Wednesday, 27 January 2021 03:00

On the move: Moovit unveils its '2020 Global Public Transport Report'


Intel subsidiary Moovit has released analysis of millions of users’ journey requests in over 100 cities across 28 countries, combined with user research, revealing that due to COVID-19, 31% of Australians want to know how crowded a mass transport vehicle is before boarding, and 24% demand mobile payment to ride safely in 2021.

Moovit, an Intel company, bills itself as "a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions provider and creator of the #1 urban mobility app in the world", reports it is unveiling its 2020 Global Public Transport Report, which can be freely read in full here.

We're told the report "consists of big data analysed from tens of millions of journey requests, together with user research in 104 metropolitan areas across 28 countries" and that the result "portrays a fascinating picture of global public transport trends, comparing 2019 and 2020 — how people move around their cities, the impact of COVID-19 on public transport use, and riders’ increased demand for mobile payment".

The company says that at the lowest point in 2020, "some cities in Australia experienced between a 70-80% drop in public transport ridership. It’s an understatement to say that with many residents working from home, avoiding mass transport, and vast changes in local transport services, the way people travel within their cities has changed.

"In Australia, data was analysed in the Adelaide, Brisbane & South West Queensland, Melbourne & Victoria, and Sydney and New South Wales regions.

"Report metrics include the duration of a one-way public transport commute, wait time at stops/stations, walking distance as part of a one-way commute, number of transfers, total journey distance, what public transport riders said would encourage more ridership, and micro-mobility (bike and scooter) usage frequency, why it’s used, and barriers to adoption."

The 2020 report includes two new categories: mobile payment demand for transport, and COVID-19 impact on public transport usage.

The data revealed in the 2020 Global Public Transport Report "indicates that public and shared transportation riders are open to new transit options that are considered safe and convenient, such as future robotaxi services.

"To fulfil their shared Mobility as a Service (MaaS) vision, Mobileye, a leader in autonomous vehicle technology and Moovit’s sister company, plans to harness Moovit’s mobility behavioral insight to offer autonomous MaaS in key markets globally."

The company says that "together, Moovit’s urban mobility app used by millions, and deep understanding of mobility patterns will enable Mobileye to begin offering robotaxi services, both as a standalone and in partnership with transit operators in 2022."

So, what are a summary of the findings about public transport in Australia?

  • Australia has handled COVID-19 quite well, in comparison to other countries, yet 53% of Australians say that how often they ride transport has changed due to the pandemic
  • Due to the pandemic, 31% of Australians want to know how crowded a public transport vehicle is, before they board
  • The average distance travelled in Australia during a public transport commute is 9 km
  • Melbourne locals endure the longest public transport commute times in Australia, while Adelaide locals enjoy the shortest commutes
  • Fourteen percent of Brisbane locals wait at stops and stations for more than 20 minutes during a commute – the worst in Australia
  • The top three reasons that riders say would encourage them to get back on public transport are: respecting social distancing regulations on vehicles and at stops/stations, increase the frequency of vehicles so that each is less packed, and hand sanitiser dispensers on vehicles, and at stops/stations

Compared to other global cities:

  • Forty-nine percent of Adeladians enjoy short travel times of up to 30 minutes, comparable to 42% in London, but almost double the 25% in New York City
  • Just 5% of Spaniards in Madrid care about knowing in advance if their approaching bus is crowded, while 36% in Melbourne do
  • 30% of Parisians make 3+ transfers per commute, on average, while just 15% in Sydney do
  • Compared to other countries hard hit by COVID-19, 44% of Melburnians definitely want mobile payment for mass transport, while just 15% of Parisians do

Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s Chief Growth and Marketing Officer said: "We’re living in a time where data is more important than ever before.

“Especially in the public transport industry, big data can help cities and transport agencies gain insights into what riders need in order to increase mass transport use. We’re excited to release our annual Global Public Transport Report, which includes insights from riders themselves on what they need in order to feel safe riding public transport.

"This report is a great tool for transport agencies, operators, and municipalities to learn about the services they can offer to fill in the gaps and keep their city running.”

