Resilience through diversification: lessons learned from MOVE America
Earlier this month, Arity attended MOVE America, the first edition of this conference to happen in the US, and the first edition that was virtual. Though we missed the usual buzz of the in-person conference, we enjoyed the conversations and connections that we made through the virtual event.
In particular, the roundtable that Arity hosted alongside movmi generated discussions we’ll continue to explore. Through an interactive discussion on how COVID trends to-date mean opportunities across sharing economy, the gig economy, and delivery services, we identified the top 6 ways that mobility is changing – the changes that services need to adopt for resilience in the future.
Top 6 Ways Mobility is Changing Post-COVID
- On-demand. Technology improvements will allow people to access anything from anywhere.
- Personal. Services will differentiate based on how well they can know and anticipate their users’ needs.
- Affordable. Higher adoption rates will allow for scale and new pricing structures that work for more people in more places.
- Dynamic. Transportation and mobility services will collaborate so that no space is underutilized.
- Contactless. Access and payments won’t require any direct interaction between people.
- Seamless. Transportation will anticipate how people need to move about, connecting services to create a seamless multi-modal experience.
Read on for COVID trends to-date, a summary on the workshop discussion, and find more Arity reports here.
COVID Trends To-Date
movmi shared insights on top trends and how they’ve impacted sharing economy users, operations, and regulations. Citing their recent publication, Rebuild Tomorrow’s Mobility Survey Report, movmi made note these trends already existed but are even more notable now with how quickly COVID changed our lives.
- Work from home is the norm. With approximately 80% of people working from home, transportation patterns flattened with fewer peaks and valleys with fewer people commuting.
- Shifts towards individually owned transportation. Bikes are the big winners here, with 2% more bike trips YOY. About 14% of Metro Vancouverites are also looking to purchase vehicles.
- Health is the #1 decision factor for transportation. Operators will need to continue focusing on sanitation and continually improve sanitation protocols and standards.
- Delivery and mobility are merging. With business across all industries shifting, the sharing economy is a great example of how models are quickly adapting – delivery depends on more modes of transportation than before, and car-sharing companies are offering vehicles for longer in response to new consumer needs.
- Faster infrastructure changes. With changes to support active mobility happening more quickly, could this be a sign that we can move towards agile planning cycles?
- Choice is still a priority. People want more choice, and we need to continue supporting public transit along with other forms of sharing economy.
Arity also shared insights on how these changes look through driving data – with emphasis on why people are driving and who’s driving for gig platforms, before and after the pandemic hit. Understanding the nuances in these changes will help providers prepare for what their riders and drivers need, and how to reach them.
Gig Trips make up a greater percentage of driving on the road compared to before COVID-19. While personal trips dropped by 50% at the start of the pandemic, gig trips dropped by only 30% in comparison. How will distancing and unemployment continue to affect this trend?
Active gig drivers are more likely to continue driving for gig platforms throughout the pandemic. Drivers that typically made more than 40 trips per week continued to drive at similar levels, while part-time gig drivers made 35% fewer trips than before the pandemic. These tendencies are key for mobility providers and gig platforms that are looking for new ways to engage drivers during these times.
In the workshop portion, we asked a few key questions to workshop ideas to make mobility more resilient in the future. These questions included – What is the market demanding? What trends are already in motion, and how are businesses adapting? How do we need to adapt further? What will our businesses look like in 2050?
Through a quick interactive exercise, we made connections between recent trends and implications for mobility providers.
Identifying scenarios that will make our businesses more resilient in the future
Market Trends and Implications
- The micromobility market has more demand than ever, signaling for more opportunities than expected at the start of 2020. This opens opportunity for collaboration with other mobility providers as more people have moved to using micromobility privately and via shared platforms.
- Public transportation is less appealing as health and hygiene are the top concern. This opens the conversation for more P3s to transition privately-owned and single-occupant modes of transportation back into the public.
- People are moving to areas of lower density, away from city centers. Living in areas with farther travel distances, city-dwellers may end up thinking more auto-centric for transport. Mobility services need to ensure their services work in multiple environments to prepare for when people begin reconsidering more forms of mobility again.
The discussion and collaborative spirit were encouraging, and we’ll keep building insights to help mobility and transportation move forward, regardless of what happens next.