We are a new transport planning consultancy, which creates a future of mobility based on the needs of citizens, and not just users. That’s because we often get technical, when our outcomes should be focused on the people who could benefit most.
Currently, citizens are only empowered in a permissive fashion. Public authorities generally set the vision and the governance framework in the public interest, and mobility providers provide services whose success is determined by whether the market likes the product or not.
Whilst citizens do not necessarily want to be consulted on every decision, and many still want to only contribute every 4 years at the ballot box, that they feel empowered to contribute wherever they can and to be creative in this engagement is the critical thing.
MaaS and other solutions are looking towards a more user-centred mobility. And a greater understanding of users so that operational decisions can be taken in (near) real time, and so travel patterns can be understood after the fact, and new services delivered.
This reflects a wider trend in the public sector towards adopting service-design principles of delivery. To try services and to iterate and change. There are excellent examples of this all over Europe. FabMob in France, Smart City Amsterdam, Open Source Lab in Berlin are but a few examples. But user design is not citizen centred necessarily.
This is about understanding behavior through observation, and creating the means and mechanisms by which you can be engaged in setting a vision and delivering.
There are several challenges to realizing this sort of approach, and in its delivery. A notable one is the fact that delivering user-centred approaches is currently not standard practice
The lack of focus on outcomes relates to community engagement specifically. Community engagement is seen as a process to be followed, not an outcome or an ongoing programme. A good example of an approach that has tackled this is PB.
Different cities have also delivered different innovation programmes, using a variety of models of engagement with the market. Some have funded schemes, some have made regulatory changes, others have built partnerships with local capabilities and provided needed political support. But nobody has an understanding as to how effective they are.
This is somewhat putting the cart before the horse in this presentation, but its worthwhile covering at this stage how community engagement is measured in the development of strategy more generally. Again, there are few indicators specifically within mobility, but here is how MaaS can provide an understanding (and raw data) for this.
Look at some specific groups of indicators: Community Impact – understanding satisfaction and the direct link between needs and satisfaction. Currently this is understood after the fact. Its also about baselining access. For example the HomeRun app in the UK is baselining accessibility to schools Institutional Impact – Understanding the impact that particular institutional initiatives have on wider social metrics. For example linking to job seeking and understanding the wider impact on the job rate. Good work done in the West Midlands on using data to make changes to effective economic geographies Mobility Impacts – direct impacts on travel patterns and access to opportunities
But remember, you are what you measure
What cannot be prescribed yet is what a citizen-centred mobility strategy actually looks like – in terms of the physical document. But what we can describe is the foundations and where people can add value to the work. A foundation of open data, having services that are accessible, understanding the changing needs of users, and efficient operational delivery are the foundations of good mobility generally.
CALL: Get involved in our work. We have two discovery projects begging for your collaboration, and we want to build this sort of strategy with someone. If this is of interest to you, come and chat to me afterwards.
The above describes the philosophy behind it, and the building blocks supporting it. But the approach to delivering it is only something that can be done experimentally.
MaaS as a means of citizen engagement
MaaS as a means of
Director | @jamesgleave1
The opportunity presented by MaaS and
Needs of cities Needs of users Needs of citizens
The challenge to realising this
• User-centricity in strategy is not standard
• Lack of focus on outcomes
• Lack of standardization
• Variety of approaches currently in delivery
Thinking specifically of KPIs
KPI Groups Examples Role of MaaS
Community Budget allocation to community-
suggested mobility projects
Understanding impact of potential projects,
working with local communities
Impact on user capabilities Baselining access to services
User satisfaction Direct measurement (standardized)
Institutional Success of job seeking Monitoring travel to interviews and jobs
Function economic geographies Identifying travel to work boundaries
Mobility Access to services Baselining travel patterns for access
Network performance Data on use of mobility services
Moving to Citizen-Centred Mobility
Mobility data open as standard
Open source tools
Building skills to use them
Defining Universal Accessibility
Financing and delivering
Tools and service empowering
New operating models
Meeting customer wants
Community and public sector
Attitudinal and observational
Open and inclusive in
Tel: 07958 350159
A presentation given to the ITS European Congress 2019 in Eindhoven