By Sandra Phillips, Founder and CEO at Movmi

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Everyone is publishing their trend analysis for new and shared mobility mobility at the moment. And since everyone else covers the big four: autonomous driving, electrification, mobility-as-a-service and micromobility, I will focus on patterns of changes and transformations that involve different sociocultural and economic aspects. Over the next two weeks, I’ll share 7 trends that I believe will shape shared mobility in 2022.

Trend 4 – It’s all about Tailored Multimodal Ecosystems

I said I wouldn’t talk about Mobility-as-a-service since everyone else does but I do want to talk about multimodal ecosystems.

Let’s start with why I don’t like MaaS as a term: public transit and shared mobility by definition are already providing a service to customer. And until we have teleportation, it always involves a physical vehicle and not just apps for trip planning and booking. Add to that that transportation is a very local phenomenon, meaning public/private partnerships are not very scalable from one market to another! So you tell me how there is ever going to be a « Netflix of transportation ».

However:

“The pandemic – however unwanted and unexpected it was – has been accelerating the demand for MaaS » (Pia Karjalainen, former Executive Director of the MaaS Alliance)

I agree with Pia that the pandemic certainly has accelerated the demand for multimodal services. So let’s talk about why multimodal ecosystems or integrations are going to be huge in the coming years. They truly reduce friction and make transfers between modes more seamless. They are more resilient because if people don’t trust one mode, they’ll use another one. And they are more effective in managing transportation demand compared to tools such as congestion charging or road tolls (more about that in the next trend). Instead of limiting the users, multimodal offerings provide a better service nudging users to different modes.

A good example of a multimodal ecosystem is Kinto, part of Purdy Motors in Costa Rica. Kinto is a multimodal provider offering carshare, car rental, car subscription and micromobility as well as on demand/responsive transit.

2021 has certainly increased the number of service providers that integrate multiple modes into their offering, often through acquisition: Israeli GoTo for instance acquired emmy, a German moped provider. Originally a carshare provider only, they now offer e-bikes, e-scooters and e-mopeds depending on the market. Berlin-based scooter company Tier acquired bikeshare provider nextbike in an effort to diversify their offering. One big benefit of the one-stop-shop solution is that that customer service stays with one provider.

The second area where multimodal offerings are picking up speed is employee mobility. There is a shift underway from providing company cars to the so-called « mobility budget » where employees receive money towards alternative modes in exchange for giving up their company cars. In this episode of the German podcast « New Mobility Planet, hosted by Björn Bender and Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann, Sylvia Lier shares the top reasons why mobility budgets are beneficial: increase attractiveness of employers while at the same time meeting sustainability goals and providing more flexibility.

The concept isn’t new: Belgium for instance has introduced a mobility allowance in May 2018 and in March 2019 added a mobility budget as well. Both the mobility allowance and the mobility budget are devised as part of a wider strategy to incentivise a culture of environmentally-friendly travel across Belgium and to decrease traffic congestion in high density urban environments. The key is that the budget is no longer tied to one mode, but multiple. UrbanConnect or WeGo are tapping into this trend and are providing vehicles, software and services to employers who want to offer more flexible and sustainable travel options to their employees.

Even in North America, there is movement towards multimodal offerings through employers: in Vancouver, four local transportation providers designed the multimodal Shared Mobility Compass Card program, a low-tech implementation that allowed employees to use public transit, carshare or bikeshare through the existing fare card. The result of the pilot are pretty promising: 60% of participants shifted their behaviour and were using public transit, carshare or bikeshare instead of their personal vehicle. Additionally, over a third of participants tried a new transportation alternative and over a quarter have started to combine different methods. In 2021, the project was won a Clean50 award because of its innovative approach to multimodal transportation and its ability to inform, and inspire other Canadians.

Multimodal eco-systems will gain traction in the next years because they are increasing resilience.

You can read the original article here.