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Makers of mobility: know your people! An appeal to mobility UX

With the boom of digitization, people have become spoiled. Spoiled with speed, selection and seamless services. We want to be greeted by our name, we want you to remember what we like — and what we absolutely don’t like. We are the consumers and you are the software. The same amount of personalization that we (used to) expect from our local car rental, we now expect from any mobility service.

UX trickling down the mobility lines

People are used to great user experience from tech companies such as Facebook, AirBnB, Twitter, Foodora, Zalando and other pioneer solutions within e-commerce or digital services.

How does this affect mobility? Well, as more and more transportation providers transition into being digital players, their starting point is not basic customer needs, but an already extremely high level of customer expectation. Every mobility operator is claiming to offer a new solution that will make our day-to-day life easier. But if the UX is complicated, buggy or slow, you’ve already proven that your solution is not going to make anything particularly easy.

When pairing up with a tech innovator to create your mobility service or turn it into what people expect and more, I would partner with a company that has a strong focus on customer interface. Perhaps go as far as to pick one that has its own user-facing element. Companies like that — including Trafi — know how important it is to make MaaS just as convenient to use as your beloved Netflix account.

Who will be the Amazon of transportation?

MaaS is one of the most important platform businesses currently shaping the entire industry. From ride hailing companies and public transit agencies, to OEMs and digital giants like Google, we see organisations going from providing one service too many. The battle is on and everyone wants to become “the Amazon of Transportation”.

Trafi is one of the frontrunners that can help potential partners to go from “one offer only” to a fully comprehensive mobility service. So what partners are we looking for? All of the above. Trafi wants to collaborate with municipalities and transport providers alike — our aim is to create connected cities; powered by our software and improved with our analytics.

It’s a platform’s world

If I would get one Euro for all the times somebody has asked me if there will be “one app to rule them all” in terms of mobility, I would be a very rich woman. I strongly believe that there won’t be one mobility service that will dominate the entire market. However, I do believe in a major consolidation of existing platforms. This will force new partnerships (especially for micro-mobility companies) and a natural selection of who’s staying in — and winning — the game.

I predict a segment of international conglomerates and another one of national heroes. A clear order of three top solutions which variates across cities or countries, where global giants will compete for a place on the prize podium together with a few local early innovators. The biggest winners will be the ones that combine the highest number of integrated options with the best user experience for the largest amount of people. This is good news for Trafi, because our technology is user-centric at its core and designed to enable mobility services for partners with a lot of reach.

User vs citizen perspective

We will increasingly see strategic alliances between cities and private providers to enable a broader access to mobility. Mobility will become less siloed and more integrated, from APIs to ease of access, and we need to start treating mobility as a free market place where we must connect with others to survive.

One way of achieving this can be to power national countrywide solutions. This would allow “roaming” across city borders for users and remove friction of travelling in between regions (potentially even countries). This would also enable an even larger base of information to enhance the entire ecosystem of mobility.

Taking a closer look at individual countries and sometimes continents, we will see clear differences in ownership and choice of direction. In the US, where public transportation is not the backbone of mobility, private players like Uber and Lyft will take the role of integrators and aggregators. In the EU, it is rather the public transit agencies that will lead this development and function as a neutral platform for urban mobility. Here, we are looking at the city as the single most imperative player to steer, control and improve the full mobility network.

Besides the city, the user is the most essential component of a mobility service. Both as the end-costumer and as an influencer of selection, desired policymaking and continuous improvement. We have to give consumers what they want and realize what that is before they do. Today it is a digital one-stop-shop for mobility.

About Trafi

Founded in Vilnius, Lithuania, Trafi has been revolutionizing urban mobility since 2013. Our MaaS platform is designed to run even the most complex transport systems and has been trusted by Berlin (BVG), Brussels (STIB), Portsmouth & Southampton (Solent Transport), Munich (MVG), and Zurich (SBB).

Trafi’s mission is to empower cities with state-of-the-art MaaS solution that helps to tackle their mobility challenges and to achieve ambitious sustainability objectives. Our white-label product offers all the features and components needed to launch your own-branded MaaS service. With more than 50 existing deep integrations to mobility service providers and payment facilitators, we help to reduce risk, cost, and time-to-launch for new services.


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