A transport engineer in Helsinki is pioneering the real-world implementation of on-demand mobility services. [A 24-Year-Old Transport Engineer Is About To Free Her City From Car Ownership.]
Sonja Heikkilä wants to create a sustainable mobility service ecosystem where Helsinki citizens can configure mobility services from a wide range of providers – public, private and shared – via smartphone apps. In the future, users may be able to purchase monthly mobility plans that are tailored to their activity patterns and needs, much like current mobile phone voice + data plans.
Helsinki is demonstrating that you can have access without ownership. The average automobile is stationary and parked for 95% of its existence – a tremendously inefficient use of a valuable mobility resource. Ownership also leads to overuse and binge mobility.
Social media, location-based services (LBS) and smart cities can help facilitate transportation polycultures that are not only more efficient but more effective and sustainable. We must use these technologies to cultivate mobility services and collaborative mobility rather than the fight the futile battle of easing congestion through expanding roads and highways. It has never worked, and it never will.