How do we smartly restart mobility after the intelligent lockdown?

By 11 June 2020Uncategorized

How do we smartly restart mobility after the intelligent lockdown?

Corona measures have us working from home more than ever before, which caused the total traffic to decrease by 40%. Because of this, we are experiencing more space in our cities and on our roads, and the air quality considerably improved.

To maintain the positive effects of this crisis when the government measures become more lenient, Connekt (the independent network for smart, sustainable, and social mobility) took the initiative to mobilize its network and to create a roadmap for a Smart Restart to present to the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management: How will we restart mobility (again) during and after the corona crisis?

During the online brainstorm session “From Intelligent Lockdown to Smart Restart” on April 30th, over 50 members of Connekt worked on this Smart Restart roadmap.

In this blog, I’ll share my personal insights from the brainstorm. You can find Connekt’s full report on their website.

Connekt brainstorm Smart Restart

At the start of the brainstorm session, Eric Mink, Program Manager MaaS with the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management, called on the members of Connekt to aid and surprise the ministry: “Normally, the ministry works on the long term and you guys on the short term. But now the roles are reversed: now you are focusing on the midterm and we are focusing on the short term. Help us. Surprise us, hopefully, together, we can take our mobility goals to the next level.” (Source: Connekt).

As mentioned, traffic jams are now a thing of the past and our air is cleaner than ever. How great it would be if we could hold on to these positive effects of this major crisis. The insights of the different parallel sessions have been compiled in a set of concrete recommendations for the roadmap for the Smart Restart that Connekt offered to the ministry on May 14th. The parallel sessions brainstormed about three topics:

  • Mobility footprint: the point model for retaining and rewarding our new (mobility) behavior
  • Mobility as a Service: a chance to speed things up
  • 6-foot mobility in the cities: a resilient mobility system

I took part in the Mobility as a Service parallel session.

Virtual brainstorm session Connect Smart Restart

 

Parallel session Mobility as a Service: a chance to speed things up

The question that I brought to the table during the session was: how can we make sure that end-users (and not the situation or the regulations) will be and remain the starting point in the acceleration of MaaS? Since the extra space that we are currently experiencing is very much appreciated by many people, it’s paramount that we don’t go back into our cars en masse after the crisis. This requires a major behavioral change. We also shouldn’t forget that our collective opinion about cars has increased positively and that the perception of public transportation is at an all-time low (Source: KiM). If we lose sight of the human perspective in this situation, we will start out with a technically superior and (of course) safe solution that is highly appreciated by the early adopters but doesn’t resonate with the masses.

“It’s paramount that we don’t go back into our cars en masse after the crisis. This requires a major behavioral change.”

As expected, the different backgrounds and points of view of the different attendees brought about some interesting dialogues. The group shared the view that (regardless of the situation) now is the time to accelerate to something better. Leading up to the moment when a vaccine for COVID-19 is widely available, positive changes can be implemented that we’ll keep going once the vaccine is available.

Research report

Download - Vision on Mobility: En route to 2050

In the ‘6-foot society’, the capacity of public transportation is a mere 25% (Source: Connekt). We want to prevent people from going back to their own cars when the restrictions are relaxed/lifted causing the roads to become even more congested than before the crisis. Reservation and MaaS-based systems provide a possible solution for this issue. This allows mobility to be better distributed and modalities to be utilized as efficiently as possible. A precondition for sufficient spreading is that all modalities (car traffic and/or shared mobility providers included) are included in this. This prevents a monopoly on traditional public transportation.

The different MaaS solutions currently running regionally have to be scaled up nationally as soon as possible, without losing sight of the international connections – especially in the border regions.
It’s also relevant to involve related industries. Consider, for example, insurance providers that cover the risk of a journey from A to B.

Finally, we should also consider the role of employers. They are in the lead when it comes to how their employees move to and from work and have to be critical about whether or not their presence is really necessary.

INFO and Connekt

This was an inspiring virtual meeting and for me personally an interesting introduction to the Connekt network.

INFO has been part of the Connekt network since January 2020, because we think it’s important to keep our knowledge up to date and to be aware of the latest developments in the market. Connekt is the independent network for smart, sustainable, and social mobility. With over 500 partners worldwide, they devise and realize tangible solutions for a sustainable and economically better world.

Want to know more about our mobility cases or about my insights from the brainstorm? Please contact me via elly@info.nl, I would love to help you out.

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