The European Commission has announced that 2018 is ‘the Year of Multimodality’ recently, prompting a whole bunch of people to say ‘what the heck is multimodality?’
Multimodality is a very cool thing, actually, so we thought we’d devote our Monday blog post this week to talking about what it is and why SA needs more of it.
Simply put, mobility + multiple transport modes = ‘multimodality’, the shortened catchphrase for multimodal transport which has become nothing short of a buzzword in recent years. It’s basically using more than one method of transport on the same journey.
If you walk to a taxi rank to get a ride to work each morning, that’s technically using more than one way to move in a single work commute and so it’s multimodal. Every time you take an Uber to the Gautrain station – yep, that’s multimodality. Overseas, this might even include trams, subways and ferries. The same goes for mass transport of goods if they, for example, are shipped via container to a harbour, then loaded onto a fleet truck to be taken to a warehouse and then driven from there to stores.
Okay, so what’s the big deal?
Multiple modes of travelling is a necessity for a lot of people, but can be pretty annoying in that it’s essentially been a whole bunch of disconnected mini-trips sewn together that you yourself have had to manage. And if the taxi’s late or the flight is delayed, well, sorry for you. But true multimodality is the 21st century version that includes interconnected technology for a simplified process.
One thing multimodality is working on, for example, is ensuring you only need one ticket for the train, the flight and the rental car, for example. And your cellphone letting your Uber know that your plane is arriving late automatically – something which GoMetro has tapped into with our ‘tell my boss I’m late’ service for trains. This is soon to evolve into CPaaS – Communications Platform as a Service. With CPaaS, commuters will be able to receive updates about their route and more in real time, simply by downloading that transportation’s app. Yep, the future looks bright!
Multimodal, smart mobility is certainly something our country could use to grow economically, too. This past week, our CEO wrote to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba about just this via Fin24. It’s the kind of thing many people in developing nations don’t know that they need, but there has been a, well, boatload of evidence in research that effective transportation infrastructure is directly tied to a country’s GDP.
So go on, get loud about better transport solutions for you and your country! And, as always, have an amazingly mobile week…