus system

Public modes of transport should be present to the island to offer everybody the possibility to transport themselves in a sustainable way on Texel. The service needs to be affordable to ensure that inhabitants with differing situations can travel in a environment friendly way. Currently, a bus service is present on the island. This can be used both by local residents and tourists. Since tourists and local inhabitants may have somewhat different needs (which has been explained in previous chapters), public transport has a tough role of satisfying everyones needs. How can that be done? The initiatives taken by Texelhopper to provide a service that merges the functions of a taxi and a bus is in a good direction (Texelhopper). Texel is not a very big island, and therefore it might not be feasible to drive normal sized bus in a periodic timetable. The risk is that the bus will run empty in some directions/times of the day/times of the year, and that the municipality will lose a substantial amount of money. However, suggesting a fleet of minibuses that does not run on a periodic timetable but rather in a “dial-a-ride” manner, could ensure that no buses (or at least fewer) run empty. The benefits of sharing a ride are congestion relief, noise reduction, emission deduction, etc. For elderly people who live alone it can also be a way of socializing. The service would need to be booked in advance, which is a drawback when unsuspected things happen, but then other alternatives for transport are available (bikes, rental cars etc.). The minibuses would be powered by a hybrid engine of biofuel and electricity, and the fare would not be higher than it is currently for a bus ride. The buses will also be fitted with a bike rack so that multi-modality in that way is promoted.

When large groups of tourists arrive on the island, an idea is for the municipality of Texel to own tourist coaches that are propelled by renewable energy sources (such as biofuels, electricity) that can be used in high-peak seasons to transport tourists from the ferry connection to their first destination on the island.

3.1.3 Transport of personal goods with driverless vehicles

For the near future, stretching from 2015 up to 2030, plans and regulations will have to be made for driverless and other types of automated vehicles. These vehicles will enable light weight direct on-demand cargo, increasing its efficiency and thus the sustainability of the field. It is not to be ruled out that in the coming years several big enterprises will already start deploying driverless vehicles for package delivery, especially in the more rural areas where land infrastructure is missing (Frey, 2011).

At this moment almost all cargo arrives at Texel by ferry. This could change in the future, where Den Helder could be a good spot for a automated vehicle base to supply Texel and maybe even Vlieland quickly with goods. In the beginning, these will be mostly emergency goods, related to health care such as medicines and medical equipment. Basically things that are light weight, but high of value (Allison, 2013). When automated technology continues to develop and becomes cheaper, also heavier cargo could be taken from the mainland to Texel. Texel definitely needs to be prepared for robotization, which will start on the mainland where goods will arrive by autonomous drone trucks, from where they will go on the ferry or be taken over by automated vehicles that transport them to Texel on water or in air. The main advantage of this robotization are the reduced costs (Dronelife News, 2014).

A nucleus for this activity on Texel could be the existing airstrip, although location-wise it would be better if it is closer located to Den Burg, the capital of the island. The municipality of Texel should decide if they want a central pick-up place for cargo, or if they want these vehicles to have freedom to move everywhere in the Texel airspace. In that case, at-home delivery services can flourish.

Something important to take into consideration is the legal structure for these vehicles. Texel will definitely need to invest time and money in clarification of the legal boundaries for these new ways of transport. 

3.1.4 Tourist attraction

A suggestion for making the island as interesting as possible from a tourist point of view is to add a way of transport that is also functions as a tourist attraction. This could be part of some sort of sustainability tour across the island. One example could be a cableway. Usually cableways are utilised in hilly environments, such as ski resorts. However, it is a wonderful way of experiencing an environment from up high. The cableway on Texel would have stops at important tourist attractions around the island, making it possible to get out of the cable car and discover. The cableway would be used in a recreational purpose and give tourists a spectacular memory of Texel. Monorails are also a possible alternative. These can be placed on the surface level, which will decrease landscape pollution, or elevated on viaducts, which will improve the view.

The main concerns for these ways of transport are costs and landscape pollution. Installing such a system on the island will take multiple years of construction and it will undoubtedly have it’s impact on the the landscape. Since landscape pollution is one of the major objections against windmills for renewable energy, this idea might be dead from the start. A surface level monorail would decrease this effect, but does that really have a  great benefit over a car or better a bike? There are many different options to chose from in this mode and further research needs to be conducted on what option is suited best for Texel.

3.2 Who are the actors?

This section uses the actors as listed in section 2.1. It will not only look at their roles, but also provide a peek into the new socio-technical landscape. Please note that some actors with comparable roles are grouped.


Inhabitants are mainly users of the sub-system. We wish that the Texelaars will be very open for the new initiatives and cooperate smoothly. Texelaars are proud of their island and are, according to what Han Brezet told in the first lecture, unfortunately not very cooperative with forced transitions from the mainland. An actual implementation of our plans could try to minimise this resistance by combining the plans with local initiatives and local entrepreneurs. The most important thing however is to listen to the concerns the Texelaars have and to try to incorporate these concerns in the design. 


Tourists are users of the sub-system. Frequent visitors of the island will have to adapt in the same way that inhabitants do. It is therefore important to take their concerns into account as well while designing the sub-system. 

Public transport providers

The public transport providers are the main actors in the implementation of the new bus system. A close cooperation with the municipality is required to make sure that the new service fulfills the needs of the users. Monitoring is therefore another important task of these public transport providers.

Private transport providers

These companies now offer coach and taxi transport services. This research has no clear solution to replace these vehicles with more sustainable alternatives. These are private owned companies. It is our vision that these kind of companies are inspired by other initiatives on the island and will move along with the sustainability trend.  


TESO is already investing heavily to make the ferry service more sustainable. In the years to come they will have to continue these activities.

Rental companies and general mobility service and maintenance companies on the island

These companies play a major role in our plans of introducing a greenwheel styled rental service or expand the (electric) bike rental alternatives. Since these are also privately owned companies, intervention from a third party like the municipality or NGO will be needed to create plan that works on the entire island with different companies.

Businesses in the tourism/hospitality industry and general local businesses

These companies are users of the system but also need to adapt to the changing mobility of their customers. As was already mentioned in section 2.1, an increasing amount of electric vehicles for instance calls for more charging possibilities on the premises of these companies. Some companies may have car parks that they want to replace in order to fit in the sustainable mobility system. Just as with the private transport companies it is our vision that these kind of companies are inspired by other initiatives on the island and will move along with the sustainability trend.  

Governmental bodies

To accommodate the transition into a sustainable mobility system, the local governmental bodies need to take on a mediating role. It is their task to combine different parties within different initiatives and to monitor the development of these initiatives. Financial support could either come from the municipality budget or by assisting and mediating with higher governmental bodies. These higher governmental bodies mainly play a financial role in the local mobility transition.

Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s)

As mentioned in section 2.1, these organisations all have their own interests. Some parties will be involved in almost every initiative (ANWB, Duurzaam Texel, SIGT, TOP, Urgenda, Veilig Verkeer Nederland), others only in very specific plans like for instance Rover in the busses plan or the VVV in the touristic attraction initiative. 

