Improving public-private collaboration in cities
As people develop new ways to navigate their urban environments, Shared Mobility and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) are becoming increasingly popular. Today, many options for these services are available such as carsharing, bike sharing, scooter sharing, autonomous vehicles, ride-hailing, and Mobility as a Service (MaaS). These applications allow users to access and pay for a wide variety of multimodal options, contributing to a key transition in mobility: moving away from ownership of private vehicles to using other means of transport. With virtual mobility platforms so accessible, there is far less need to own a vehicle.
The potential benefits of using such mobility methods are widely known. However, the most obvious may be the increased use of ‘active’ and healthy mobility modes of transport as opposed to the ‘passive´ and polluting mobility modes such as privately owned cars. The increases in inclusivity and accessibility among those with limited financial and physical abilities can also benefit from these shared mobility solutions.
Besides the users, these mobility methods also have an impact on the cities that implement them. These include:
- Cities being able to allocate resources more efficiently, by basing resources on the user’s real needs.
- The creation of new businesses and jobs.
- Improving the management of traffic incidents.
- A reliable transport system is created through advanced data.
In short, shared mobility and MaaS transportation methods can boost market forces in the world of mobility which, for many of those involved, is a rewarding perspective. The end-users are better informed, due to the comprehensive and personalised data available, meaning the end-users can move through the selection process with more rationale and at a more frequent rate. In addition to the reduced ownership of vehicles, it is expected that the selection process will happen more directly and without delay or noise between supply and demand. This leads to an increase in competition between mobility services which in turn has a positive impact on the industry, making it easier for new players to enter the market.
However, the implementation of these methods can hold potential drawbacks. The influx of shared e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-mopeds can disturb urban traffic flows (e.g. high-speed driving) and the usage of space in cities (e.g. parking on sidewalks), creating tensions among road users. These tensions are the consequence of a rapid implementation by the private sector that hasn’t always been fully aligned with the local authority’s goals and policies. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important for cities to collaborate effectively with the private sector to take advantage of the potential of new innovative mobility modes.
Public-Private collaboration between cities and mobility providers takes place at different levels and in many forms. Collaboration takes place before and during the implementation of new mobility solutions and is at all times guided by the public and strategic interest of the city. These ‘puzzle pieces’ need to be aligned with each other, which is not always a simple task to achieve.
Therefore, the MOBI-MIX project, alongside a group of experts and cities from across Europe and the United States, has formed a consortium that supports the implementation of innovative mobility solutions with a special focus on improving public-private collaborations.
MOBI-MIX has recently developed an implementation guide that takes an in-depth look at the forementioned ‘puzzle pieces’ of public-private collaborations aiming to support cities with tools and examples to implement smart mobility solutions and improve such collaborations.
To use the implementation guide in practice, MOBI-MIX will be organising workshops during 2021 with cities to support their local Smart Mobility projects.