‘Half of Belgians to travel more sustainably with smart mobility apps’

Almost half of all Belgians (43%) expect that smart mobility apps will lead to more sustainable trips. About 28% of them think they might encourage them to use public transport more often, one-fifth of respondents (21%) expect they would convince them to opt for more active means of transport (walking or cycling), and 15% say they would travel less by car.

The figures come from a recent iVox survey among 3 000 Belgian citizens. The Federal Agency for Mobility and Transport (FOD Mobiliteit en Vervoer) initiated the survey to analyze the attractiveness and persuasiveness of smart mobility apps.

Mobility as a Service

The so-called ‘MaaS’ apps – Mobility as a Service – try to simplify the daily life of commuters and travelers by offering them combined mobility solutions. People can plan their trip or journey, book their tickets, and pay for them through the apps.

About six out of ten respondents favor an app combining a multimodal route planner, a payment system, and several mobility services. Why? Because the app offers various route options, the possibility to avoid traffic jams, and the choice of different transport modes. Alternatives like MaaS could sharply reduce car commuting.

Smartphone-related

According to the study, the apps are more popular among the highly-educated, mainly men and city-dwellers. And since the apps are smartphone-related, it is not surprising that most users are relatively young. More than 97% of those aged 18 to 35 possess a smartphone, and 69% regularly use several mobility apps.

The new index gives a score between 0 and 100 points according to Belgians’ potential and actual use of smart mobility apps. The index mentions the different modes of transport, services, and functionalities and gives a score depending on their importance for the rollout of MaaS.

Participants with a smartphone using several mobility apps to organize their journey, involving different means of transport, can get a high index score. The average for the Belgian population is 41,4%.

Modal shift

One of the survey’s findings is that MaaS can stimulate shared mobility by promoting the best transport mode for each given situation, rather than focusing on one’s own means of transport (car, bike, e-scooter…).

Figures of the study show it’s interesting to analyze how MaaS can realize the modal shift optimally. If the expected impact becomes a reality, MaaS could lead to significant changes.

In a reaction to the survey, Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) said that “as federal Minister of Mobility, I will continue to make people’s daily lives easier by developing mobility as a service”.

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