Transporting people like IP packets

pedbike

Transportation as a Service might be better thought of as transportation as a system; the items to be transported are people, and things.
An Economist special report, ‘Reinventing Wheels ‘, from early March 2018, discusses autonomous vehicles, urban planning, and possible changes in how people live, while ignoring a significant part of the overall transportation system ; there’s very little mention of pedestrians, and no mention of bicycles. This ignores the actual flexibility in the system if it allows for people to walk or bicycle for part of their journey. There are many urban and suburban trips where the time to drive and park a vehicle exceeds the time to walk or cycle the same trip.
Contrast this with ‘tim in Graz’ (Austria).
“At selected public transport stops, the tim locations, the Graz Lines bundle additional mobility services as a supplement to public transport:

  • e-car sharing
  • conventional car sharing
  • rental car for longer distances or long-term use
  • e-taxis with exclusive stand
  • public charging stations for private electric cars
  • bicycle parking

This offer makes it easier to dispense with your own car because it makes it easy and convenient to access a car when needed. You can also park your own e-car at the e-charging station and change to bus or train. Bicycle parking makes the change from the bike to public transport comfortable.”
Being able to change, at a location for which there is a business model that scales up, between different modes of transport is going to be important to the improvement of frequent, flexible, movement of people. Amazon, FedEx, DHL and the other shipping companies use this model for moving things.

References
https://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21737418-driverless-vehicles-will-change-world-just-cars-did-them-what-went-wrong
TIM – Graz, Austria