BERLIN — 6 June 2018 — When global internet, investment and political leaders convened at the NOAH conference here today, Moovit was highly visible among them. Co-founder and CEO Nir Erez took the stage immediately after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who had followed insightful talks on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in journalism, digitization of the travel industry, and the opening keynote by former Vice President of the United States Al Gore.
Nir spoke about data’s critical role in shaping the future of urban mobility. He cited a recent Moovit study about traffic gridlock and underutilization of mass transit in the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts. Moovit’s proprietary data shows a 50 percent reduction in train travel and commensurate increase in auto traffic from the outlining town of Worcester to downtown Boston after 8:00 a.m. It’s not that people don’t want to ride the train but all the train station parking lots are full by 7:30 a.m., forcing people to drive downtown in what Nir calls “poor first-mile transit options.”
A solution, Nir suggested, is not to build more parking lots or charge drivers a congestion fee but to subsidize and promote local shuttles or services like Uber, Lyft or Via: “Before we spend billions on new infrastructure we should leverage data to better utilize systems we already have.”
Government subsidies already pay for 50 to 70 percent of transit, to the tune of approximately $1 trillion worldwide, Nir said. “Can’t subsidies be better allocated based on current, real-time data? And what if some of some of the subsidies can be redirected to the private sector?”
Moovit is uniquely qualified to provide data to inform such decisions. With its 170 million users in more than 2,200 cities in 80 countries, Moovit amasses more than three billion anonymous passenger reports every day. Nir predicted Moovit will have more than one billion users worldwide by 2021 and will power from six to 10 billion daily urban trips through its consumer app, planning and optimizing products and monitoring programs.
Nir opened his talk by reminding the audience he spoke at NOAH in Berlin in 2016 and in the two years since, “Moovit has grown its user base 5X.”
NOAH’s goal is to connect leaders to empower the European digital ecosystem. In addition to the annual conference in Berlin, NOAH convenes annually in London and Tel Aviv. It’s the #1 global internet conference measured by the number of unicorn companies (those with a $1 billion valuation) on stage. More than 7,000 people attend each year, including 3,500 digital executives, 1,500 start-ups, and 400 venture capital funds.
Image courtesy of NOAH.