Who will be using public and passenger transport in 2045? (6/11)

6. Who will be using public and passenger transport in 2045?

  • Will there be differences among different groups? (e.g. based on age, gender, wealth, trip type, location
  • What differences would there be between public/passenger transport in metropolitan areas, compared to suburban or rural areas?

Who will be using public transport — Anybody who is going to high density areas. So if a traveler is going  downtown, driving will be enough of a hassle that people will generally avoid it, as today in large cities, but probably even moreso. Cities will hopefully have some sort of realistic pricing in place by then, so the cost of travel into the central city will be even more reflective of true costs, and higher than today for private motorised transportation. The choice of mode depends on where the traveler is and her income. In London where 70% of people going into central city that use public transport today, that number will probably be stable, in New York that number will be stable, and downtown Minneapolis it’s even 40% into the central city for work trips (The region has a very low transit mode share,  but into the center of downtown, it will still be high.)  The wealthy will always have their helicopters.

The other thing to remember, is that  in most cities, downtown is generally a less-and-less important part of the region as a whole. In the US, the total share of jobs in downtown peaked some time between 1920 and 1960, and has been declining ever since and will probably continue to decline.

Downtown will still remain important for entertainment services, and maybe a few headquarters types of functions. I think going into work every day and having the traditional 9-5 schedule is going to become less common. Already more than half the people don’t have that kind of schedule, but that ‘traditional schedule’ will become less important over time.

Yes I think the demand for high frequency services, high capacity services, into high density areas, is going to exist but it will be a smaller share than it is today in the US. Comparing public transport in metropolitan areas to suburban and rural areas, suburban and rural areas will all be point-to-point services aside from radial services into downtown. People will either own their own vehicle or use mobility-as-a-service, depending on where they live (how urban it is), and how expensive it is to own and operate a car vs. rent.