How Does the Development of a Balanced Transportation Network Influence the Future of Mobility? – Part 1

The growing trend of integrated mobility services and infrastructures are creating a broad range of tools to manage the urban mobility network more efficiently. But, what are the main factors that really help to create sustainable mobility solutions?

From a consumer and end-user perspective, a balanced transportation network does include different traffic modes integrating individual modes such as car, carsharing, bicycle and taxi with collective modes such as ridesharing, trains, buses and even air travel.

Easy access to vehicles and seamless mobility based on intermodal trips give more opportunities, benefits and freedom than just using one mode, for example a car for all trips. Nowadays, consumers develop multimodal behavior which can be influenced by pricing, convenience setting and comfort.

From a mobility provider’s and also government’s perspective usually technical aspects are mainly focused. Just to offer a new cool App combined with a trendy sportive Electric Vehicles does not solve consumer demand.

However, a balanced setting of technical innovation, key enabling technologies in combination with branding and a social strategy, creates successful mobility services.

To achieve a balanced and an effective transportation system, it is better to stay within your core business. For example, technological companies bring you benefits as an App developer and then build a market-oriented platform and bring in other partners for branding, marketing and sales.

The social environment can be initiated and supported by various peer-group associations, etc.. This might need some time and it is related to policy and governmental support as well.

Different factors involved in creating a balanced transportation network

Innovative technical tools build a basic platform for automated individual solutions for an end-user solution. To establish consumers’ loyalty for the new service and system “the brand” creates the perception and identity as “my service” and “my solution” for my mobility needs.

This might build up a virtual local group or even a peer group that know each other to a certain extent. That makes people feel connected with the system as well as with other people having the same needs and habits.

This market triangle supports the constant service development and new application along the timeline. Technical innovation, branding development and local social adaptation foster the overall successful process of this mobility service.

Usually traffic concepts as part of urban development have helped to convince government and citizens to change policies and habits. Large infrastructure (= hardware) need a lot of investment and once built cannot be adjusted for some while (due to enforced depreciation) and are managed rather top-down.

Meanwhile, it is faster and less risky to focus on flexible platforms (= software) that are managed in the marketplace and run rather bottom-up. Due to new technical opportunities, new partner environments, new branding options and other social ventures this balanced transportation network performing as integrated mobility services can be flexible and fast adjusted always to customers’ demand.

Therefore, a balanced transportation network can complement the city infrastructure to an extent and develop a speed that the government could never keep up with and financially never be responsible for.

Policy supports markets and vice versa

A strong and at the same time open government policy builds framework conditions for innovative entrepreneurs. Start-up organizations should get initial funding for concept development and evaluation, not for the operation which must be covered by market forces all the time.

Once mobility services have established the government must not invest in these areas anymore and later in the best case even gets compensated via tax money for its initial support for early concept development.

Leave a comment: How many different modes of transport do you use for one single trip? Share your experience with us about using different mobility services.

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.