New urban transport models, technologies unlock benefits
New mobility services could improve the lives of all urban inhabitants, according to research conducted by the Coalition for Urban Transitions and presented at the ITS World Congress. Applying three types of new mobility services—electric, on-demand minibuses; subsidized shared rides; and trip-planning and ticketing apps—to London, Mexico City, and San Francisco, the research finds that, if integrated properly into mass transit systems, these services can make public transport more affordable, accessible, and sustainable.
“The way people live and move in cities is changing. The fact that companies in every region of the world are developing new mobility apps and services reflects the fact that urban dwellers everywhere want and need more convenient, flexible, and budget-friendly transportation options,” said Shannon Bouton, Chief Operating Officer at McKinsey Center for Business and Environment and one of the lead researchers.
The research paper, "Connected Urban Growth," also finds that, globally:
- More than 70 cities are already partnering with new private mobility services and addressing challenges public transit systems face, but only a handful are in the Global South.
- More than half of new mobility startups fall into the shared mobility category (e.g., mass transit and bicycle sharing). Sixty-three percent of those are based in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- Local companies in every region of the world are developing shared mobility apps.
In the U.S.:
- More than half the product innovation companies (e.g., electric and autonomous vehicles) surveyed are based in the U.S.
- 500+ transit agencies are providing open access to their transit data, helping consumers plan their trips more easily, but only 17 also allow users to purchase tickets using mobile apps.
The coalition says it is encouraging cities to consider how new mobility services can enhance public transit systems, and calling on urban policymakers to share more data, invest in mass transit infrastructure, and incentivize pilots and partnerships, among other recommendations.
“New mobility is certainly exciting, but where it can be more effectively combined and leveraged with existing public transport options, its potential can be truly transformative,” added Diego Canales, Lead Researcher, an associate with WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. “There is a real opportunity here for cities across the world to collaborate with new mobility to create more affordable, convenient, and environmentally friendly transport for all.”
The Coalition for Urban Transitions is an international initiative who says its goal is to support decision makers to unlock the power of cities for enhanced national economic, social, and environmental performance, including reducing the risk of climate change. The initiative is jointly managed by the C40 Climate Leadership Group (C40) and World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, with a steering group comprised of 20 institutions. The coalition provides an independent, evidence base for well-managed urban transitions that maximize benefits for people and the planet. This report is the coalition’s eighth publication. For more information, go to www.coalitionforurbantransitions.org.