Several megatrends will necessitate the transformation of urban mobility from one that is centered around the privately owned vehicle to one that is offered as a service, combines multiple modalities, and promotes sharing. The pandemic forced many of us to work from home and have goods delivered there, in the process causing us to rethink our mobility needs and practices in the context of urban travel. Work-related mobility deserves important consideration because about 30% of daily urban trips pre-pandemic were related to commuting. Many of the practices that will emerge from this rethinking will have their roots to the changes we made during the pandemic and could lead to a new normal for urban mobility.
There is no question that the pandemic is having a big impact on new mobility. Passenger transportation is down as reported by the dramatic decreases in public transportation ridership and mobility services rides. At the same time, goods delivery services are growing fast as more households are adopting Ecommerce. With these changes as a backdrop and realizing that many of them will stay with us post pandemic, what innovations and news are worth paying attention to?
June proved an extremely important month to the ongoing transformation of urban transportation.
New urban mobility will be a shift to the movement of consumers and goods provided as a service using vehicles of various form factors. In this piece I discuss what cities need to do in order to reap the advantages of new mobility and introduce the consumer’s urban transportation wallet as a composite metric for assessing a metropolitan area’s progress towards Mobility as a Service (MaaS).
In my forthcoming book Transportation Transformation I define next-generation mobility as the intelligent movement of people and goods using automated (or autonomous), connected and electrified vehicles. Next-generation mobility is still in its infancy, but I predict it will unfold in three phases.