The company says its 2020 Global Public Transport Report "is being made accessible to those that would like to explore and compare the metrics of cities and countries around the world. The data is available under the Creative Commons license and can be used for articles, news stories, and/or research papers as long as credit is given to Moovit, including a link back to"

The 2020 Global Public Transport Report can be viewed here

So, what is more of the data in-depth?

COVID-19 Impact on Public Transport Usage

  • 57% of public transport riders in Brisbane say that the pandemic did not affect how often they ride public transport, while 10% in Melbourne say they are using it more

COVID-19 – Related Public Transport Usage Incentives

  • Public transport riders said that the top three reasons that would get them back on public transport during the pandemic are:
    • Hand sanitiser dispensers on vehicles at at stops/stations
    • Respecting social distancing regulations on vehicles and at stops/stations
    • Higher frequency of vehicles so that each is less packed
  • Thirty-six percent of Melbourne locals would like to know how the occupancy status of an approaching vehicle, before they board — the highest in Australia

Average public transport commute time (one way):

  • Melburnians endure the longest public transport commute times (47 minutes), while Adelaidians enjoy the shortest commutes — 39 minutes
  • 49% of Adelaidian riders travel up to 30 minutes

Total wait time at stops/stations per commute (one way):

  • Brisbane locals wait the longest for transport lines during their journey, averaging 12 minutes
    • This is better than in the US, where locals in Miami wait 18 minutes
  • In Australia, Adelaide has the highest percentage of people waiting less than 5 minutes for transport
    • Comparable to London, which has the highest percentage of people waiting less than 5 minutes for transport (33%) in the UK

Total average walking distance per commute (one way):

  • Across Australia, the average walking distance during a public transport journey is 642 metres
  • Melbourne takes the lead for longest distance commuters walk during a public transport journey, with 701 metres
  • Sydney locals enjoy the shortest walking distances, averaging 573 metres

Number of transfers per commute (one way):

  • Sydney has the highest rate of riders making three or more transfers per journey (15%), while 57% in Adelaide get where they’re going using a single line (no transfers)

Total commute distance (one way):

  • The average public transport commute distance in Australia is 9 km
  • 27% of Melburnians travel more than 12 km during an average public transport commute

Mobile Payment Demand: 

  • 24% of Australians said they want mobile payment methods for a safer public transport journey
    • Surprisingly, 50% in Sydney don’t have a desire for mobile payment for transport

Micro-mobility (bikes and scooters) usage:

  • In Australia, the #1 reason that citizens said they use bikes and scooters, besides that it is faster than walking, is that people can get to places they can’t reach by bus
  • 59% of Adelaide locals say they use micro-mobility to travel directly to their destination, while 59% in Sydney say they use bikes/scooters in combination with public transport
  • 47% of micro-mobility users in Adelaide said they prefer using bikes/scooters because it is environmentally friendly — the highest percentage across all Aussie cities

Micro-mobility (bikes and scooters) barriers: 

  • The barrier of adoption for bikes and scooters in Australia is because people feel that they are not safe enough
  • 21% of Sydney locals said they do not use bikes/scooters because there are not enough bike lanes, compared to just 7% in Adelaide

More information on these statistics can be freely viewed at the Moovit Global Public Transport Report here.

Note: Moovit reports that "Due to the extensive coverage offered by Moovit outside of the city centres, the named cities covered in Moovit’s report also include the areas immediately surrounding that city."

Moovit background:

Moovit says its "iOS, Android, and Web apps guide people in getting around town effectively and conveniently, using any mode of transport. Introduced in 2012 it now serves over 950 million users in more than 3,400 cities across 112 countries.

"Moovit amasses up to six billion anonymous data points a day to add to the world’s largest repository of transit and urban mobility data. For governments, cities, transit agencies, and private companies, Moovit offers AI-powered MaaS solutions covering planning, operations, and optimisation with proven value in reducing congestion, growing ridership, and increasing efficiency and asset utilisation", and that "industry leaders such as Microsoft, Uber, and Cubic have partnered with Moovit to power their mobility offerings."

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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