Suppliers of technology

We now have a more clear vision of suppliers that play a role. The greenwheel style rental initiative requires a large amount of new electric vehicles. This requires supplies from car manufacturers, but also charging stations and spare parts. The same goes for the (electric) bikes and busses. Supplies of drones might still be a little further in the future. The tourist attraction requires some large construction works and requires a unique design and specialised contractors.

3.3 How will the technologies be embedded in culture and behaviour in the future system?

In the new subsystem, people will go about as they always have; working, going to school, sightseeing, etc. However, in this new mobility system their actions will have far smaller negative impacts on the environment. Not to mention, the local economy on the island will prosper from this new system, as transportation is a key ingredient for tourism (Currie & Falconer, 2014). People want transportation to work, without too much effort or expenses. Some people have an interest in cars or other types of transportation as a hobby, but the everyday mobility should be easy to use. Local residents and tourists should not need a certain kind of knowledge to transport themselves, other than what can be required in other places (e. g. drivers license, be able to read a timetable, etc.). Since the new mobility system is to be used by everyone, not just educated people or people with a special interest in mobility, it needs to be innovative without being complicated. It should be so effortless to transport oneself in a sustainable way that no additional thought or action is required.

Previous chapters have mentioned the special culture on Texel, the “Island identity”. The heritage is important for people on Texel, and their local community is strong (see chapter 4). Identity is in Stets and Biga’s (2003) article defined as “[…] a set of meanings attached to the self that serves as a standard or reference that guides behavior in situations.” The hope is that the island identity of Texel in the future can include mobility, for example “I am a Texelaar, and I bike” or “I’m a Texelaar and I don’t use non-renewable fuel”. An intention with this new mobility system is to try to include the way of thinking about transportation in the identity of Texelaars. This is not done in a heartbeat, but will hopefully grow stronger year by year with younger generations. Tourists can then be inspired by “the Texelaar mobility” and experience it for themselves. 

3.4 Economy


Figure 3.4.1. The economy in the subsystem of sustainable mobility can be approached in different ways.

3.4.1 What is this economy?

First of all, what is an economy. According to the Business Dictionary (2014), an economy is an entire network of producers, distributors, and consumers of goods and services in a local, regional, or national community (Source: business insider)

The two biggest groups of consumers in this subsystem are the residents and the tourists. Furthermore there is transportation that contibutes to the subsystem of sustainable mobility. The distributors of this economy isthe municipality of Texel. The producers of this system are TESO, which provides the ferry connection to Den Helder and the municipality, which constructs and maintains the infrastructure. Since residents of Texel can have a share in TESO, some users are at the same time producers.

3.4.2 What influences this local economy?

The economy of sustainable mobility is heavily influenced by the amount of users. The more users, the more services will have to be produced (e.g. the ferry connection) and the more maintenance the infrastructure requires. The amount of users depends on three things:

  • The amount of residents
  • The amount of tourists
  • The amount of transportation

Future transportation over water and road can be reduced due to the emergence of driverless vehicles and 3D printing technologies. The amount of residents is projected to stay equal the coming 10 to 15 years (Afdeling Samenleving gemeente Texel, 2007). The population pyramid will shift though, with a bigger group of elderly representing the future Texel population around the year 2025. The mobility has to be adjusted to the needs of this group. It is expected though that technological developments will continue evolving rapdily, offering solutions for this group to remain mobile. One of these developments that already impacts the current mobility in the Netherlands, is the emergence of electrical bikes. These bikes support the cyclist by low speeds and enable the cyclist to reach higher speeds with less physical input required than conventional bikes.

Tourism is expected to stay equal to current numbers, around 800.000 visitors. On Texel it is agreed that not more than 45.000 beds can be used at the same time. This number has never been surpassed and it is expected that this will never happen in the future as well.

3.4.3 What kind of new economic models can emerge in our subsystem?

For the future of the susbsytem of sustainable mobility, there are many possible direction for Texel. If Texel wants to keep the proper infrastructure in tact with a good flow of traffic, but at hte same time wants to become more sustainable, the following options could be employed:

  • An island free of cars working on fossil fuel combustion engines. The municipality of Texel can decree to ban all fossil fuel driven cars by the year 2020. A softer method with similar effects would be to tax owners of fossil fuel driven cars, or alleviate taxation for households in possession of electric cars, (eletric bikes) or hydrogen fueled cars. Tourists can come with fossil their fossil fuel driven cars, but they will have to buy a special vignet, just like the autobahn-vignet in Switzerland, valid for a certain period. Tourists can also opt to leave their car in Den Helder and make use of electric transport on theisland.
  • Texel could also move towards a lease and share economy, where the residents and tourists are stimulated to lease instead of owning. Transport can then be leased from other households nearby for an agreed tarif, or from an overarching organization that the municipality of Texel will have to establish in collaboration with its residents. The transport that will be provided by this ‘foundation’ will have to be electrical.
  • For the development and maintenance of the infrastructure, new ways of financing can be used such as crowdfunding. People on the island can adopt a certain part of the road and its associated elements such as lighting. They are then responsible for the maintenance of this part of the infrastructure. Another idea is that through crowdfunding new infrastructure is developed and old infrastructure is maintained, whereby the phrase ‘who pays, decides’, defefintely accounts. This means that the ones investing in the infrastructure and the mobility, can also decide about the visual reprensetation of this infrastructure, the materialization and so on.

Important for all these ideas, is that they work best when all deployed. A ‘ban’ on fossiel fuels works best if there is also a proper alternative provided, since it will otherwise only result in an unsatisfied population. A lot of responsibilities will therefore be assigned to the municipality of Texel, which will have to coordinate this transition in mobility and infrastructure. They will have to plan recharge points for electrical transport throughout the island, they will have to make a plan for a proper air control system with regards to the emergence of drones and they will probably have invest in the infrastructure for hydrogen stations. Furthermore, the island can only become sustainable if the electricity at the recharge points comes from clean sources, such as solar energy, wind energy or other clean energy sources. Planning, coordination and investment in these areas is thus vital.

3.4.4 What kind of societal developments can lead to trend shifts in our subsystem?

There are four important development that will influence the mobility and infrastructure on Texel a lot.

  1. The shifting of the groups within the population pyramid of the Texel residents, as well as the shift in the age pyramid of tourists.  Due to the aging of both groups, certain interventions need to be done in the Texel infrastructure. A focus on safe electric bikes would be a good direction, since this way of transport provides a pleasant and safe way to explore the island for these tourists and it enables older people in less physical condition to still fully participate.
  2. Texel is a small island. This makes it very suistable for electrical transport, since the main contra argument for electrical transport is its low driving range. Electrical cars are cleaner, but also make a lot less noise. The entire Western part of Texel is national park and Texel is famous for its variety of birds on the island. These animals will probably benefit from a cleaner and more silent environment. When the generation of energy is also transitioned to cleaner sources such as wind energy and solar energy, the mobility sector of Texel could become self-sufficient in the long term.
  3. Transportation in the near future will happen by drones (unmanned vehicles). These drones will either fly from the main land to Texel, or they will be deployed as unmanned boats, unmanned driving vehicles and so on. This needs regulation and everyone, the residents and the tourists, will have to get used to the idea of having participants in traffic which are robot-controlled instead of human.
  4. As said before, due to the emergence of the lease and share economy, the need to own things will slowly evanish. This will make the mobility and transportation system of Texel way more efficient, as it requires less transportation items (such as cars, bikes and so on) on the island, to accomodate the needs of the residents and the tourists.

