More city dwellers are opting to give up their personal vehicles for city commuting, not because they’re forced to, but because the alternative is more appealing; a trend that is working two-fold to combat the gridlock plague increasing in larger cities around the globe. As city centres expand up and out, the population becomes dense and causes urban congestion. To solve issues with transportation and make getting around easier and more efficient, alternative means of travel are growing in popularity whether that is tied to taking the train, bus, tram, taxi, biking or travelling by foot. Digital progression is moving mobility into the next generation by serving people-on-the-go and matching the right vehicle for each and every journey.

According to stats by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, car ownership is down year-over-year with new vehicle registration declining 6.3 % compared to June 2017. With mobile use increasing it poses the perfect platform for a user-centered mobility paradigm. From 2016, Helsinki has taken a leadership role with adjusting how the population commutes from point A to point B with an app called Whim. Users can get to a destination through their preferred mode of transportation, or in cases where no single mode covers the door-to-door journey, a combination thereof, and payment is settled up within the account through a prepaid monthly subscription or per service. Commuters have embraced new mobility options over the last decade not only through Whim but a mix of emergent platforms.


  • Carsharing had nearly 5 million members worldwide in 2014, up from around 350,000 in 2006, and is projected to exceed 23 million members globally by 2024.
  • There are more than 1,000 public bike share schemes in more than 50 countries—in 2004, only 11 cities worldwide had such programs.
  • 4 Ride-hailing services have seen similarly rapid growth. In six years of operation, Uber’s global footprint has expanded to more than 500 cities in more than 70 countries.

With the increase of MaaS, urban planners are beginning to look at new ways of offering better travel experiences for their residents and visitors, whilst causing fewer cars to be on the major roads and potentially reducing congestion and pollution. Greater Manchester is to become one of the first regions in the UK to research and develop a business model around Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Platform spoke with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) about their vision. The Head of Innovation Development Rafael Cuesta said:

“Transport for Greater Manchester is focused on identifying and delivering new and innovative technology to not only make travel easier but to create a truly sustainable transport network for the future.

“Transport is at the heart of any successful city region and so it’s a must that Greater Manchester embraces new technology like Mobility as a Service and work to deliver the infrastructure to enable the use of autonomous vehicles.

“Central to our agenda is the need to ensure that everything we do provides cleaner and greener mobility solutions to encourage more people to travel sustainably."

Greater Manchester has set out a long-term proposal to create a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous city region through better connections and simpler travel. A strategy for 2040 has been developed focusing on a well-coordinated transportation system that supports a wide range of different travel needs.