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Mobility as a Service

What are we talking about when we talk about sustainable mobility? It’s something Carver wouldn’t have liked at all, he who loved to get right down to things. Let’s talk of fragmentation, notably habit fragmentations and therefore the solutions that lead to eco-sustainability of our habits.

Once upon a time, there was the car, bought with a greater or smaller effort. Then it came the revolution of the undergrounds and leasing. Now, there is MaaS, acronym for Mobility as a Service, a mobility service based not on owning the modes of transport (mostly car) but on its shared usage within a network of users, integrated with multiple public and private transport services in a single accessible service via smartphone, through a multifunctional platform allowing a single payment system. They came up with it in Finland, where it allowed an increase in the number of public transport season-ticket holders from 48 to 74%.

Nowadays, in the big cities – and not just in Italy – mobility sharing (car, scooter, bike) is part of the habits of a new generation, driven by transport-related ethics and uninterested in the dynamics of owning dear to the baby boomers (or simply ‘the boomers’, as teenagers call their parents). The new generation is already accustomed to planning travels via apps and paying electronically. Whether you dislike it or not, this is the future of the big cities, where a privately-owned car parked down the street will become a luxury that only a few will want or afford. This concept is dealt with in an interesting book that has recently been published, “E-turn”, by Renato Mazzoncini, Professor at the Politecnico di Milano and CEO of A2A. He describes a variety of scenarios to de-carbonize the transports in the next 30 years. Today, mobility “travels” by consuming, for 90%, petroleum-based fuels and produces about a quarter of the world emissions. Given the trends of demographic growth and urbanization globally, this gives cause for concern. Mazzoncini proposes futuristic means of transport: super-trains, de-pressurized tubes that can transport both people and goods at more than a thousand kph (Hyperloop, from Milan to Rome in 30 minutes), induction roads to recharge in motion the e-vehicles that run along them. We will see. For now, for the Cycle path running along the Po River or the Giro-E, a shiny e-road out of your garage is unrivaled.