If there is a revolution in how we travel in the 21st century, it’s the shift from mode-by-mode transport to mix-it-up mobility lifestyles. Whilst this is broadly acknowledged, it isn’t well understood. Mode tribalism (bus, car, bike…) is being replaced by mobility tribes. Co-mobility services enable people to lead different types of mobility lifestyles and reduce car dependency.
The more traditional urban transport planning approach has been to focus on the provision of the different transport modes and their relative merits for capacity, speed and price. For instance, if bus patronage is low we look at options for improving travel times, reliability and frequency or reducing fares. This created a type of mode-tribalism whereby the bus would compete with the train, the train with the car and so-on and so-forth. This is not to say that our transport system is without reproach but to improve the experience of those that use public transport we need to better understand the needs, expectations and attitudes of different sections of society.
So what? Understanding better future mobility lifestyles should inform policy and investment. We can design better places and provide policy and regulatory frameworks that lead to compelling future lifestyles that involve good mobility.
Good Mobility is all about “mobility lifestyles” that – compared to those of today – have less environmental impact (emissions, place) and are more equitable.
Whilst we are starting to recognise the shift to mobility lifestyles, it’s still not fully understood and is a fertile area for applied research.
Anable, J. (2005). ‘Complacent Car Addicts or Aspiring Environmentalists?: Identifying Travel Behaviour Segments Using Attitude Theory’. Transport Policy, vol 12, no. 1, pp. 65-78.
Thornton, A et al (2011) ‘Climate Change and Transport Choices Segmentation Model: A framework for reducing CO2 emissions from personal travel’, for the Department for Transport, Contract number: PPRO 04/06/21
Transport System’s Catapult (2015), ‘Traveller Needs & Capability Study’
AMADEUS (2015) ‘Future Traveller Tribes 2030: Understanding Tomorrow’s Traveller’