The following is a summary of an article published on GX.ae, a global government services excellence portal launched by the UAE Prime Minister’s Office.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant disruption in the mobility sector and led to a shift in consumer behaviour towards prioritizing safety and hygiene. With public transit ridership decreasing and consumers preferring the use of private cars, some see COVID-19 as a chance for urban planners to rethink the public realm with digital innovation to build better cities that prioritize the needs of residents and enable them to move through the city efficiently and safely.
This insight brief examines some scenarios proposed by Deloitte, Salesforce, and game changers that can help urban planners prioritize the needs of residents and enable them to move through the city efficiently and safely.
Scenario 1: Passing Storm
This scenario predicts minimal disruption in the mobility sector due to governments feeling justified in their handling of the crisis. Cities with sustainability-focused leaders will repurpose infrastructure to encourage walking and biking, leading to growth in new areas for ridesharing using bikes and e-scooters. The public transport system will improve to accommodate consumer preferences for safety and hygiene.
Scenario 2: The Good Company
In this scenario, the private sector takes a proactive role in filling the service gaps in post-pandemic cities. Private companies shape the mobility sector, replacing public transportation solutions with private mobility services with limited regulatory oversight. Fewer players dominate ridesharing and push cities to provide infrastructure for micro-mobility solutions, potentially at the disadvantage of underserved communities.
Scenario 3: Sunrise in the East
The East Asian model becomes the "gold standard" in this scenario, with East Asian governments partnering with private sector companies to export their mobility solutions worldwide. The world would see a rise in ridesharing and micro-mobility solutions provided by large Asian companies as consumers opt for long-term leasing or rent-to-own schemes due to diminished public funding for public transit in Western countries.
Scenario 4: Lone Wolves
In this scenario, governments play a more prominent role in providing and managing mobility solutions, leading to many solutions becoming "quasi-public" and forcing data sharing and surveillance. All forms of shared mobility face declining revenues, with companies trying to survive by fitting vehicles with partitions and self-cleaning surfaces and developing contactless systems.
Game-Changers for Improving Urban Transport and Mobility
A study by Arthur D. Little and the International Association of Public Transport proposed three strategies, or "game-changers," to improve urban transport and mobility.
Think and Act at a System Level: The first strategy involves developing a long-term mobility vision with public and private stakeholders, creating unified regulations, and reviewing the mobility-funding equation.
Promote Innovation through Public-Private Partnership: The second strategy involves collaboration with private companies in the development of innovative technology and business models. Singapore offers an example of promoting innovation through its "Singapore Mobility Challenge."
Set Up a Unified Mobility Management Model: The third strategy involves setting up a model for real-time optimization of mobility flows and assets based on a long-term mobility vision. This model also involves creating a "mobility data lake" where all mobility providers' data is aggregated and shared.