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SwitchMed is boosting Mediterranean grassroots active in Sustainable Transportation

Discover these grassroots initiatives, promoting social and ecological innovation on sustainable transportation.
Published on Oct 02, 2018

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SwitchMed is boosting Mediterranean grassroots active in Sustainable Transportation

Photocredit @GoBike

Our cities are growing and so are the challenges to make them liveable. With a transportation sector that accounts for more than a quarter of the CO2 emissions in the world, non-oil based transportation alternatives, and efficient collective transport are an important part of the solutions to these challenges. Grassroots initiatives acting in sustainable transport are also a great part of this equation given their plentiful source of innovations, adapted to the specific societal issues of their communities. Nevertheless, initiatives from the southern shore of the Mediterranean have received little attention and support to date.

In this context, SwitchMed is supporting some green grassroots actions whose objective is to provide their community, resident of their country and visitors with easy access to quality, eco-friendly transportation alternatives and therefore, contributing to solve air quality issues. In total, 5 green projects in sustainable transportation, led by grassroots initiatives from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel have been benefiting from an incubation phase. During this phase the program helps implementing these initiatives by developing a “support plan?, coaching sessions, networking opportunities and by providing external technical support based on the needs identified in the “support plan?. In addition, after the implementation of their projects, these initiatives have the opportunity to become a member of the Switchers community.  

We invite you to explore these innovative green project focusing in sustainable transport sector

In Morocco, in the province of Figuig, Taxi Social, led by the Douiret Sbaa Association for Local Development is improving the mobility of nearly 50 families living in an isolated area. Thanks to the implementation of this project a vehicle with a capacity of 17 people, was hired and is ensuring the journey to the nearest town once every fortnight. It also remains at the disposal of the inhabitants in case of urgent needs such as childbirth, medical appointments and family issues¨

Go Bike is an Egyptian community initiative. its main aim is spreading the culture of cycling by organizing weekly sport events using bicycles to visit archeological, touristic, cultural and recreational sites, awareness campaigns about certain diseases and prevention methods. It promotes the use alternative mean of transportation reducing air pollution and fuel consumption.The initiative started six years ago and is currently supported by SwitchMed to improve its management and expand.

 LAILA is community Bike Workshop initiative in Tel Aviv. It promotes the use of sustainable transport by facilitating access to bicycles and teaching skills required to fix them. The initiative also helps reducing waste by reusing discarded bicycles and parts. Community Bike Workshop redirects these materials back into under-served communities where they teach community members to refurbish them and then re-integrate them into the transportation grid. SwitchMed is providing the initiative with training in fundraising in order to open a permanent space. The initiative will also produce electricity through stationary bicycles situated in their facility. Whenever needed, people will ride these bicycles and provide electricity needed for lighting, charging computers, etc.

Bus Map Project is also another grassrout initiative supported by SwitchMed. It focuses on helping non-users to understand the transport system In Lebanon. On the long-term vision, it will build up an association of bus riders who are conscious of and devoted to fight for the rights of the riders. Founders of this initiative are working on attractive and new online portal, giving access to transit data usually provided by governments or service providers to encourage general public to use public transport. In this way, it will make the existing system in lebanon more legible and attractive to non-users

"More riders mean more investment, catalyzing improvements that in turn attract more users of public transport explains Jad, founder of Bus Map Project".

In Tunisia, Pedalo is a social "coworking space" incubator and a bicycle delivery company. Together, these two sister structures unite several objectives: providing a space that encourages collaborative working and innovation, but also employment which is respectful of the environment to young unemployed individuals in a bicycle delivery company.

"The particular support of SwitchMed for Pedalo has been very useful in defining our economic model." says Adnen, co-founder of Pedalo.