The solution sounds simple in theory. The customer wants to get from A to B in a certain period of time not being interested in anything else. Ideally, he gets out of his own vehicle, which he usually drives by himself, and changes to bus or train. The offer is supplemented by other private mobility providers. Traffic jams and expensive or even non-existent parking will be passé, the habitats in the cities will be left to the people again. That’s as far as the theory goes.
There is a technical term for this type of new mobility: multimodality. In city traffic, different means of transport are used in a certain period of time. This definition applies to both passengers and transportation of goods.
However, in order to make it easier for road users to switch to this multi-modality, cities need more capacity, simpler tariffs and better digital services to help people move around. Some cities and transport associations are currently working on their own concepts.
What was once a monopoly on public transport in Berlin is currently being converted into a customer-oriented, transparent mobility service. The Berliner Transport Company recently launched a multi-modal app called Jelbi which includes its own offering regarding buses, underground and suburban trains as well as the offer of private mobility providers.
Now you will find offers from car sharing partners, electric scooters, rental bicycles or e-scooter sharing partners. In addition, Jelbi builds its own infrastructure including all kinds of offers by private providers. In addition to the vehicles themselves, there are, for example, charging stations for electric transport. In the midst of the discussion about a qualitative improvement of public transport, the BVG is investing a lot in order to get drivers in Berlin out of their cars and into multimodal solutions.
In addition to a better digital offering, the main task of mobility providers is to increase their capacity. Especially in transport networks different means of transport must operate on the required routes at a quick pace. Another hurdle, especially for the so-called occasional driver, are the complicated tariff systems. These users, in particular, need driving experiences that set in motion a gradual transition to multimodal services.
There is, for instance, the possibility of ride-sharing to make the trip home safe after the evening pub or restaurant visit. Or there is the switch to the electric scooter or e-scooter for visiting the sights, city festivals or to cover the last mile in the city. Such personal experiences, above all, make people reconsider their mindsets. And if these experiences go hand in hand with ease of use and payment from an app, then the casual users will come back. In order to turn this target group into “repeaters”, various transport providers are offering incentives. In the transport system Rhein-Ruhr, for example, every fifth trip is free of charge, thus enhancing customer loyalty.
Ultimately, all the considerations of multi-modal solution providers are about relinquishing old habits regarding cars. For younger generations, this is hardly a problem today, because many of them have not even a car. At the right price and with many different means of transport available, older target groups will also be switching to multimodal mobility services over the next few years.