3.5 How will the elements in the future sub-system be interrelated?

The prevailing technologies in the subsystem are one of the most important things. With prevailing technologies such as glass fiber internet, taking a very important place. The development of glass fiber internet can enable the Texelaars to work more out of their own home, this way the physical infrastructure of the island will be used less frequently.

3.6 By which rules and regulations will the future sub-system be organized?

The different governmental bodies that influence the policy on Texel are in order of importance, the EU, the national government, the provincial government and the local municipality of Texel. There are different tools governments can use in order to achieve the desired result, such as information and communication tools, economic tools, juridical tools, facilitating intruments and enforcement instruments. Economic tools that could be used to stimulate the residents and tourists of Texel to make more sustainable choices are for example incentives in the form of tax reliefs, financial penalties or subsidies. Communication and information tools could be special events organized by the local government in order to inform and persuade the local population about the importance of sustainable development, the diffusion of information folders, a good working website and so on. Juridical instruments are for example prohibtions, permissions, or decreets. An example could be the prohibition of fossil fuel driven vehicles on the island. Faciliating instruments can be for example proper development and maintenance of the infrastructure and the mobility on the island. Last but not least, enforcement instruments could be used if people are not complying with the rules and regulations, but this is defenitely not the preferable option.



Afdeling Samenleving gemeente Texel. (2007). Demografische ontwikkelingen Texel. Texel.

Allison, G. (2013). Forget roads – drones are the future of goods transport. New Scientist.  

Bakfietsen. Models. Collected from Bakfiets: the 20th of December 2014

Berman, B. (2011). 3-D printing: The new industrial revolution. Hempstead, NY, Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University.

Business Dictioniary. "Economy Definition." from

Currie, C., & Falconer, P. (2014). Maintaining sustainable island destinations in Scotland: The role of the transport–tourism relationship. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management , 3, pp. 162–172.

Dronelife News. (2014). " 5 Reasons Drones Will Change the Future of Cargo." from

Frey, T. (2011). "2050 and the Future of Transportation." collected from

Stets, J. E., & Biga, C. F. (2003). Bringing Identity Theory into Environmental Sociology. Sociological Theory , 21 (4), pp. 398-423.

Texelhopper. About Texelhopper. Collected from Texelhopper: the 6th of December 2014




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4. Comparison between current and future sub-systems

A good way of comparing the current sub-system with the future sub-system is to consult the YUTPA analysis. Therefore, the comparison is divided amongst the four dimensions of YUTPA, namely; Action, Relation, Place and Time. After that other factors that differ between the two sub-systems will be presented.

A good way of comparing the current sub-system with the future sub-system is to consult the YUTPA analysis. Therefore, the comparison is divided amongst the four dimensions of YUTPA, namely; Action, Relation, Place and Time. After that other factors that differ between the two sub-systems will be presented.

Current system.jpg

Figure 4.1. Future sub-system.

Figure 4.2. Current sub-system.

4.1 Action

As the figures (4.1 and 4.2) show, the current sub-system is believed to have low reciprocity, negotiation and quality of deeds and medium tuning. The future sub-system is intended to increase both reciprocity and quality of deeds since both of those parameters are important for a mobility system. Also tuning and negotiation are increased in the future system. Action is vital for a transportation system to function, and especially that people experience quality of deeds and that they are working with the system. When they give, they get something in return.

4.2 Relation

Relation is an interesting chapter in this YUTPA. The future sub-system has full impact on all parameters except for role (see figures 1 and 2). Currently, it is believed that the role plays too big a part, and that it should be reduced for the mobility system. Everyone should be treated as equals in this system, and personal life should not affect the possibility of traveling in a more sustainable way. Since Texelaars have a strong identity (Frantzeskaki , Avelino , & Loorbach , 2013), it seems reasonable to increase the impact of communion, engagement and reputation of the mobility system to the fullest extent. Currently the role plays too big a part and the reputation is too low. A greater (positive) reputation can contribute to tourism, as was explained in chapter 3.

4.3 Place

Situated agency and body sense are believed to have a higher impact in the future system compared to the current system. It is believed that the new system will generate a greater feeling in people and that there will be a feeling of productivity in the new system. Environmental impact (negative) is decreased and emotional space is increased in the future system compared to the current system. Environmental impact should of course be smaller since this system aspires to be sustainable. Emotional space is increased since the sense of "being here" should be stronger in the future sub-system. 

4.4 Time

Figures 1 and 2 show that synchronizing performance, integrating rhythm and duration of engagement have full impact in the future sub-system. Moments to signify, however, does not change much from the current sub-system, since the mobility system is meant to be an everyday-activity for the Texelaars. Synchronizing performance and integrating rhythm are very important for a mobility system as it needs to be adapted to other activities and and the life rhythm of Texelaars. Duration of engagement should be long, transportation needs to be a long-term investment. It is hard to make an infrastructure change in just a few months, but it is possible to make change happen over 5 years or a decade. As innovation and technology evolves, so must the island.

4.5 Other factors

This analysis focuses on residents, but tourists will also see a change in the future sub-system. The biggest change for tourists between the two systems will be the cableway, which will function not only as a mode of transportation, but also as an attraction in itself. This would increase making moments to signify for the tourist. Tourists will also be able to travel in a cleaner way than before, with electric cars and together in eco-friendly minibuses (see chapter 3), which also will add to the reputation of the island as “green and clean”.

New technologies will be present in the future system, such as automated and electric vehicles. This means that new actors will become involved, for example companies that produce charging poles, and replace actors such as petrol stations. The legal framework will be the same in the future system, but laws might need to be tweaked in the future to fit this new reality. For instance, speed limits for electric bikes (see chapter 2.4). 



Frantzeskaki, N., Avelino, F., & Loorbach, D. (2013). Outliers or Frontrunners? Exploring the (Self-) Governance of Community- Owned Sustainable Energy in Scotland and the Netherlands . Energy (23).

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5. Pathway proposal

In this section an outline is drawn for a pathway on how to realise a sustainable mobility system on Texel by 2065. However, a note has to be made about this pathway: it should in no means be used as a guideline for future development on Texel. This pathway can only function as an indicator for this moment in time and will be changing as time evolves. This is due to the fact that it is impossible to accurately predict how technology will evolve over this period of time.

In this section an outline is drawn for a pathway on how to realise a sustainable mobility system on Texel by 2065. However, a note has to be made about this pathway: it should in no means be used as a guideline for future development on Texel. This pathway can only function as an indicator for this moment in time and will be changing as time evolves. This is due to the fact that it is impossible to accurately predict how technology will evolve over this period of time.

