The Passenger of Tomorrow: A Need for Options

Sept. 5, 2018
Technology is quickly changing how people move through cities and remaining agile to provide the best flexibility to passengers is key to making public transportation the mobility of choice.

Fundamentals of the business are simple, said Bernard Tabary, Keolis CEO International: “A: safety, safety, safety, which is at the core of any mobility.” He continued, “Beyond safety, there’s the expectation of the basic features of dependability and information.

“People really want to trust the mode they are going to use and they want that level of attention and they want that level of information that makes them feel … knowledgeable.”

Today’s technology is helping mobility providers achieve these fundamentals. When it comes to providing information, that, he said, is what can bring people to choose mass transit. Whether the information is delivered to their fingertips via a smartphone or through signage and relevant information, it can give people options and make seamless mobility possible.

“We see it evolving toward where the public transport or mass transit will be the choice, rather than a curse,” Tabary said. “That is where people will have a greater choice and a greater range of options in their mobility, where yesterday they would have been stuck in either the individual car … or the clogged mass transit system on a busy rail network or waiting for the bus without much information.”

The passengers of tomorrow will look at his or her smartphone and have all options presented: transportation network companies, ridesharing, bus, train, bike, scooters or walking. And, depending on weather or the person’s mood, the individual can change his or her mind.

“The sophistication of mobility on personalization,” Tabary said, “is something that will suddenly make mobility more pleasant.

“And the piece that’s our task is to facilitate that.”

Keolis is a transportation operator, operating public transportation networks on behalf of 300 transportation authorities around the world in 16 countries. It operates more than 10 modes of transportation, including trains, buses, motorcoach, bikeshare, carshare and autonomous shuttles.

Today’s transportation climate is facing its share of challenges, including the higher cost of mobility. As there continue to be a better utilization of assets, he believes that could trend downward.
The road to lower mobility costs is also through shared mobility. “ … parking and urbanization itself will change,” he explained. “You may have cities with investments in various modes of transport which suddenly don’t seem all that relevant anymore, where either the capacity or the scales will not be aligned with the new demands.”

The evolution in cities is coming about through innovation and digitalization and these changes will change transportation for the next generation.

To meet the new challenges and changing landscape, earlier this year Keolis changed its organizational structure, including the creation of the New Motilities business unit.

“We feel that it was important to coordinate what we were going to do in development, innovations in partnership and in investments,” said Tabary. “Doing absolutely everything ourselves is probably over but us having the ability and agility to work with developers, to work with start-ups, to invest in the new operations to work in joint ventures … was really important and that was what this business unit was tasked to optimize and maximize.”

Innotrans Logo 10658405


March 19, 2012