We believe that data is the fuel of mobility and will be the operating system – the brains and heart – of smart cities, and we are happy to see much more interest from transport agencies, municipalities, and private companies to harness the power of Big Data as an important tool to make their urban mobility decisions.
We’ve also seen more interest in our On-Demand solutions that incorporate Big Data analytics in the planning phase to determine where vehicles should be deployed, which can make the difference between a successful and failed On-Demand project. Since transport agencies have been struggling to quickly readjust fixed lines and with having their vehicles not in use because of COVID-19, we’ve seen the demand for these smart mobility solutions increase exponentially. Based on the increased interest, we can deduce that there are more providers turning to data-based Mobility as a Service solutions.
It’s no secret that the crisis had a direct impact on transport systems & ridership all around the world. COVID-19 created a new reality for cities and operators, reducing 40-90% of their ridership, as we saw first hand and documented in our report about the impact of COVID-19 on public transport.
We recently surveyed commuters in several European cities how they plan to travel around in the next six months to get some insights on what ridership looks like in the near future. 70% of Parisians said that they would be using public transport, not too different from 80% of Lisbon locals that said the same, compared to 49% of Italians.
When Parisians were asked what would encourage them to use public transport more, 43% said real-time arrivals to avoid having to wait at crowded stops, while 31% said pre-booking journeys with a limited number of rides would make them feel more comfortable. In Spain, the top answer was ‘disinfection and cleaning of vehicles more often’. So, we can anticipate that riders in different countries will have different needs when it comes to using transport, with an emphasis on maintaining social distancing and having the ability to pay digitally using mobile devices.
The industry has made great strides in simplifying multimodal journey planning, but there is still work to be done: exposing multimodal information to people that may not know these options exist, and making the plan, pay, and ride process completely frictionless.
The second obstacle is integrating mobile ticketing and payments for a seamless plan, pay, and ride experience. Currently, the journey planning and payment process of public transport is a largely disjointed hassle.
Having the ability to plan and pay for your multimodal journey is a game-changer: A hassle-free, simple user experience that would shift more people from using their private cars to alternative forms of transport. There needs to be more micromobility providers, transport agencies, and cities that will support mobile payments for riders to enable them to plan, pay, and ride through a single app.
Some predictions, based on the interest that we have received, include more data-based On-Demand solutions to support commuters in the first-/last-leg of their journey. We’ll also see more agencies leveraging Big Data and mobility analytics to better optimize and adapt their services as lockdowns end. We also predict more mobile ticketing and payment integrations, which will also enable people to pre-book seats on transport to help with crowdedness levels, and contactless payment solutions which are important in a post-COVID world.
Read the full interview here.