Individualized Marketing of sustainable transport modes for older citizens in Munich

The City of Munich, Department of Public Order initiated a pilot project which aims at improving older peoples mobility by the provision of information and guidance.

With the support of different partners a comprehensive guidebook was compiled giving an overview of sustainable mobility options including public transport, walking, cycling and a smarter use of the car in the city and region of Munich. This guidebook was sent by the mayor of Munich to 10.000 households in the age range of 60 to 75. The guidebook however is only a door-opener for an intensive marketing dialogue. By sending in a reply-card further information material can be obtained free of charge. In addition a registration for training courses, which have a relation to the daily mobility, is possible. Mobility guidance on the phone is delivered as well if requested.

Background & Objectives

Munich offers a wide range of options for its (older) citizens to be mobile. However most mode-of-transport decisions are made by habit. With the Individualized Marketing process a stimulous is given to reconsider the mobility choices.

With this approach the City of Munich mainly aims at reducing the car use while at the same time improving the mobility of older people. Social participation and road safety are important objectives as well.

The pilot project addressed the comparatively young old: from 60 to 75 years. This age group was chosen because citizens 60+ can obtain a monthly Public Transport ticket for a reduced price. It was limited to 75 years as the main objective is a reduction of car use and in the generation 75+ people still driving a car become a minority.


The following aspects are crucial in order to implement this campaign:

  • Data of households 60+ has to be obtained from the registration office. Data protection is an important issue in Germany. In Munich the process of obtaining the data took almost a year.
  • The wide range of interesting training courses and information material needs to be virtually discovered. This is a long and ongoing process as there are so many interesting things – but not always where you would expect them. If the guidebook only compiles the standard, already well-known information it will be regarded as useless. In Munich a network of partners was established involving for example the Police, NGO's like Green City offering cycling training courses or Internet courses, Public Transport operators, Senior Citizens organisations which offer joint hiking trips and many more. A couple of presentations about the project in different occasions helped to identify important partners and information. Interviews with a sample of older people at the start of the project were helpful in order to find out more about their mobility needs. Before printing the guidebook it was given to the same group and asked for critical remarks – which resulted in further improvements.
  • Important for the success is also that the sender of the mailing is well known and has a high reputation. In Munich for example the Guidebook was sent out by the mayor who is very popular. This gives trust and respect. Older people are frequently more sensible on issues like privacy and data protection so a trustful sender helps to reduce suspicions.

Costs & Funding

The measure implies a lot of coordination effort which should not be underestimated when allocating the resources. The cost for the “hardware” including printing, mailing and telephone calls is approximately 8€ per household. In Munich the measure was funded mostly by the City's own resources and received a co-funding by the EU in the frame of the AENEAS project


The Individualized marketing campaign for older people was not yet evaluated when this text was written. However an evaluation of this kind of dialogue marketing for another target group – the new residents - revealed a drop of automobile traffic by 3,3 % of the modal split.

If the evaluation of this project shows similar results the City of Munich will very likely continue with the campaign.

A recommendation for other cities which want to implement a similar measure is: don't do it half-hearted. It is a waste of resources if the most important cornerstones are not respected:

  •       direct mailing (addresses needed!)
  •       respectful sender
  •       attractive layout
  •       interesting content, not only the standard and well-known information
  •       network of partners providing further information material and training courses
  •       establishment of a dialogue: mobility guidance by phone

Contact Person
Ms. Johanna Balthesen
Firm: Kreisverwaltungsreferat
Address: Ruppertstr. 19, 80466 - Munich, Germany
Phone: 0049-89-23322442


The AENEAS project is supported by:
Inteligent Energy
The sole responsibility for the content of this case study lies with the authors.
It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Communities.
The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.