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.
It is hard, and not advisable, to make long-term decisions in the midst of the pandemic. But as certain mobility practices that are adopted during this period become part of our daily routines it is absolutely important to assess the potential of enduring after the pandemic. With that in mind, we may have the unique opportunity to hit the reset button and transform urban mobility.
Cities, and more broadly metropolitan areas, are the laboratories where many next-generation mobility concepts and technologies are being tested, and where the transformation of transportation will first become evident.
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).