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?
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.