At the Autonomy Mobility World Expo in March 2023, Trufi’s Eva Asturizaga joined a panel discussion that explored how shared mobility options and informal (or popular) transport can be leveraged by cities in combination with public transit to build healthier cities.
The panel discussed the importance of understanding people’s needs in providing public transport and mobility services. They emphasized the need for collaboration among stakeholders and promoting standardization. Basic transportation should be considered a fundamental right.
Transport Options: Creating Proximity vs Digitizing Proximity That Already Exists
The panelists discussed the importance of proximity – making transport near to where people begin and end their journeys. Asturizaga was asked how Trufi “creates proximity.” Trufi digitizes and organizes proximity to transport that already exists. So she replied by defining the difference between transport as the other panelists know it in developed cities such as Berlin, Germany, and transport as it is experienced in cities in the global South, such as La Paz, Bolivia.
Informal transportation, she explained, “refers to modes of transportation that are not operated or administered by local governments or established associations.” These modes can be more responsive to demand than centrally-planned transport. “They do not have fixed timetables or designated stops, and are often in the form of minivans, tuk-tuks (3-wheeled taxis), and marshrutkas (shared taxis).”
Trufi maps these routes to make the information available to the public through a trip planning app that combines formal and informal transportation. For example, in La Paz, Bolivia, there are more than 900 routes of informal transportation, which can be overwhelming for individuals to memorize. By making this information available through this trip planning app, users can access multiple modes of transportation, resulting in reduced costs for users compared to using taxis or privately owned vehicles, and reduced emissions.Eva Asturizaga
Asturizaga was joined in the panel by other public transport experts: Emmanuel de Verdalle from ITXPT – DATA4PT, Christophe Duquesne from ITxPT – DATA4PT, Erdem Ovacik from Donkey Republic, Gemma Schepers from City of Amsterdam, and Tu-Tho Thai from MobilityData
Video courtesy of AUTONOMY