The constant increase in the number of vehicles will saturate the cities. Many governments seeking sustainable economic and environmental solutions are searching for alternate ways to replace private ownership. The advent of on-demand taxi solutions was a giant leap in this direction. Now, the urban administrations expect shared mobility as a service as a complete overhaul of the traditional transportation system.
Private vehicle ownership is not only causing problems for regulatory institutions but the owners themselves too. Keeping a vehicle is becoming more of a bane than a blessing. Commuters are expecting a solution which saves money as well as time for them.
What is mobility as a service?
Uber and a bunch of other ride-sharing apps offer a shared environment where riders can acquire on-demand taxi. This rising concept is the beginning of an era where private vehicle ownership will be a thing of past. There is a gradual shift of riders from using private vehicles to shared ones.
The success of this business model encourages the businesspersons and metropolitan administrations around the world to scale up these services to include entire public transportation. The inclination toward public transport will pick up more pace. Consequently, the residents of major cities in the world will entirely quit private car ownership to adopt embrace mobility on-demand.
The scaling up of services would result in a centralized operation of all modes of urban transport. Instead of disparate command and control center for various means of traveling, the administrators are preparing to offer a universal regulatory system for taxi services, subways, rapid transits, and bike-sharing. Thus, the future is not confined to car mobility as a service.
Drastic Reduction in Traffic congestion
Every vacant seat indicates the inefficient use of a vehicle with considerably greater capacity. Over 80 out of every 100 cars in the urban areas have at most two riders. People tend to use private cars to travel to workplaces leaving a substantial amount of space in public vehicles. As a result, frequent traffic congestion is inevitable.
On-demand cab service only partially solves the challenge of transportation. The traffic problems still haunt the administrations. Nevertheless, some startups have begun to offer single seat instead of an entire vehicle. Via – the on-demand shuttle service – is a highly efficient model which serves as a precedent. The introduction of Via allowed many vehicle owners to quit ownership in favor of Via. The service ensures that each vehicle fills more than 80% of the seats. Thus, every vehicle in on-demand shuttle service eliminates many vehicles from roads and parking.
Reoccupying public spaces
The need for more spaces increases as the number of vehicles grows. An area that could have served as a community center or recreational facility ends up becoming a car parking facility. Unfortunately, the speed with which the public spaces are diminishing is alarming.
The primary objective of private car ownership was to ensure that people could save time. Unfortunately, the relentless increase in traffic indicates that the private ownership model is no longer a sustainable solution. Vehicle owners are spending almost the same amount of time on roads as public transport users. Thus, the city administrations will welcome any mobility as a service app which allows reduction in vehicle ownership. Surveys reveal that the passengers will voluntarily cease to keep private vehicles if an appropriate alternative is available to them.
Global warming Social responsibility
Another reason for quickly adopting shared mobility as a service is to fulfill social responsibility. Millions of vehicles running in urban areas are causing havoc to biodiversity. Apart from health hazard, pollution from vehicles is one of the major causes of climate change. The introduction of electric cars ensures a remarkable reduction in pollution. However, electric vehicles leave a carbon footprint too. However, the benefits of electric vehicles will fade out with the increase in the number of cars.
Therefore, the shared digital mobility is indispensable. Citizens are as concerned about the pollution factor of vehicles as the regulatory bodies. For the same reasons, both preexisting and new mobility services are ensuring shared on-demand commuting services.
Shared mobility is currently the most cost-effective solution to tackle increasing fares of ride-sharing services. Instead of a single person paying for the ride, multiple travelers occupying every seat will be able to distribute the fare. Moreover, service providers can offer various packages to frequent travelers. These packages will not only benefit the commuters but the transporters too.
The taxi on-demand service managed to bring significant relief to travelers by offering relatively far lesser taxi fare. Shared taxi services will cause an exponential decline in fares favoring the riders without affecting business profits.
Various Rides, Mutual Account
Currently, passengers can access taxi at their doorstep using a smartphone. Similar services enable them to find bike, vans and other modes of commuting. An average commuter has to maintain at least three different accounts for seeking commuting services and paying for it. Therefore, this excess of accounts disables them from effective financial management.
A mutual account for various ride services allows the commuters to have same account for rapid transits and cab services. This account enables them to keep the record of fares easily. Üstra offers a similar scheme with the assistance of Hanover administration in Germany. The travelers can pay for bike-sharing, cab, and buses with the same account. Hence, commuters experience a shared public transport environment from cycle to bus.
Onwards and Upwards
The appropriate legislation is one of the mobility as a service challenges. Fortunately, the successful implementation of shared mobility in some cities including Hanover and New York is encouraging regulators around. Analysts expect that all the metropolitan cities will introduce large-scale mobility as a service by 2030. The system will bring all the urban means of transportation under one centralized umbrella in each city.
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