Mobility hubs have been around for many years but as we enter a new decade more and more cities are actively planning how their public transit systems will work better for their communities, attempting to encourage people away from reliance on private cars and to meet emission and climate goals. Mobile mobility platforms are at the centre of this development.
Los Angeles in the US is planning to build a hundred over the next few years and there are already a number of successful hubs in existence across the US and Europe with many more planned.
But what exactly is a mobility hub? Is it simply a fancy bus terminal?
Not at all, a mobility hub is a major transit area with a density of planned transit services with a clear connectivity between the varied modes of transportation, including traditional forms such as buses, trains and trams but also bikes and scooters, ride sharing, micro transit, car sharing and pedestrian routes, all coming together in a seamless way.
A mobility hub is more than just the transport elements, however, although they are at the heart of it. The users are integral to the development, implementation and success of a mobility hub. It is important there is a critical mass of residential and/or employment spaces, a strong sense of place and an area of economic vitality including retail and inviting public spaces.
Activities in a mobility hub can be broken down into six main areas:
- bike and scooter connections including bike/scooter share programmes to enhance first and last mile connectivity;
- vehicle connections encouraging and developing ride sharing using online platforms to connect riders with non-commercial drivers;
- reliable, efficient, convenient and safe public transit such as buses, trains and trams;
- information and signage, both physical signage and increased use of smart phone connectivity with excellent wifi in the hub ;
- support services;
- easy access to pedestrian connections.
All of this sounds very practical and physical but where do mobile mobility platforms, such as Unwire’s Mobile Mobility fit into this?
Mobile mobility platforms are the perfect way to ensure users at the hub have access to real time and practical information about connections at the hub thus creating awareness of the range of options available. The information shown in the mobile app can also be communicated in real time to physical display boards in the mobility hubs.
Real time trip planning means that users can easily transfer between different transit modes as needed and they are able to choose the best option for them at that precise time and based on their budget.
A mobility platform provides the ability to pay for all the elements of transport within the app and means a more convenient experience for the user and the opportunity to provide the user with more intelligent payment options such as subsidized trips, monthly subscription services or loyalty discounts.
Real-time alerts mean that there are timely warnings regarding any delays or changes to the services giving the users the flexibility to make appropriate changes and adjustments to their transport choices.
Multi-modal trip planning within the Unwire mobility platform means there are easy integrations to ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, micro transit on demand, bike and scooter sharing covering users first mile, last mile needs. These are either managed from within the Unwire mobility app itself or via a deep link to the provider’s app to book the service.
For users with disabilities, particularly those with visual or auditory impairments, an accessible format to an app can make their use of the mobility hub safer and more accessible.
Mobile mobility platforms can also aggregate community information into the app with community information and news, and real time public service announcements, where appropriate.
Unwire’s Mobile Mobility platform is a plug-and-play solution which can be deployed in one to two months for new customers depending on the level of customization and integration needed.
Want to know more? Contact us today for a free demo.