This IDC Perspective provides a brief overview of some of the latest innovations and developments under way in public transit. Public transit is transforming itself to "mobility as a service," aiming to provide a more customer-centric view of transport that is less focused on individual modes and more so on a person's mobility from one location to another by integrating modes and services beyond those solely offered by a transit agency. Presently, current funding, regulatory, and organizational structures limit the reach of public transit systems to fully pursue this new model. However, advances in technology and innovation have expanded the levels and quality of service of mobility in cities, benefiting transit agencies, passengers, and cities themselves. Third-party app developers can make urban transport appear seamless as they integrate operators and modes within a single app.
"In addition to integration and collaboration with external parties in the transformation toward mobility as a service (MaaS) to improve mobility in cities, transit agencies and cites are using or exploring innovations and tools to include Big Data and analytics, IoT, behavior nudging, ultrawideband for precise positioning, mobile device location data, and autonomous vehicle technologies to make improvements in many areas including transit operations; management and utilization of fleets, assets, and crews; safety; operational efficiencies; air quality; revenue operations and service; accountability; and data quality and availability for operations, service planning, and route and system planning; as well as enhanced passenger experience and safety," says Mark Zannoni, IDC research director for Smart Cities and Transportation.