Cities can create a better future for both people and the planet by incorporating mobility innovations into their sustainability plans. From ride-sharing apps to reloadable fare cards, these technologies provide citizens with affordable access to sustainable mobility services.
These solutions reduce climate emissions, improve quality of life and increase economic opportunities for urban populations – though to be truly effective, cities must ensure that their implementation strategies are inclusive and equitable.
Modern cities are turning to technology to transform their transit systems, whether that means buses, trams, subways or e-scooters. Modern transit systems now boast sensors which allow real time data communication among vehicles, traffic lights and the transportation system, which enables cities to identify mobility solutions which could improve services while decreasing congestion.
An internet-connected control tower technology platform, for instance, can monitor and prioritize all vehicles – cars, buses, freight trucks, ride-sharing services and bikeshares – that move through a city to optimize traffic flows and minimize delays or wasted fuel incurred by truckers. This saves them both money and time.
Digital mobility solutions can support various sustainability objectives, including air quality and noise pollution metrics. Cities can utilize these solutions to rethink their transit network’s planning and operations while considering civic preferences – for instance by adding new services or increasing investments in certain regions/neighborhoods for greater equity.
Implementation of digital technologies in urban mobility can be complex, involving numerous stakeholders with differing objectives, budgets and sources of funding collaborating together on solutions which have widespread impacts across a city.
Cities must create their own comprehensive mobility plans with specific, measurable goals in mind to facilitate sustainable urban mobility. These should include overarching objectives such as lowering emissions-related CO2 emissions and shortening commute times for citizens.
One solution for these challenges is using MaaS platforms that can manage different transportation options and offer travelers the optimal experience. Such platforms can optimize trip routes and schedules, streamline ticketing processes, provide real-time information and reduce congestion; connect to sensors to gather vehicle performance data as well as traffic conditions information – ultimately creating a superior traveler experience and increasing efficiency throughout the system.
Public transit systems are under severe strain, and new mobility services could help ease their load. Yet finding an ideal mobility formula involves many considerations that affect passengers (accessibility, cost and convenience), transit agencies (finance and regulation), cities as a whole (employment opportunities, environmental impact).
Finding the optimal mix of solutions can be challenging, so cities must forge partnerships with private companies in order to access new technology and funding sources, as well as expertise.
McKinsey Global Institute’s SOLUTIONS project seeks to accelerate the spread of successful policies and technologies for urban mobility through an international network of cities sharing their experiences. In addition, workshops and e-learning courses on six research themes (public transport, city logistics, transportation infrastructure planning/management, traffic management/planning etc) support capacity building as well as advice on creating lasting public-private partnerships/governance structures for urban mobility solutions.
Sustainable mobility solutions not only reduce congestion and carbon emissions, but they can also offer citizens several other advantages, including safer transport options like e-scooters and e-buses – which produce lower noise pollution than cars – but they can also help cities meet sustainability goals by minimizing waste while optimizing energy efficiency.
Businesses will soon have many opportunities for creating innovative mobility solutions in the coming years, but to thrive in such an environment they must first make strategic decisions and implement effective governance procedures. Companies should determine where they have capabilities available within the company as well as any areas which should be outsourced to private companies.
Smart transportation solutions can be an invaluable way of cutting costs, increasing employee productivity and expanding a business. Trucks stuck in traffic waste both time and fuel; by adopting carpool lanes, ridesharing services or smart transportation infrastructure businesses can improve fleet efficiency while simultaneously cutting operating costs.