E-bikes and E-scooters will pave the way for multimodal journeys

May 28, 2020
Chloe Johns


The way we travel is about to change, perhaps forever. As the World begins to open up post-COVID 19, cities and councils are looking at how to get people back to work safely. E-bikes, E-scooters and other forms of active travel will play a huge role. 

Transport companies are gradually bringing their services back to full levels, but with social distancing rules being enforced, we will see massively reduced numbers of passengers permitted in any one carriage or vehicle. In the middle of urban areas, at rush hour, that will quickly become unviable. 

e-scooters, e-bikes, bike sharing, COVID

So how do we keep passengers safe? We recently wrote an article about digital queuing which is one avenue to explore, but so is offering multi-modal transport options to passengers. 

Post-lockdown, the government is advising ‘active travel’ for all those needing to get back to work. Demand for bike schemes has increased quickly in recent weeks, and E-scooter trials in the UK are due to start in June. The government is encouraging us to travel by greener modes, and to leave public transport and cars behind. 

Like a New Year’s Resolution, Active Travel this summer is all well and good whilst the sun is shining and the evenings are long, but with the average commute in the UK being 20 miles, do you see yourself taking an eScooter home on a dark and rainy winter’s night? 

What we can do, however, is encourage passengers to use active travel as part of a longer multi-modal journey. For commuters in rural areas, this would help to solve the problem of delivering the first-mile/last-mile link. The government is pledging to invest £2b into greener travel solutions and set to increase cycle lanes across the country and improve safety for walkers. Multi-modal travel has a significant part to play in a post-COVID world. 


The benefits of a MaaS solution 

MaaS, multi-modal

At UrbanThings, our Smart Ticketing Product Ticketless™ provides an account-based solution for passengers that is easily rolled out across several operators or modes of transport. Using our innovative Hex Tag technology, passengers can purchase multi-modal tickets, and use the same check-in method across bike, scooter, bus, train or ferry. Providing users with real-time information gives them the opportunity to make on-the-spot decisions about their journey based on the availability of greener travel modes, or even the crowdedness of the next bus. 

Cities and countries are now looking into how multimodal travel fits into their mobility ecosystem, but there are challenges ahead. The fight to get people out of their cars and onto public transport will have to be waged again, and there will need to be decent incentives for passengers to do that. Green targets will be hard to meet in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, on top of the increasing pressure to lower emissions from transport. Giving passengers more choices about how they travel, and providing them with the information to make quick decisions about their journey will be the foundation of building a smart transport network in the years to come.

If you would like to talk to the team about how Ticketless™ can provide a multi-modal MaaS solution, then please get in touch.