Technology Is Creating New Mobility Solutions For Cities To Manage Covid-19 - Forbes

The outbreak of Covid-19 has had a significant impact on urban mobility. Based on a recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report, the lockdown measures put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19 significantly reduced passenger transport demand across many of the world’s major cities. As governments issued social distancing measures, local authorities advised residents against taking public transport, which resulted in a significant drop in passenger numbers by the end of March 2020. Since then, cities around the world have started to ease lockdown restrictions, with authorities creating dedicated bike lanes and walkways so residents can practice physical distancing while being able to commute in their locality. According to the World Bank, nearly 300 cities and regions have implemented people-friendly streets initiatives that allow residents to bike and walk within their city. In Europe, for example, almost 2,400 kilometres of cycling infrastructure has been announced by various levels of governments as of August 5, 2020. In the coming years, people will need to adapt to physical distancing, and municipal authorities will likely expand on recent measures to develop biking and walking infrastructure as a way to promote more liveable, sustainable, and accessible cities. As a result, urban mobility will likely see an uptake in shared micro-mobility with residents selectively choosing when to take public transportation. For cities to manage these upcoming changes, authorities will need to leverage technology to enable them to implement three essential solutions to help increase safety and sustainability of micro-mobility services, deploy efficient on-demand mass transit and optimise urban mobility solutions. By integrating technology into their transportation networks, cities will not only be able to provide customised mobility solutions for residents but also redesign a more sustainable urban transportation system to manage Covid-19.

1) Increase the safety and sustainability of micro-mobility services

As mentioned above, safety concerns related to Covid-19 are shifting commuting patterns in our cities. Biking and walking are quickly becoming reliable modes of transportation, and major cities such as Paris are looking to redesign their neighbourhoods so that all amenities are within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. Over the next 12 to 18 months, the Boston Consulting Group is expecting the use of micro-mobility (mainly bikes and e-scooters) to return to pre-crisis levels in the United States and Europe. Meanwhile, McKinsey & Company projects increased profitability, and improved business case for micro-mobility services as government incentives and industry consolidation allow the sector to recover in the medium term.

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