Future of Mobility Poll Series: The Final Results
Written by The Trōv Team January 19, 2021
As we reflect on 2020 and kick off 2021, it’s important to take in what impacts COVID-19 has had, and will continue to have, on industries across the globe as many countries gear up for a second or third round of lockdowns. Our poll series was centered around what the shared mobility industry itself thought about the impacts of COVID-19, and what direction experts see it taking in the future.
The industry no doubt had a turbulent 2020. Shifts in demand and fear of transmission put a dent in growth for some platforms, such as Uber and Lyft. However, we’ve actually seen some very positive outcomes as well, with growth in micromobility services, never before seen levels of bike usage, and the continued movement away from car ownership towards shared alternatives. Additionally, this year we’ve seen cities and municipalities make dramatic changes and substantial commitments to further reduce carbon emissions. The city of London even eliminated an entire vehicular lane to make room for more bikes, scooters, and other green modes of transportation. In May of 2020, when the changes were initiated, a statement from London City Hall indicated that there were plans in place to “transform parts of central London into one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city in the world.” And while London’s goals are lofty, they aren’t the only major city demonstrating this shift in priorities. Similar programs can be seen in Paris, Seoul, Hamburg, Bogota, Oslo, and others. The trend toward greener and shared mobility options, and infrastructure supporting them, is expanding across the globe.
Seeing all of this activity and action inspired us to launch a series of polls to gain insight into the thoughts and feelings of experts about where the industry is headed post-COVID, given the unusually impactful year that 2020 turned out to be. We were pleasantly surprised to see a positive overall outlook.
Our first poll was about the perceived long-term impacts of COVID-19, with the majority of respondents saying that it is likely that the effects of lockdowns, lifestyle changes, and fear of transmission will continue to have an impact on the mobility industry well into the foreseeable future. In fact nearly all of respondents felt that COVID-19 would remain a ‘hot topic’ for the mobility sector in 2022. Read more here.
While the long term effects of this global crisis will likely remain, in our second poll, we were curious to know how industry leaders felt this would impact the mobility sector as a whole going forward. Would shared services survive amidst concerns that consumers might see these alternatives as potential risks in the face of a pandemic? The answer was a resounding ‘yes!’ While the pandemic has presented a variety of challenges, most industry leaders felt confident that the industry would continue to thrive despite the obstacles, a view we share. For more on the results of this second poll, read more here.
Taking into consideration the answers to our previous polls, and that respondents told us COVID-19 will remain relevant into 2022- and in spite of that- shared mobility will survive and potentially thrive, we decided to ask them this: If that’s the case, who will emerge as the strongest shared mobility provider?
The responses presented an interesting view of the future of mobility, with no clear “winner” amongst the key stakeholders. This optimistic long term view leads us to believe that despite the current shifts in behavior, consumers overall have learned to rely on shared mobility services. The industry is in fact doing very well, and the impacts of 2020 have lent more consumers and businesses to seek out and plan for more sustainable modes of transport, as well as a trend toward decreasing reliance on personally owned vehicles. 2020’s dramatic effects have helped to shape the future of transportation. As a whole, the impacts of the pandemic have presented opportunities for all sectors of shared mobility services. In open responses, we also found some interesting thoughts regarding the potential for bike and e-bike operations- green alternatives that many consumers may lean toward with even more enthusiasm than before.
- COVID is a turning point for climate activism and mobility. Globally, people have seen the impact of reduced carbon emissions right before their eyes - there is no turning back now.
- Bike/e-bike operations are easier/quicker to deploy
- I think the impact is going to be regional, with Major Automotive taking the biggest hit
- EVs & Bikes - Both are the big winners!
As we look toward the future and into 2021 and beyond, we are incredibly positive about the direction in which we see the shared mobility industry heading. Despite the pandemic, equitable, cost-effective, and varying transportation systems are a vital and indispensable part of modern life and economies. We feel that moving forward, the industry will continue to thrive, to solve mobility problems for their customers, provide transportation access that many sorely need, and keep consumers safe and healthy using best practices.
In the meantime, we hope that you will stay safe & healthy, and keep looking forward.