Urban Connectivity: Improving the Door-to-Door Journey

Can bicycles, car-sharing and taxis be better integrated to create urban seamless travel?

Wednesday 2 May, 11:30-13:30
Session Outline
Every year, people undertake more than 10.5 billion trips in urban areas around the globe – and this number is growing as urban population increases. Managing these trips poses fundamental challenges for both cities and their inhabitants, especially as space devoted to everyday mobility is limited and networks are often crowded. At the same time, mobility is at the core of what makes urban areas dynamic and attractive hubs. Crucially, there is often a mismatch between the way in which citizens approach their urban trips – as a single, door-to-door journey - and the way in which authorities plan, allocate resources to and manage separate transport networks and services. While almost every trip starts and ends with walking and most integrate one or several other modes, transport is rarely organised along a the lines of one single, seamless, door-to-door transport task.

Perhaps the car and two-wheelers (and the roads on which they run) have most closely approached this “seamless transport” ideal, which helps to explain their compelling and enduring attraction. However, the car or motorbike-only approach to urban mobility has reached its limits as the costs from congestion, crashes, pollution, and adverse climate change impacts are sapping the vitality of many urban areas in the world.

Participants in this session will address the challenge of providing high quality seamless urban mobility by discussing the following issues:

  • What are the models for urban daily mobility that will prevail in the 21st century and to what extent do these involve better and more seamless coordination among modes?

  • What, from the user perspective, is it that seamlessness delivers and does that make society better off?
  • Are authorities a help or hindrance in enhancing seamlessness?

  • What is it that the private sector can do differently, what is it that public authorities can do better?

  • Are information technologies and services sufficient to deliver seamless travel or do we need to invest in infrastructure as well – and if so, what infrastructure?

  • What is the level of technological readiness for seamless urban door-to-door services? What is the level of institutional readiness? What is the level of user readiness? What can better align these three?

  • Under what circumstances can growing megacities improve travel experiences for all via more seamless travel options?

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