The transportation system in the U.S. has seen many changes in the last few years, a few bike share options, scooters, e-bikes, and autonomous vehicles, to name just a few. The public transportation sector is also changing; we are seeing more cities adopting electric bus fleets, testing autonomous shuttles, and investing in light rail systems. Because transportation is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, there is also a focus on climate change and the urge to act as soon as possible to reverse the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. And things are still changing, so let’s take a look at some of the predictions for 2020.
Bikes are the future – a recent Deloitte report predicts bicycling trips will increase around the world, especially in urban areas. There will be an increase in popularity of the e-bikes due to better batteries; lithium- ion batteries powered bikes are cheaper and accessible to more people. Electric bikes may appeal to people who want to commute but do not like to pack a change of clothes (less effort means less sweat), people who feel out of shape, and people with disabilities. Another selling point for e-bikes – being able to use an app to lock them and track them if stolen and battery-powered LED lights. In addition, all you need to charge it is a standard power socket. And shifting people from cars to bikes will be a clear win for the environment.
If you do not own or have the space for a bike, bike sharing is an option. Bikesharing is gaining ground in the United States, and Deloitte projects that may become even more popular if e-bikes and dockless bikes are included. Some cities in the United States are already offering e-bikes with their bike sharing program – check out Madison’s BCycle program.
Deloitte also projects that cities will start allocating more space to accommodate other means of transportation, making bicycling an attractive, cleaner, and safer option for more and more people. And technology, data and analytics technologies will help planners with the design of bicycle-friendly solutions.
Public transit is going electric too. Metro Magazine sees an increasing trend in electrification, more cities in the United States moving toward electrifying their bus fleets. And to make the bus a more appealing option, cities are also looking into creating signal preference for public transit, bus-only lanes, integrating public transit and mobility needs, and managing the curb. Winning back riders is one of the goals for 2020. By using technology to understand demand, using cloud technologies for route planning, timetables, and scheduling, transit agencies are focusing on improving the rider experience.
SmartCitiesDive, predicts an increased focus on equity initiatives, with investments in expanding and redesigning bus services and affordable housing near public transit.
And lastly, Greenbiz predicts an increase in the number of companies electrifying their truck fleet and increase in the number of cities adopting sustainable transportation plans (we are here to help). They also predict the decline in popularity of the scooter, school buses switching to e-school buses, and the increase in the use of e-cargo bikes for deliveries.
Exciting changes ahead! Let us know what you think and what you would like to see change.