This new CERRE Mobility report, with its core themes of decarbonisation and digitalisation, explains that the use of new technology alone will not be enough to achieve the Commission’s decarbonisation and digitalisation goals and that adopting broad new regulations will be necessary.
On 9 December 2020, the European Commission issued a communication for “a strategy towards sustainable and smart mobility”, which foresees a 90% cut in emissions by 2050 as a result of smart and sustainable mobility in Europe. Mobility for those in urban areas is important, both from the perspective of the climate neutrality target and in the context of the digital revolution.
Authors Yves Crozet and Jean Coldefy argue that MaaS sits at the crossroads of the digital revolution and the transition to carbon neutrality. The report provides a digital roadmap for organising mobility authorities (OMAs). Specifically, it recommends that OMAs would be well positioned to help build a mobility sector capable of achieving the Commission’s objectives if they:
- Establish clear rules for fair competition,
- Adopt a broad approach to regulation, and
- Leverage digitalisation and data.
“As transport undergoes dramatic transformation, the role of organising mobility authorities is expanding beyond overseeing only traditional modes of public transport and into the realms of climate change and digitalisation,” says Lara Natale, CERRE’s Tech, Media, Telecom and Mobility Director. “Unless we take resolute action, our environmental commitments will not be met and the opportunities presented by transport’s digital transition will be missed.”
Clear rules for fair competition
Commuters must be able to benefit from innovative technology, products and services offered by new companies – including digital ticketing, which means that the provision of information and ticket sales should not remain a monopoly, but that at the same time OMAs should establish a clear set of rules to ensure fair competition and position themselves at the heart of data sharing management.
“OMAs must acquire new skills and position themselves as a trusted third party, one which can incorporate all data into a public platform available to all stakeholders, while ensuring equal rights and obligations for all parties,” says Yves Crozet, co-author of the report and CERRE Research Fellow.
A broad approach to regulation
Ensuring that transportation systems further the EU’s climate change commitments requires more than just new technology: it also requires a significant change in how urban transportation is regulated.
The report suggests using regulation to help develop multimodal mobility in urban and suburban areas, where individual car travel remains the favoured mode of transport.
“The main challenge for the decarbonisation of mobility will be addressing the links between peripheries and main city centres, where jobs are concentrated. MaaS is a tool facilitating multimodality, decreasing costs to commuters, and a potential way to increase overall mobility funding. OMAs should thus be in charge of public space management – including access to public transport hubs – park and ride, bicycle parks, cycling lanes – and data management.” says Jean Coldefy, co-author of the report.
Leveraging the power of digitalisation and data
The report notes that digitalisation presents a unique chance for OMAs to introduce intelligent pricing into transportation systems. Pricing incentivises users to behave in a more virtuous and sustainable manner, such as reducing rush hour travel and limiting the use of personal vehicles, therefore, the overall price of mobility – including the use of cars – must be considered. Crucially, implementing such intelligent pricing systems first requires OMAs to be able to leverage the power of data.
“For the digital revolution to be fully exploited and fulfil its true potential, MaaS must be seen as a way of managing the common good through the creation of another common good, namely, a public data platform. By combining public transport supply and data, OMAs will be able to successfully develop and implement multimodal solutions that will further the EU’s climate and digitalisation goals, conclude the authors.
This report is available to download in both English and French below.