5.1 Technology

In 1965 the technological landscape looked completely different from what it looks like in this day and age. Only in the last few years have hybrid and electric vehicles really entered the mass market. The technologies that these vehicles use will be further developed. Breakthroughs might also occur in other fields of energy technologies like hydrogen, or even something completely new could be discovered. We don’t and we simply can’t know right now. For society it might be good that different mobility technologies will come into play. If for instance cars can either be fueled by electricity or hydrogen, this will create competition between both technologies. For a small island like Texel, two competing technologies is less preferable since both technologies require their own separate infrastructure. However, if Texel wants to remain a host for large amounts of tourists (with both types of vehicles), the island will need to facilitate both infrastructures.

Another trend that might become important in the future, but is not directly linked to mobility at first sight is 3D printing. Nowadays people buy their goods in a shop or order them online and get them delivered to their homes. In the future people might be able to print these goods at home. This will have huge implications on mobility. Goods (apart from raw material cartridges) no longer have to be transported across the globe. People don’t have to leave their homes to buy new goods. This will change mobility streams on a global scale, but also on a local scale like on Texel.

5.2 Actors

Throughout this research it has become clear that when real changes need to be made to an environment, it is very important to involve all actors from the start of the project and listen to what their needs and interests are. When the designers of a system know what the concerns are of a group of actors, these concerns can be transformed into values which can be incorporated into the design.

Actors should not only be involved in the design of the system but also in the actual system itself. The TESO case has shown that this company has become a success partly because a lot of Texelaars have shares in the company. The company is embedded in society. This is something that the future system needs to incorporate as well. The system needs to be something the Texelaars can be proud of.

5.3 Culture and behaviour

Transforming Texel into a sustainable island requires a lot of cultural and behavioral changes from the Texelaars. Change might be experienced as threatening, especially when it is forced upon an individual. Again this can be overcome by involving the Texelaars in the change. Robbins and Judge (2014) describe resistance to change in an organisation, but their steps on how to overcome resistance to change are generally applicable. The authors describe several tactics which can be gathered under involving the actors that are subject to the change. These are: education and communication, participation, building support and commitment, develop positive relationships, implement changes fairly and select people who accept change.

5.4 Relations between different elements

When the Texelaars go through a change, this will also reflect on the tourists on the island. They will be inspired by how the Texelaars have adapted and will take this back home. Large companies will experience the same effect. When small entrepreneurs change into a more sustainable business, the larger companies on the island can’t lag behind. Texel could be a frontrunner for the rest of the nation.

5.5 Rules and regulations that organize the system

Rules and regulations should not limit the change to the system but facilitate the change. A good example of how regulation is hampering change is the way that Uber is being banned in a lot of cities right now (de Volkskrant). Change will always often be ahead of regulation. The regulator needs the facilitate initiatives, and judge them correctly. If some parties are unhappy with the change, these conflicts should be discussed with all parties involved.

5.6 Actions for suggested changes in the mobility system before 2020

In 2020 Texel needs to be well on it’s way towards sustainability. The development in technology still is not easy to predict, but since the timeframe is a lot smaller, some predictions can be done. According to Antoine Maartens from Urgenda it is impossible to think that Texel is fully sustainable by 2020. It is however likely that Texel will be more sustainable by 2020 than it is now, and some of the solutions that are presented in chapter 3 could be implemented by 2020. These are the carpooling system, the greenwheel style rental system, the bike system and the bus system. In this section we will list the actions that should be taken, and the actors that should take those actions to secure the installment of these suggestions by 2020. For the other two systems a more long term vision is required. We can therefore be short about the actions that are required on these initiatives before 2020. Simply more research is required to determine the feasibility of these initiatives.

5.6.1 Carpooling app

As stated in chapter 3, this idea could potentially be implemented very quickly with little costs. The main barrier for this plan however is how to get people out of their own cars and into someone else's, or to take someone (maybe a stranger) in their own car. A feasibility study can be ordered by the municipality. This study can give an indication of the number of people who are willing to contribute to a carpooling initiative. In the same time the study could also try to formulate why people who are not willing to contribute refuse. After this research a decision has to be taken on the continuation of the project. When the project gets a green light a marketing campaign accompanied by an app that brings potential carpoolers together needs to be developed and launched. The municipality can do this in cooperation with subsidy from higher governmental bodies and mobility organizations like the ANWB.
Estimated time frame: 1-3 years

5.6.2 Greenwheel styled rental

From our interview with Antoine Maartens we found out that this idea is already being launched at the moment by an entrepreneur on Terschelling named Hans Werner. We have interviewed mr. Werner to gain insights in his experience with his company on Terschelling and possible expansion on Texel. When the company turns out to be a success, the scale could be increased by expanding to Texel, but more research will be needed on how to adapt the service for Texel. Mr. Werner has already established contact with the municipality of Texel, but he is also very clear in his vision. When he can’t promise the inhabitants of Texel improved mobility at a lower price, he will not launch the service on Texel. Of course, if mr. Werner would decide not to launch the company on Texel, other entrepreneurs could try. The interview shows which steps are taken on Terschelling to ensure a successful launch of the company.
Estimated time frame: depending on success on Terschelling, 2-6 years

5.6.3 Bikes

To increase the number of bikes used on the island, the incentive to bring, buy or rent a bike needs to be raised. Bikes need to become a preferred way of transport. This requires action from both entrepreneurs in the biking/hospitality business as from the municipality. Together these groups could start researching why people that pick cars over bikes do so. When this is known, the parties can start to try and turn this around in order to increase the amount of people that pick bikes. This could for example lead to an indication that biking is hard to interconnect with grocery shopping, and that the "bakfietsen" type of bikes should be able to be rented close to shopping areas. An increase in the number of bikes calls for an increase of scale of bike rentals/shops and the amount of maintenance they are able to supply. The municipality needs to make sure that the infrastructure can handle the increase amount of bikers.
Estimated time frame: 2 years

5.6.4 Bus system

Some good initiatives like the Texelhopper are already being implemented at this moment. When these turn out to be successful, more investments can be made in order to make the service more environmentally friendly. This could mean introducing electric/bio fueled busses.
Estimated time frame: 0 years for the system, more than 5 years for the investments in new busses


de Volkskrant. (2014). Zwarte week voor uber: binnen twee dagen op vier plaatsen verboden. Collected from: the 7th of January 2015

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6. Expectations and potential tensions with other sub-systems of sustainable Texel

The sustainable mobility group aspires to create an even better mobility system on the island, where both residents as well as visitors (tourists) can make use of transportation methods, wherever, whenever they want. We are envisioning solutions such as electrical bikes and automated driverless electric vehicles, transporting both the residents and the tourists in an efficient and clean way over the island. In this chapter, it is explained how the mobility system is related to the other subsystems and what are opportunities or threats.

