Recently I was in my country house in North-West Italy and I needed to buy some food. In that village there is only one bus service in the morning and one in the afternoon. No service on Sundays or holidays. For this reason I need (and own) a car that has to be always efficient to give me the opportunity to move from the house.
That’s why I service my car every year and that time arrived, so I booked the appointment at the car make service & assistance for 8:30 of a Friday and then I was told I could collect it at 16:00 of the same day. No problem about going there but how could I be back home and how in the afternoon could I go there and collect it? Fortunately, a good neighbour of mine offered lifts for the two journeys. Otherwise, I should have hired a taxi twice for about EUR 25 each leg.
While waiting for this guy after my car was accepted in the workshop, I was thinking about the greatness and magic of Mobility as a Service solutions so well described and publicised in a few conferences I attended in the past months and magazines I read.
MaaS is certainly a good step forward in the mobility demand of modern times but only in cities of certain sizes: shall we say for those populated by more than 100,000 inhabitants at least?
There is a small city at only 10 kms from my village with no bike sharing and no car sharing facilities so there is no chance to get a shared service to link this city to the village. The only chance is either hiring a taxi – as said before – or rent a car that, in my case, would have been a waste of money for only 8-hour need and logistically inconvenient.
In these days cities show with pride their shared mobility services, multiple journey planning apps available, e-ticketing services and more but, if you are located in a small town (somewhere in Europe, which country doesn’t make any difference), you are stuck and you feel like going immediately back to decades ago when one was impatiently looking forward to getting the driving licence to enjoy freedom of movement.
I would love not to have a car when I am in the village for the number of reasons (economic, environmental, etc.) that are well known, but at present this is not possible.
A new strategic mobility vision is requested to fill in the gap between mid/large cities that have redundant shared services and towns/villages that don’t have any.
EPN Consulting Founder & CEO