|Distance is a deal-breaker / Photo Credit: Ekaterina Pokrovsky (via Shutterstock)|
Describing itself as the “Wikipedia of Transit,” Carlton Reid of business new platform Forbes wrote that urban mobility app Moovit has revealed how some of its 680 million users traveled on public transit last 2019. Moovit’s 2019 Global Transport Report also contains data on usage of micromobility services like e-scooters and city bike share. Headquartered in Israel, Moovit offers a journey planning service in 3,000 cities across the globe. As well as revealing data from millions of actual transit journeys, Moovit also asked some users to provide qualitative information to find out why transit is used and often shunned.
Moovit’s chief marketing officer Yovav Meydad said that the number of transits can be deal-breaker. He said, “Our data revealed that Parisians have to make three or more transfers to [complete their journeys]." Public transportation in Paris is advanced with the standard Metro, RER (Réseau Express Régional) quicker metro, light rail, and a large network of buses. Because of that, journeys across the city can be complicated. The report revealed that Paris had the highest rate of people across 99 global cities that made more than three transfers.
“When we asked [our users] what would encourage them to use public transportation more they said they wanted accurate arrival times, but also a higher frequency of services so, [when transferring] they don’t have to wait [too long] at different stops,” Meydad explained. Moovit’s app and associated desktop users offer users with real-time information and “get off now” alerts at stops. It also has information on micromobility providers. The app is integrated with Uber if journeys can’t be completed by transit.
A person that needs to travel over 20 kilometers will probably choose a car, Meydad said. But it’s not just the distance. It’s also the number of transfers the person needs to make to complete a journey. Meydad explained, “If somebody has to transfer between two and sometimes three lines, rather than take a direct line, it may appear to make more sense to get in a private car even though that creates congestion and pollution.”
The report can show policymakers that one of the ways to encourage citizens to shift from private cars to public transportation is to reduce the number of times and the distance that people need to walk to transit stops.