Developing future mobility options that can attract new users and deliver a seamless travel experience – from e-bikes to mobility as a service (MaaS), ride-sharing to mobility hubs – will be critical to decarbonising transport. However, these options will never fulfil their true potential without being available, accessible, affordable and acceptable to as many different people as possible.
These ‘Four As’ form the basis of analysis in Urban Transport Group’s new report produced in partnership with Arup – Equitable Future Mobility: Ensuring a just transition to net zero transport. In it, we use the lens of the Four As to consider the human dimensions of future mobility, exploring who is this service available to, where and when? Who can access it, what do they need to be able to do so? Who can afford it? And finally, who would feel comfortable, safe and welcome to use the service?
In each case, we need to understand who is included, but also who is left out and how any barriers they face can be overcome.
Take an e-bike share scheme as an example – under ‘available’ we might ask where hire stations are located and who can reach them? We know that too often these are concentrated in higher income neighbourhoods. What sort of journeys do the location of those pick-up and drop-off points facilitate? A simple commute from A to B or a more complex trip chain?