The sustainable mobility group aspires to create an even better mobility system on the island, where both residents as well as visitors (tourists) can make use of transportation methods, wherever, whenever they want. We are envisioning solutions such as electrical bikes and automated driverless electric vehicles, transporting both the residents and the tourists in an efficient and clean way over the island. In this chapter, it is explained how the mobility system is related to the other subsystems and what are opportunities or threats.

6.1 Ambition Sustainable Mobility Group

The sustainable mobility group aspires to create an even better mobility system on the island, where both residents as well as visitors (tourists) can make use of transportation methods, wherever, whenever they want. We are envisioning solutions such as electrical bikes and automated driverless electric vehicles, transporting both the residents and the tourists in an efficient and clean way over the island. 

6.2 Relations with other subgroups

6.2.1 Well being, health and happiness

The group of well being, health and happiness have come up with a Happy Texel Index. This index (life satisfaction x life expectancy / ecological footprint), is a good benchmark to measure the happiness and sustainability on Texel. The sustainable mobility system, will also make use of this system. Are the solutions brought forward by the sustainable mobility team increasing the life satisfaction or life expectancy, or are they reducing the ecological footprint? This is key.

The most important concept that emerges out of the sustainable mobility plan for the future is plan for self-driving vehicles on the island. At first, these vehicles can be deployed to transport the tourist along certain routes over the island. Later on, they can also be deployed for the Texelaar. This type of public transport, can come whenever you want, wherever you want on the island. That makes it much more accessible than current transportation options and therefore it is supposed to boost the HTI. We have to be careful however, as an increase of transportation could also negatively effect the HTI. The same way, deployment of driverless vehicles could mean a loss of jobs, which could negatively effect certain parts of the Texel community and therefore the HTI of parts of the community.

6.2.2 Water cycle

The water cycle group, focusses on the long term on making Texel self-sufficient in terms of water supply and clean water production. Different strategies are deployed here, among them water reduction plans by introducing cleaver water heads, proliferation of information about how to save water, re-use of grey water and recycling of water. In the future, when sustainable energy systems such as solar panels allow this, desalination could be employed as well. The basic strategy for the future is reduce, re-use, recycle. This is a strong concept and should be carried out by a strong vision. Ideas to combine it with the mobility system, is for example to incorporate media systems such as screens in the self-driving vechicles that inform the tourists about the unique self-suffiency regarding the water system. An app for people who are on foot or by bike could fulfil this same role. Furthermore, when these driverless vehicles take the tourists along routes on the island, education and research centers can be placed along these route, where one of these centers can also function as a water research center. We don't see immediately problems arising here, this relation is more one of opportunities. These two subsytems could enhance each others, by connecting touristic (mobility) routes with warer (research) facilities or remarkabilities.

6.2.3 Texel as host

The group of Texel as a host, came up with the idea for a special route over the island, with nodes on the route showcasing how production chains are connected. For example, the final product is a nice meal in a restaurant. But where are all the ingredients coming from? On which potato farm are the potatoes grown? And what is so special about these potatoes? This idea is very well combinable with sustainable mobility, especially for the visitors of the island, the tourists. The tourists can take a route walking, by bike, or by vehicle and make stops in places in the map which have caught their interest. This way they wil enjoy the mobility and they will learn characteristic things of the island. Here the same applies as for the group of the water cycle, this relation is one that above all embodies opportunities instead of threats. Key is therefore to align these two subsystems optimally.

6.2.4 Public Space

For the group of sustainable mobility, giving the public space of Texel and the individual villages an identity is very important. They feel many of these villages already have a strong identity with their subculture, architecture and the entrepreneurs living in these villages, however these facets are not really expressed in the public space. These assets of Texel, can be stressed in the public space to enhance the feeling of a shared identity and to enhance the community. Local entrepreneurs could be the link between the sustainable mobility system and the public space system. They could be involved in thinking about ways to show the public by the sustainable mobility system, the public space of these villages and what is so special about it. An example could be self-driving vehicles with an interactive screen on board, that tells the tourists the remarakble things in every villages, with regard to the public space and the architecture. A mobile app could do the same job. Public Space is also important for the mobility system, because the way public space is designed, defines to a certain degree how the mobility system works. If Texelaars opt for a car free centre of the villages for example, this could boost other ways of transport such as walking or biking.

6.2.5 Materials and waste

The material and waste group aims to create closed cycles of material waste and production. What the waste is for one entrepreneur, can be the crucial ingredient for the product of the next entrepreneur. An example of this is could be coffee waste, which can be used to grow mushrooms on. This system does not have a lot of linkage with the system of sustainable mobility, although the idea of creating closed loops can be applied on both subsystems. The sustainable mobility system is about creating closed loops, where people can make use of their mobility wherever, whenever they want.

6.2.6 Agriculture, food and more

The plans of the ‘agriculture, food and more group’ revolve around the idea of using the same trucks to bring ‘exotic’ (from the main land) products to Texel and use those same trucks, to bring island specific food products to the mainland. Examples of products that could be very Texel related are saline cultivated vergetables such as potatoes, beverages such as Texel’s Skuumkoppe and new products such as the growing of abalones. These cargotrucks could become driverless in the near future, creating an efficient driverless cargosystem that is used to ship food to and from the island, wherever and whenever anyone wants. In this way, agriculture, food and more are will fit in well in the future sustainable mobility system. A risk of aligning this subsystem with our subsystem is that it could lead to an increase in cargo traffic, probably on times that people don't prefer this kind of traffic close to their house. It is important that proper regulations for these 'drone-trucks' will be made, in terms of working times and quantity.

6.2.7 Leisure and knowledge

The leisure and knowledge group, basically have two ideas for leisure and knowledge. On one hand, they want to create a route, that connects points of interest on the island. The other idea is to have a Research Center combined with an Educational Facility, where children can ‘co-create’ innovations on the island. This facility would be attached to the route over the island. This route can be perfectly combined with sustainable mobility, since tourists can make this route walking, by bike or by vehicle and learn this way more about the island. It could be combined even better, by creating an App with a map, that guides the tourists over the island, while informing them about the points of interest to be found on the island.

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7. Conclusions from Texel

In this last chapter, we present our conclusions from the field study on Texel. Finally we present our vision for mobility on Texel in the future.

In this last chapter, we present our conclusions from the field study on Texel. Finally we present our vision for mobility on Texel in the future.



Despite our intensive research before we went to Texel, our view has been changed this week. This section displays our findings of this week and will indicate how we can adopt these in our final design. Our initial idea focused on four different modes: public mode, private mode, a tourist attraction and a mode concerning transportation of goods and people with driverless vehicles. We came up with short-term solutions for the private and public mode and recognised long-term trends in the tourist attraction and transportation mode. When presenting these to the big group on Texel, the driverless vehicles were picked up as a unique possibility for Texel. Therefore we have developed a driverless vehicle vision that will eventually incorporate the three other modes. However, the “everyday” mobility (the bakfietsen bike rental, the carpooling initiative, etc) that we had plans for will not be a part of the last presentation here on Texel but could still be implemented. Since these initiatives have a smaller time frame, these are easier to implement.

