The RAC Foundation has today published Achieving Complete Mobility, a piece of research carried out by MRC McLean Hazel about the potential of moving towards a more integrated and service-oriented transport system.
For quite some time now there has been a trend towards increased individualisation, customisation and integration of products and services. Transport has not been part of this process for understandable reasons: transport operators are mostly responsible for only one part of the journey experience, which does not take account of people’s overall (mobility) needs.
This might be a missed opportunity since the development of a more integrated, service-oriented transport system could bring many benefits. For end users it would mean that transport fits more closely with their individual needs, and the service received would be more efficient; for business and government, particularly local government, such a system could create new revenue streams as it is reasonable to expect that people are willing to pay for an improved or new service where none existed before.
Technology offers significant potential for facilitating transport service provision. Smartphones, satellite navigation systems and smart cards—to name but a few options—enable the integration of transport with other sectors of the economy. From the point of view of operators, technology enables information about different transport modes, for example usage patterns, to be collected and linked with a view to making the service work more efficiently. End users, on the other hand, can use technology to obtain real-time information about traffic, public transport services and the next leg of their journeys.
There are, however, several challenges facing a new approach to transport policy which include government capacity and resources; public trust in institutions and privacy concerns; and questions about how a retail-like transport provision would fit into the general tax system.
Nonetheless the report provides a useful first step in understanding how change in transport provision might come about, and what it might look like.
To download a PDF copy of the report please visit our website by clicking here.