This article was published in a paid partnership with Siemens. Siemens is paying for my time only, not for my opinions.
Back in 2014, my husband and I decided to drive to New York and spend New Year’s Eve there. Although the businesses were closed, the traffic, as always, was horrible. Not to say that it took us 45 minutes to find a parking spot. After this experience, our enthusiasm dropped as we both were tired. At that moment, we both wished to have better ways to plan our trip.
Same city, different year. In 2016, we were visiting New York with a two-month-old baby and my parents. After a full day of walking, we were looking for options to get back to the hotel, and guess what. It was more expensive and much more time-consuming to take the train than taking an Uber SUV. We took Uber as that was a better option at that moment. Multimodal mobility wasn’t quite in place.
With the rising population in big cities and climate change, these types of choices can’t be made for much longer. The big questions are: how can cities offer an integrated, seamless user experience from the first mile to the last mile? How can municipalities provide a level of confidence in the public transport and at the same time make it more efficient? The health piece is critical, especially during COVID-19 time. Is there a way, as a passenger, to know the occupancy forecast and the live occupancy in public transport in real-time? What does it take to have better collaboration between cities, public transport authorities, and citizens? How to democratize data and put it to work for of all involved entities because in the end, it’s not about technology; it’s about collaboration, trust, and sharing data. These are all questions we need to answer when planning a new initiative.
During the Web Summit 2020, Devina Pasta from Siemens Mobility, together with her guests, discussed all these questions and one more: What are the big trends in urban mobility?
The big trends in urban mobility
Multimodal mobility has the potential to provide seamless-interconnected journeys and a space for reimaging the movement within urban cities. The idea is “If you can’t beat them, join them” – by combining all modes of transport into one smart mobility platform, cities can encourage convenient and sustainable transport options without asking commuters to forego the convenience of the personal car.
As congestion in cities rises, existing transportation can no longer keep up with the growing population. Here comes micromobility services that reduce the number of cars on the road, lower the environmental footprint, increase access to public transportation and provide convenient transportation methods for short trips — all while being cost-effective.
Lyft recently launched the LyftUp Scooter Critical Workforce Program, which provides free scooter trips to frontline workers (healthcare, first-responders, and transit) in six U.S. cities.
Speaking of electric scooter. Did you know that one kilowatt-hour of energy can only get a gasoline-powered car to travel 0.8 miles, while an electric scooter can travel 82.8 miles using the same amount of energy?
Flexible, on-demand transport services
Flexible transport services should be a must for big cities. Based on demand, Miami-Dade Transit partnered with Uber, Lyft for late-night essential ride options. The rideshare Go Nightly service replaces the suspended overnight Metrobus service.
Uber announced this year its plan to accelerate the transition to electric cars, committing $800 million in resources to help hundreds of thousands of drivers transition to EVs by 2025. And of course, when we talk about sustainability, we refer to the micromobility solutions as well.
Car sharing and ride hailing also have the potential to grow significantly in the upcoming years. What other big urban mobility trends do you see in the post COVID-19 era? Please comment bellow.