After talking to Pieter de Vries of Gemeente Texel, who is working with the Texelhopper project, we realized that the public transport sector on the island involves more aspects than we thought upfront. The Texelhopper project has just started, but it is innovative and has a promising future. We also found out that there is interest in making Texel a test location for new technologies. Riding the Texelhopper and speaking to the driver, we realized the importance of the social role of the drivers on the busses.Moreover the bus drivers fulfil a very important in the local community, by bridging the different subgroups and the different villages. Moreover, by making all public transport driverless, these local people would lose their job and this could have a negative effect in a small community like Texel. These are notions that we have incorporated in our final design.

Regarding the Texelhopper project, there is always room for improvement. What we would like to see happen is more focus on fuel in existing public transport/taxis to make them even more sustainable, for example by changing from diesel or gasoline to biofuels or electricity. This is done in the private car sector to some extent, but not in the public. During our interview with Pieter de Vries we found out that the willingness is present but the financial capital is lacking.


Based on our analysis, we foresee a future mobility system that slowly transitions into a mobility system where electric mobility will become more and more important. Furthermore, we foresee a future where the client (people using the mobility system) becomes more demanding. Just as they can find anything they want to know, at any time, wherever they are as long as they have an internet connection, people will more and more require this same kind of flexibility and tailor-fit solutions in other areas of life. Mobility is not an exception to this.

Another trend that has been described is the emergence of the lease economy. With the tendency that people lease their assets whenever they need them, instead of owning them and having a regular monthly bill to pay for using it, this will have an effect to the mobility and transportation system of people as well. It is probable that in the future less people will own a car for instance, but lease the car whenever they need it. And why would people need to drive a car to get from A to B, when the car can drive them to their desired location on its own? Driverless vehicles are slowly getting to the market and within 20 years these cars could have become mainstream. This means that at any time of the day or night, you can order such a car to bring you from A to B and since no driver is required, personnel costs can be maintained relatively low. As personnel costs are usually the highest costs in an enterprise, it does not necessarily have to be expensive.

After conducting the research, the conclusion is that driverless electric vehicles form a crucial part of the future subsystem. However, before Texel as a whole can transition into this new future subsystem, it will have to go through certain phases just like any innovation.

The initial focus for the driverless sustainable mobility system is on the tourists. By doing this, Texel can stand apart from other tourist destinations and emit its innovation ambiance to the world. They will be able to make use of driverless vehicles, that can transport the tourists along certain routes over the island. These routes connect points of interest that showcase sustainable products and companies that enhance the identity of Texel. At the beginning, this could be on a small closed track where no other traffic is allowed. When successful, it can be expanded to larger areas of the island. When the Texelaars got used to the idea, the electric rental cars for lease could then also become driverless. This would result in a final transition into an almost completely driverless vehicle island. An innovation island.


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Appendix A: Interviews

This section contains the reports on the interviews our group conducted.

This section contains the reports on the interviews our group conducted.

Antoine Maartens from Urgenda

Urgenda is a foundation that has been founded in 2007. The mission is to improve and stimulate sustainable development. Antoine is the program manager for sustainable Wadden Islands. The interview was conducted in a semi-structured way. We had prepared some topics which we wanted to know Antoine’s on. This report is therefore not an exact transcript but more an impression of the conversation.

Project history

To start the interview of, we were very curious where and by whom the project of “Texel as a sustainable island” was initiated. Antoine immediately had to correct us however. “Texel as a sustainable island” is not a project but more an overarching name for several smaller initiatives. The ideas for these initiatives were originated in so-called arenas. These are meetings which try to envision sustainable transitions. These arenas were organised all over the country, but Texel is a very good place to start such a case because, since it is an island, it is rather isolated. This minimises external influences and makes it more easy to initiate transitions. Several examples of these initiatives are:

  • 25 new charging poles for electric vehicles;
  • electrical transport hospitality;
  • a new docking method for the TESO ferry in Den Helder;
  • a new ferry (the old one is using between 3,5 and 4 million liters of diesel every year.


At the first meeting of the engineering for sustainable development course we were told that the goal of Texel is to be completely durable in 2020. We thought of this as being energy independent as well. We asked Antoine on his vision for this goal. According to him the goal is not to become energy independent by 2020 but to be energy neutral. This means that as much energy must be generated as is being used. The electricity cable connecting Texel and the mainland will still be required and no large electricity generators will be installed on Texel, but rather a few small ones. It will be very hard to reach this goal in 2020 however.

We were also wondering how the Texelaars are dealing with the plans for their island. According to Antoine we can look at the elections for the city council as an answer to this question. The parties which are in favour of sustainability are in the coalition, although no one wants to install windmills. The Texelaars believe that this will negatively influence tourism due to visual pollution, which Antoine doubts. He mentions that one of the German Wadden islands (Borkum) has installed a number of windmills and no drop in tourism was measured.

When asked about his stance on solar energy Antoine tells us that the permit for a solar field near the Pontweg has been granted. The solar panels will be partly be installed floating on the freshwater reservoirs. The province however is not willing to decrease the amount of farmlands in order to create more solar fields. Solar panels that are floating in the sea are unfortunately also not possible because the waves of salt water will damage the solar panels. The efficiency of modern solar panels and the overall space of possible locations, according to the current zoning, is too small to provide enough energy to fulfil the demand.

This is why Antoine was focussing on a combination between wind and solar energy, as the solution for Texel to become energy neutral. Because of the lack of space for solar energy, solar energy will only provide a reasonable amount of clean energy during the day and especially during summer, whereas wind energy will provide a more consistent flow of energy during times when there is no generation of energy by solar panels. The only problem to overcome is to decrease the opposition against wind turbines.

Stance of the Texelaar

Since Antoine’s projects are very much focussed on electric driving we asked him about the feedback he received from Texelaars with regards to electric driving. Antoine starts of with indicating that nowhere in the Netherlands the number of charging poles per capita is as high as on Texel. He and others have put in great effort to persuade people of buying an electric vehicle. This has been moderately successful up to this moment. There are about 50 electric vehicles on the island, of which one is a taxi.

The Waddenfonds has granted subsidies on a purchase base. Another idea is to introduce a car sharing program with electric cars. An entrepreneur called Hans Werner has recently started such a company on Terschelling. Antoine has put his plans in the fridge to offer the space to Hans Werner, with whom he is regularly in touch. Antoine is leaving the space for Hans Werner because Urgenda is not a company, it takes its hands from initiatives whenever the market picks it up. The Skylche e-auto as the project is called can be rented for a monthly fee of 50 euros with additional costs of 19 eurocent per km. Since the distances that people travel on the island and the average monthly costs of owning a car are around 350 euros, this would be a perfect solution for many Texelaars.

