There is no exact science to predicting the future of any industry, but the transit trajectory seems to be particularly mystifying and exciting. While the surge of change we’ve seen in 2018 will undoubtedly grow in 2019, we’re using the knowledge we’ve gained in the field to pinpoint what we think the industry will present for us next year.
Prediction 1: Multimodal Trip Planners will continue to pop up, but only one will come out on top
- While there isn’t currently a key player dominating this space, we’re confident that it’s only a matter of time until someone claims the multimodal trip planner real estate and runs with it.
Prediction 2: Transit agencies will add “micromobility manager” to their resume
- Bikes, scooters, and mopeds – oh my! With the rapid popularity and adoption of micromobility systems, transit agencies will begin to dissect the data of these modes while embracing the opportunity to step into the management and decision making space of each.
- Also, these agencies will likely be looking for ways to measure the rides taking place on micromobility services in hopes of gaining additional ridership funding.
Prediction 3: Data science will continue to energize business
- Data science and simulations will continue to play a vital role in the decision making space for transit agencies and beyond.
- Transit agencies will begin to leverage mobile data, specifically, to explore demand patterns at a finer scale. This will allow agencies to understand rider’s travel methods.
Prediction 4: Mobility-as-a-service: a friendly rivalry between public & private entities
- Initiating mobility as a service (MaaS) will be a hot topic in 2019, with talks of TNCs wanting to integrate with companies like Bird and Lime.
- MaaS will be on the street in both public and private forms. While we think private companies will launch first, we’re confident that public agencies will create better service models. A deeper knowledge of the city they’re serving and the public mandate to provide equitable service to all will give public agencies the upper hand.
Prediction 5: The Electric Effect
- With lower prices and expanding prototypes, a growing number of electric vehicles are hitting the streets, with electric bus sales projected to double or even triple.
- All eyes will be on the federal government to see how changing parties within office will affect subsidies for electrification.
Prediction 6: Hello, open data
- Most living data is proprietary, but with such high value, many believe it should be open and accessible to other entities.
- The push toward open data will be driven mostly by private companies due to the limitations the government faces. The challenge will be convincing stakeholders that there is a way to keep data open while still remaining profitable.
- So, what does all of this mean for transit? With data in their pockets, transit agencies would be able to offer enhanced experiences for their riders and facilitate greater overall use of their services.
Prediction 7: Acquisitions will continue to be prevalent
- We saw (and were part of) a huge wave of acquisitions within the mobility space in 2018. Hey, Ford Smart Mobility!
- Our guess? We’ll see micro-mobility solution companies like Lime and Bird join forces with the likes of Uber and Lyft.