In the third episode from season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the future of mobility in cities and share ideas that would make it way easier to get around without owning a car. In the podcast, author Horace Dediu talks about micro-mobility; TriMet's Bibiana McHugh tells the story behind GTFS and the OpenTrip Planner; MaaS Global CEO Sampo Hietanen explains the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS); and Sidewalk Labs' Corinna Li explains what Mobility on Demand could be like in the city of the future.
Micro-mobility, or in other terms, “anything that’s not a car”, is a bunch of transportation means that are becoming more and more popular nowadays, perfect for short trips. In fact, “in the U.S., the most common trips are about less than five miles”. These vehicles that require physical and digital infrastructures are being rapidly upgraded and improved.
Moreover, the hosts talk about the need for open, standardized data formats, like GTFS, which represents schedule data for transit services, to help you move in a city. They discuss that Mobility as a service for the people, for the users, is a “promise of anywhere, any time”. Actually, in Finland, where all transportation service providers need to develop open interfaces, the application Whim, helps people use any modes they want, public or private, in any combination, and with one payment, ride them all, without jumping from one app to another.
Finally, cities are working on strategies to create mobility packages that can offer a frictionless way to travel that combines cost and convenience, making mobility in the future, as convenient as possible. This Mobility on Demand concept would also generate vibrant urban environment, “because, at the end of the day, it’s not just about mobility, but it’s really about what is the type of place and the feel of the place and the quality of life” that people want to have.