For Skylche e-auto, a car needs to be driven 37 hours per month to be cost efficient, the extra time is profit. On the other hand Antoine highlights that Terschelling has a natural protection, the ferry to and from Terschelling is not able to take on cars. The Texel ferry on the other hand is. This would mean that people will be able to transfer the cars to the mainland, which is not desirable. We think however, that these problems can easily be overcome by introducing a GPS-connected chip, that turns off the car engine automatically as soon as the car leaves the island. Technology will be able to provide solutions for problems such as these. Nevertheless, people can attempt to do strange things with rental cars Antoine knows from Hans Werner, who has considerable experience in the business.

The main problem with starting such a company is the software that needs to be put into the cars. On Terschelling there is also the problem of mobile connection. Some parts of the island have no mobile coverage. On Texel this problem does not exist however.

When enough cars will be available, Antoine thinks that Texelaars will use this system and that tourists will try them out. Cars are very popular, the main question is: who is willing to do the initial investment? Antoine has calculated that about 100 cars are needed on Texel to make this a successful initiative.


When asked after other possible initiatives like package drones or hydrogen cars Antoine states that hydrogen is a hoax in his eyes. The technology is far behind when compared to electric cars, which also boast the first mover advantage in the field of cleaner transport alternatives.

When looking forward to 2020, Antoine thinks that the amount of electric cars will increase a lot. The population of Texel is aging, younger people often leave the island. The total population will therefore decrease in the coming years and with them the distance travelled on the island. What is considered as a small distance on the mainland is quite a trip on Texel. Some people from De Cocksdorp are never in Den Burgh because it’s on the other side of the island. So people don’t travel often but when they do, it’s just a small trip. This makes Texel ideal for electric cars because the limited range is no issue on Texel.

Antoine thinks that the municipality can enforce or change regulations, to stimulate electric driving. However, to think that all cars have to be electric, or that fuel cars will be banned from the island, or parts of the island, is unrealistic. That would harm tourism to much. Most families own a MPV or a SUV and there are no affordable electric solutions in these car segments yet. But nonetheless, electric driving will become popular if the regulation and possibilities that facilitate electric driving will come into place.

Getting things done

One important issue that was stressed from the beginning of the course is the possible resistance to change from the Texelaars. We asked Antoine what his experience is on this subject. He thinks that it is all about respect and striking the right chord. Most changes on Texel are initiated by people from the mainland, ‘outsiders’ according to the Texelaars. The Texelaars are open to change, but it is important that the outsiders respect their ways. Money is even a of secundary importance, the respect for their lifestyle is primary.

One of our ideas is to use local people as policy entrepreneurs, local people that have a leading role in society and that can inspire other people. We asked Toine who he would find suited to fulfill such a function. These were the people that Antoine mentioned:

  • Mark van Rijsselberghe: father of the olympic medallist Dorian van Rijsselberghe and already a policy entrepreneur in the field of saline agriculture. This man has no links to any political parties and therefore has a lot of freedom.
  • Jacco Dros: from ZO Texel, an organisation that aims to give a new twist to tourism on the island. This party really has a different view according to Antoine.
  • Maarten Drijver: a fisher who has experience in lobbying. He successfully introduced pulse fishery, a way of fishing that saves about 35% of diesel and reduces bycatch. Because the engines are no longer required to run at full throttle during fishing, the ships are fueled with a cleaner diesel. This diesel contains less oil because the engines require less lubrication. The combinations of these measures reduces CO2 emissions a lot.
  • Gijs Berger: has worked a lot on the mainland, but is currently involved in the Texel energy corporation. One of his projects is the solar field mentioned before.
  • Urgenda: Antoine explains that his organisation has a lot of contacts on different places on Texel.


Before thinking about introducing new kind of transporation systems, the necessary underlying energy system should be in place. Currently Texel is still heavily depending on energy from the mainland. By deploying a combination of wind and solar energy, Texel could become a lot more energy neutral already on the short term, such as the year 2020. New transportation systems such electric rental cars can then be applied on top of this clean energy system, which should be able to provide sufficient energy all year round. In order to create a behavioural change among the Texelaars, four things are needed:

  • Further development of sustainable technologies;
  • Local Texelaars or mainlanders that are willing tot take the entrepreneurial risk of deploying this new technology on the island;
  • Local regulations paving the way for the Texelaars to adopt these new technologies;
  • Local policy entrepreneurs that want to take the role of innovators or early adopters, meaning that they adopt as one of the first ones the new technology and actively promote its use.

When these 4 prerequisites are in place, Texel makes a good chance to rapidly transition to a more sustainable mobility system.

Hans Werner from Skylche e-auto

During our interview with Antoine Maartens, mister Maartens mentioned Hans Werner as an interesting sustainable entrepreneur who has recently started a car sharing business with electric vehicles on the island of Terschelling. We contacted him to find out more about his experiences.

Hans Werner has his fair share of experience in the car rental/business. He is a former member of the board of directors of KAV car rental. Connect Car is a department of KAV which is operating in the car sharing industry. In his time at KAV and connect car, mister Werner had some unpleasant experiences with car sharing. After a talk with Robert Henrich, CEO of Amsterdam based car sharing company Car2Go, mister Werner started brainstorming about possible alternatives that could make car sharing with electrical vehicles work. He started thinking about the main disadvantages of car sharing (criminality) and electrical vehicles (range) and started thinking about locations where these disadvantages could be neutralised. He soon came to the conclusion that this location should be an island. The range no longer plays a major role, because distances on an island are small. There is less criminality on an island like Terschelling. The water surrounding the island creates a natural border around the island and prevents the cars from leaving the island and the amount of social control is high, which keeps people on the right track. Besides that mister Werner found out that the price of mobility on an island is shockingly high compared to the mainland. A car sharing business has something to offer to the consumer on the island because it can save them a lot of money.

According to mister Werner sustainability is very important to the people of Terschelling. The inhabitants are proud of their island. It has some beautiful nature areas, which the inhabitants want to preserve. Nature is also important for the local economy because it is one of the major reasons that tourists are drawn to the island. On the other hand do the people of Terschelling fit in the Dutch money saving stereotype. Sustainability is important, but it should not come at a higher price. The business of mister Werner fulfils this demand. The slogan of the company is: more mobility for islanders, at lower cost. This is the mind-set on which the company is based. This company combines the sustainable desire of the island with an attractive offer. According to mister Werner the company is not just a nice story, he really has something to offer to the people of Terschelling and to the sustainability ambition of the island itself.

The service is originally targeted towards the people of the island, but also open for visitors of the island. Everyone who wants to use these cars can apply. In fact, tourists are eventually needed to make the company a success. The company is able to continuously monitor the occupancy of the cars. Mister Werner indicates that the company will make sure that the occupancy from tourists doesn’t prevent island inhabitants to use the service. This however is not yet the case and the company is still considering different possibilities on how to handle this in the future. One possibility is to limit the amount of tourists that receive a password on a monthly basis.

Initially the inhabitants received the service with a lot of scepticism. Fortunately for mister Werner this scepticism rapidly transformed into enthusiasm. The service has been released 9 weeks ago and already has 1025 subscribers. It is safe to say that the people of Terschelling have quickly embraced the service.

