For decades the season ticket has been the convenient companion for the modern commuter. Is that about change? The day in the life of the commuter could look radically different in a few years’ time. Rather than the rider having to adjust to a fixed world of timetables, services and prices, they will be able to exercise more choice is a far more flexible and passenger centric eco-system.
Instead of a fixed season ticket, a far better alternative maybe in the form of a contract with a service provider whereby the rider chooses from options offered in real-time that can be purchased via the smart phone. Rather than the rider having to accommodate their individual needs to immovable timetables, the future rider will consume on-demand services that are dynamically priced and targeted toward the whole customer journey and experience, across multiple transport modes. The rise of the intelligent mobility provider will act as the broker between customer and the provider of transit capacity.
The customer accesses these services from a range of emerging services becoming available on the smartphone, but behind the scenes the mobility provider is processing the data from multiple sources which the customer can personalise to their travelling experience.
Mobility providers have been quick to respond to changes in attitude and are responsible for accelerating patterns of behavior; vehicle ownership is becoming less attractive in smart cities where the alternative of on-demand services can be purchased by the hour or minute. City cycle hire schemes have done much to improve reliance on a single mode of transport which means the rider can plan an entire journey from A to B, not just the train, tube, bus components. The future rider is more likely to share services and may elect to use feeder or community services for part of the journey.
Smart cities will enable data to be harvested from millions of collection points that will be consumed by city transport authorities, service providers, operators as well as passengers. For example, transport authorities may be interested to understand customer demand, service routes and emission data to inform the procurement of the types of vehicle they need to purchase. Attitudes to sharing are likely to extend beyond the immediate passenger needs with new joint ventures emerging: unmarked white vans delivering groceries on behalf of multiple retailers to reduce the number of branded vans that make similar journeys daily.
The emergence of alternatives is doing much to reshape the customer experience, where there is less reliance on the fixed world of separate transport services and acceptance of complete journeys that offers choice and personalisation, so that season ticket may soon be expiring.
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