article 13 September

Putting data in the driving seat: A manifesto for a change in urban mobility

Johan Herrlin, Ito World
For anyone living in one of the world’s mega-cities, or even just any urban environment, the reality of congestion, overloaded transport systems and delays are ever present and all too real.
And it’s hardly surprising.
We are a world of urban dwellers. In fact, in 2017, over half of the world’s population (54%) lived in cities and in North America; this figure stood at a staggering 81%. However, this figure is only set to keep growing, with 60% of the world’s population expected to be living in cities by 2030.
This increased focus on cities and the population boom has led, inevitably, to increased pressure on systems, gridlocked roads and rising pollution levels. The impact on future health and wellbeing is not difficult to envisage, and we have to find faster, more efficient and cleaner ways to move around our cities if we are going to continue to benefit from living in them.
A MaaS movement

Fortunately, we have seen a mobility revolution take hold over the past five years. Technological advancements and industry innovation are disrupting traditional systems and infrastructure at an increasingly rapid pace. Alternative and shared transportation schemes, from driverless cars to bike sharing, are being introduced and used by increasing numbers as populations look to navigate across cities in new ways.
Central to the success of these new modes of transportation, and with that Mobility as a Service (MaaS), is data. At the core of MaaS is a mobile application that puts the customer first, allowing them to craft their journey to their specific needs, priorities and preferences. This application relies on open data being provided by public authorities as well as established and emerging transit providers, so that it can be moulded (by people like those clever folk at Ito world) into human-navigable, real-time information which enables people to seamlessly move from A to B.
As the MaaS marketplace continues to evolve, public authorities need to lay a foundation and establish their place at the centre of the future urban mobility ecosystem, and this is what our new manifesto – ‘The MaaS Manifesto: Accessing a City’s Potential’ addresses.
A design for the future
It lays out just what is needed to unlock cities if they are to continue to move and thrive. It posits futures – both golden and bleak – and sets out a clear way forward for city authorities and transit agencies who want to be at the vanguard of smart tech and smart decisions. It is imperative that they take a leadership role in this new mobility landscape to seize the opportunity to shape and lead the future MaaS movement.
As manifesto contributor, Research Manager at the Centre for London, Silviya Barrett told us:
“We need to make more efficient use of cities’ finite road network, by reducing our reliance on cars and instead creating a transport system centred on public transport, walking and cycling, and making the most of new technology. By enabling shared mobility and seamless multi-modal journeys, MaaS has a vital role to play in providing information to encourage people to make smarter travel choices and to lead healthier lifestyles, making our roads safer, more efficient and less polluted. Achieving this vision, however, will require bold thinking and far-sighted leadership from both politicians and public transport authorities.”

The aim of our manifesto is to fuel this bold thinking and to provide a blue print for better mobility across our cities in the very near future.


To download a copy of Ito World’s MaaS Manifesto, and for more insight into unlocking urban congestion, click below.