On-Demand Mobility: Good or Bad for Transit?

On-Demand Mobility: Transforming the Transit Industry

We’ve all been there. Too lazy, busy, sleepy, [insert your word-of-choice], to make it to the grocery store or to pick up a pizza up the block. No worries. Grab your smartphone, open the Postmates app, scroll through the menu choices, and order pad Thai from a restaurant across town without leaving your house, your couch or your Netflix binge session. Boom. Life is good.

On-demand mobility is here. Whether you’re grabbing an Uber to your go-to uptown bar or booking an at home mani with Priv, ­­mobile transformation is giving us the convenience we want at our fingertips. Yes, we’re getting a “luxury” mobile experience, but how exactly will these on-demand mobile services influence the transportation industry?

On-demand mobility is thriving and it’s completely transforming the transportation industry. “Car sharing alone will reduce car ownership at an estimated rate of one shared vehicle replacing 15 owned vehicles,” according to the Economist. With the increasing commute times, the price of vehicles, the effects of carbon emissions, and the fact that the Millennial generation is not as concerned with owning their own car have greatly influenced the growth of on-demand mobility apps. As the transportation industry braces itself for impact, the future of transit will be greatly impacted by on-demand mobility.

As more private companies begin to offer ridesharing options, transit agencies will begin to take a hit. Being able to handle your entire transportation experience through the comfort of your phone is not only appreciated, but it is becoming expected. And it’s working in favor of ridesharing apps, such as Uber and Lyft. With ridesharing apps popping up left and right, the transit industry must gain traction to keep up with the increase and start looking at ways to increase ridership and app utilization.

How is transit reacting to on-demand mobility?

Passport is gaining major traction in the transit industry. With Passport’s MyJTA mobile app, the platform allows users to plan, track, manage and pay for their transit fare in one single app. Having the entire transit ecosystem in the palm of your hand can transform user’s’ entire experience and provide them with the immediacy and control they want. Think of it this way, you’re in a new city and you’re trying to tackle their transit system. You’re a vacationer, therefore, you’re not exactly certain which route is the best to get to the museums downtown. With the MyJTA app, users can download the application, add their destination, pick their route, pay for their fare, and track their transit option of choice. The app provides users with complete control of their entire transit experience, as well as puts them at ease while handling the transit system.  

Public transit isn’t going anywhere, at least for now. Cities are even proposing ways to offer incentives to people who take public transportation. Cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin even limit the number of license plates they issue through auctions or lotteries.

The future of mobility is in our hands. The need for both public and private sectors to join forces and determine ways to increase transit ridership is necessary to drive utilization, decrease pollution and traffic congestion, as well as help generate revenue for the city. As ridesharing apps receive scrutiny in America and around the world, transit agencies need to drive solutions that not only better the user experience, but their communities.