A Glimpse into the Future of Mobility
The summer holidays are here, and Sandra, a 16-year-old living in Countryville, is eager to meet her friends in the bustling city of Metropolis. Armed with her mobile phone, Sandra opens a mobility app and quickly finds the best route to reach Metropolis. Within minutes, she books a ride that will depart in 10 minutes right from her doorstep.
As the time arrives, Sandra steps outside and sees the on-demand shuttle waiting for her. She hops in and heads to a transfer hub where shuttles from nearby areas converge. From the hub, Sandra easily catches a bus departing for Metropolis in just five minutes.
At the transfer hub, she runs into her neighbor, Claudia.
“Hey, Claudia! Where are you coming from?” Sandra asks.
“Good to see you, Sandra! I just came back from the city by bus. I had my groceries delivered to this transfer point, and I’m about to pick them up. After that, I’ll get my bike from the bike box, pack my groceries on it, and ride home,” Claudia explains.
The two friends chat until Sandra realizes her bus has already arrived. She says goodbye to Claudia and gets on the bus to Metropolis. Finding a cozy spot, she settles in to enjoy a book during the ride. Once they reach the city, the bus swiftly travels on dedicated bus lanes until it reaches the mobility hub. Sandra gets off the bus and walks the last 500 meters to her destination, which is conveniently nearby.
Digital Mobility Concepts
This mobility scenario exemplifies Sandra’s seamless journey from the countryside to the city, offering her the freedom to leave at her convenience and arrive reliably and promptly at her destination.
Mobility On Demand
Sandra’s journey commences with a mobility app, serving as her gateway to booking rides and accessing information about available mobility options. With an annual subscription to all mobility offers, Sandra can use them as frequently as she likes, eliminating concerns about costs and ticket availability.
For the initial leg of her trip, Sandra opts for an on-demand shuttle. These vehicles follow fixed or customized routes, encompassing both traditional and virtual stops suggested by the app. Alternatively, passengers can request pickups right from their front doors. The on-demand shuttle provides a comparable level of comfort to traveling in one’s own car.
Mobility Hubs with a High Quality of Stay
The on-demand shuttle takes Sandra to a transfer point, a mobility hub where shuttles from the region converge. This hub serves as a gathering point, where passengers from less frequented routes are transported to their respective destinations. It also offers excellent amenities, enabling meaningful utilization of waiting time. Whether it’s grabbing a few groceries, enjoying a cup of coffee, or meeting up with others, the transfer point ensures a valuable and enjoyable stay.
The Bus: Highly Timed and Comfortable
From the transfer point, Sandra continues her journey to the city via bus. Timeliness is a priority, as seen in major cities where underground transportation operates on such reliable schedules that waiting times never exceed ten minutes. Sandra is guaranteed a seat on the bus, as its capacity is carefully managed to ensure sufficient availability. The seats not only enhance travel comfort but also contribute to passenger safety. Overall, the bus aims to provide an exceptional travel experience. Passengers can enjoy amenities like Wi-Fi, entertainment, and designated silent zones for reading, working, or simply relaxing during the journey.
Mobility in the City: Low-car and Networked
Within the city, the bus travels along dedicated bus lanes, enjoying priority over cars and ensuring faster travel times. Sandra disembarks at another mobility hub where a range of transportation options awaits, including rental bicycles and scooters, facilitating easy last-mile coverage.
In our mobility scenario, however, Sandra chooses to walk, highlighting the need for cities designed with people, rather than cars, in mind. The joy of walking should be embraced, allowing individuals to relish the experience of strolling through urban environments.
This is How This Mobility Scenario Comes About
Focus on the Needs of Users
Concepts like this already exist in various forms. To bring them to life, it is imperative to place users and their needs at the center of all considerations and actions. Mobility solutions should be tailored to meet these needs. The first step involves systematically assessing requirements, which can be accomplished through analyzing data collected by digitalized vehicles and conducting direct interviews with existing and potential users. It is particularly important to engage non-users of public transport, as their participation is crucial for achieving mobility transformations and environmental goals.
Once the needs are identified, the next step is to determine the most suitable mobility service to fulfill them. This may involve bicycles, large buses, shuttles, rental scooters, or a combination of options. Attempting to serve an entire route with a single type of vehicle is unnecessary and often impractical. Instead, a diverse array of mobility services is needed. Ideally, these services collectively create a compelling alternative for car-dependent individuals, encouraging them to embrace public transport, while also enhancing the journey experience for existing public transport users.
Focus on Mobility Ecosystem and Vehicle Digitalisation
Ultimately, for most people, the manner in which they travel from point A to point B is not of utmost importance. Whether they opt for a small shuttle or a large bus becomes inconsequential. The key aspect is that they reach their destination comfortably and can effectively utilize their travel time. The central focus lies in establishing a well-functioning mobility ecosystem comprising various stakeholders. To ensure optimal synergy between shuttles, buses, bicycles, and scooters, these entities must engage in data exchange, participate in multimodal mobility platforms, and adopt standardized procedures for data sharing.
In summary, a multitude of services is required, available everywhere and at all times, to provide people with a genuine alternative to their private vehicles and to enable them to relish the benefits of public transportation. Achieving this desired mobility ecosystem necessitates collaboration among all stakeholders. Mobility providers, politicians, and public transport authorities must unite their efforts to bring this vision of future mobility to fruition.
The presented mobility concept is based on the Fraunhofer IESE study “Mobility Transition 2030” (available only in German).
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