Before the company was launched, a feasibility study was conducted, which gained a lot of publicity. In this study the participants were presented with a calculation of the price of owning a car versus a subscription to a car sharing service. Already with 5000 annual kilometres it can easily be shown that car sharing is cheaper on the island. With a small Korean car it is possible to drive up to 37 hours per month. Since the island is small, almost no one on Terschelling reaches this number. Next to this feasibility study, four cars were placed on the island for a few months for the people to try them out free of charge. This turned out to be a success. When eventually the subscriptions were opened the company added one week of free driving to the subscribers. This has significantly boosted the amount of subscriptions, but the largest amount of subscriptions came in after the service was available for a few weeks.

Ever since the release mister Werner has been receiving a lot of positive feedback. Some people have even indicated to sell their (second) car. This was also one of the outcomes of the feasibility study. Of the participants, 17% indicated that they were willing to sell their secondary, or even primary vehicle. This number provided mister Werner with a good argument against critics who stated that 100 vehicles were added to the total amount on the island. This number shows that the amount of cars will in fact decrease with 240.

 The first goal of the company is to survive this winter and to make the system work completely flawless. Thereafter a logical next step would be to expand the company to other islands, like Texel. Mister Werner already has established contact with the municipality of Texel.

There are a number of islands between Den Helder and Denmark. On some of those islands the service could easily be copied, other islands however are different, and those islands will need a tailored approach. On some islands, research into the local infrastructure will be needed. Texel is one of those islands. Mister Werner is willing to investigate, but only wants to launch on other islands when he is possible to live up to the promise of sustainable and cheaper mobility. According to mister Werner there are too many initiatives in the Netherlands that can’t live up to this promise at the moment and he is not willing to be one of them. Mister Werner stresses that trust is a very important matter. When you want to offer people a new way of mobility, these people must be able to trust you. Mobility is very important to all people and is therefore a matter that should be carefully handled.

As a final advice mister Werner points out that he thinks that sustainable initiatives in the Netherlands need more decisiveness. He sees a lot of initiatives that lack a proper business case. Often large claims are followed with limited actions. A frequent problem is that these initiatives lack feasibility calculations and that halfway through the project extra finance is needed. According to mister Werner initiatives should first be thoroughly thought through and proven to be effective before large claims are made.

Pieter de Vries from Gemeente Texel

As part of our field trip to experience the mobility on Texel, we arranged an interview with Pieter de Vries. He is a civil servant of the municipality of Texel and primarily assigned with projects on sustainability. The focus of this interview is on the new Texelhopper service, which at the time of the interview had been implemented for just a few weeks.

Mister De Vries started off with explaining how the project was created. The Province of North-Holland initiated it because the province is responsible for public transport all around the province. At the same time a project group on Texel itself was planning to revise public transport. There certainly was room for improvement within the public transport system. A lot of people were not served by the old bus service (line 29) that would circle around the island. Some trips would take such a long time that it was no longer feasible to use the public transport. Occupancy was also very low on this line. Actually the line was on top of the to-be-terminated list. So both the province and the people on Texel desired a new way of public transport on the island. The project group in the end came up with a concept that combines public transport and taxis and eventually the project evolved into its current state. 

When asked about the first local reactions mister De Vries explains that initially the project had to cope with a lot of resistance. According to him the underlying reason for this protest is resistance to change, but the main mistake that was made was that the wrong information was communicated in the early stage of the project. The municipality and the province had to decide on the financial aspect in a public meeting. This was in the early stage of the project and details were not yet known at the time of the meeting.

The first media coverage also was not communicated by the municipality but by the chauffeur of the old bus line who was afraid to loose his routine or even his job. This negative coverage made sure that the municipality was lagging behind the opposition and this is far from ideal in a decision making situation. On top of that a few people started a campaign on social media to protest against the closing down of line 29. This caused a lot of noise on the island as well. According to mister De Vries, the majority of the Texelaars had a wait-and-see mentality concerning the issue. Since these people dont have the incentive to seek media attention, the emphasis soon was with the protest. This lead to a lot of political discussions. It also is a very difficult project. The province is responsible, Connexxion is the tenderer, and the local authorities need to convince the people of Texel. And there are more actors with influence like the national government and TESO. However, since the service has been introduced a change towards more positive feedback and media coverage can be observed.

When asked about the fact that it is not yet possible to use the OV chipcard mister De Vries indicates that the idea was to make a stand-alone system. This system should include a card system but there would also be a possibility to check in with a smartphone connected to the internet.

Currently users can pay by opening the app with their smartphone, reserve a ride and than use ideal or a credit card. Paper tickets are also available at supermarkets and hotels. A third option is the personalized Texelhopper card, which is available for free as well. The rides are billed on a monthly basis when using this card. Up to this point 1100 people (10% of the total population) own a card.

The service is conducted with four dedicated minivans each with a capacity of eight passengers. When needed during peak times, 25-30 vehicles are available, including large city busses for large groups. The initial idea was that the dedicated busses should be electric in order to immediately start reducing the carbon footprint. Unfortunately it turned out that charging is a problem. This would require more busses, because a part of them would permanently be charging. Combined with the higher price, the use of electric busses would have raised the cost of the project a lot. Therefore the municipality decided to start the service with regular petrol busses. The service still has the potential to be more sustainable because it can reduce the use of cars on the island. It should be more attractive to use a Texelhopper than it is to use a car. The life expectancy for the busses is not yet known. The project currently is a two year pilot and will be evaluated after that time period. The busses currently run on time in 97% of all trips.

The Texelhopper operates according to the times of the ferry. It starts with the departure of the first boat and terminates after the arrival of the last one. This is a huge improvement because the other bus used to terminate its service at 18:00. In a control room a large screen shows all bookings and predictions of occupancy. The system of course still is a work in progress.

The biggest cost at this moment is personnel. Therefore we asked mister De Vries what he thinks of our driverless vehicle initiative. Could this eventually take over a service like Texelhopper? According to mister De Vries it could be, but there are many constraints. But in the long term? Who knows! Why not? Texel is really willing to be a pilot island and it is an ideal location because of its unity and visibility. But the social function of the driver should also certainly not be forgotten

According to our research the busses should have been fitted with bike racks. It is at this moment still a wish and not yet implemented. Mister De Vries appoints that it would be ideal to take the bus against the wind and than bike back or the other way around.

When discussing the future of the program mister De Vries indicates that the first goal is to improve and fine tune the system. When the success is proven a next step could be to decrease price, or even make the service available for free. The money to finance this could possibly come from the taxation of other forms of mobility. The Texel vignette system could for instance be expanded. It now allows people to park in selected areas for the entire year at a price of 15. This system can be expanded to other villages as well. But mister De Vries emphasises that this is just one possibility and that we should not take for granted that this will be the implemented solution. There are a lot of possibilities available.

According to mister De Vries the cost is mainly depending on the occupancy. A comparison with the old system has not yet been made. The cost of the new system was higher but it also creates more jobs and serves more people. The average occupancy should be four passengers in order to reach the break-even point. Texelhopper receives subsidies from the government as well. 



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