Will new economies, e.g. ride-sharing and business models like MaaS kill nowadays public transport?
Over the past one to four years ride-sharing and mobility as a service (MaaS) have become hot topics. We’ll take those few minutes to give brief insight why the upper are inevitable and extremely important for future public transportation.
According to numerous researches, in 2008 for the first time in history, half of the world’s population lived in cities. It has been estimated that by 2030, 6 out of every 10 people will live in an urban area. By 2050, however, already 7 out of every 10 people will live in an urban area. This is not just happening in US and EU but according to United Nations also in Asia and Africa.
Heavy urbanization puts tremendous pressure on serving the population and and increasing the volume of public transportation services. As an example, the use of public transport has reached its highest levels in decades according to UITP. However, according to McKinsley & Company, many citiers have developed their urban core before invention of automobile even. Cities are evolution. More and more we are seeing car-free-zones, auctioned opportunity for license to drive in the city center etc.
Therefore, new modes of transportation are inevitable to serve the growing population, changing need and as for one reason, the current infrastructure cannot serve individual cars in those volumes in high density areas. Needless to say, the new generations are less car oriented as owning the car is not a privilege or status symbol anymore. Even worse, many younger generations look at car ownership more as a liability as they live global and extremely mobile lives. Therefore, the growing need for public transportation with mixture of convnienence services through different modes of transportation is needed.
Therefore, the new economies and new business models should not be taken as a threat to the traditional public transport but looked as an opportunity to lessen the need for heavy infrastructural investments by municipalities. Furthermore, they should be looked as an opportunity to provide multifaceted transportation options in world’s growing cities.
Traditional public transport will remain, traditional public transport ticketing will remain but more cooperation and interconnectivity in our technology rich era will provide better opportunities for travelers as well as for public transport operators. The MaaS as a business concept is new and needs proof as a model not as a technology. The ride-sharing as a new economy and mode of transpiration will not kill the traditional industry but help the cities to cope with exponential need for transportation. Both of those popular trendy services are helping to provide better transportation for our growing cities.