Coming soon to a city near you, perhaps? Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
Helsinki has an audacious goal: By 2025, it plans to eliminate the need for any city resident to own a private car. The idea is to combine public and private transport providers so citizens can assemble the fastest or cheapest mode of travel. “The city’s role is to enable that market to emerge,” explains Sonja Heikkilä, a transportation engineer with the Helsinki government.
Bus routes would be dynamic, changing based on demand at any given moment. From planning to payment, every element of the system would be accessible through mobile devices. Citizens could use their phones to arrange a rideshare, an on-demand bus, an automated car, special transport for children, or traditional public transit. They could purchase “mobility packages” from private operators that would give them a host of options depending on weather, time of day, and demand.
The idea is to take a quintessentially physical transportation system designed around vehicles, roads, bridges, subways, and buses, and reverse it to revolve around digitally enabled individual mobility—moving each traveler from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible.
. . .
Urban planners are trying to understand how today’s digitally enabled mobility ecosystem can help advance public policy goals such as reducing congestion. These policies also could yield related benefits such as fewer traffic accidents, better air quality, and a smaller urban footprint for parking. Yet today these benefits go largely unrealized because innovative transportation business models tend to operate in silos.
What’s needed is an entity that can integrate all these different transportation players and innovations. Government transportation agencies are the logical organizations to take on this challenge.
There’s more at the link.
In other words, Helsinki wants its residents to become less self-reliant and more public-services-reliant. Trouble is, any time I hear anyone, or any organization (particularly a bureaucracy), tell me that a more public-services-oriented or ‘public-spirited’ approach will be good for me, I automatically assume it will be bad for my privacy, independence, and wallet. So far, experience has yet to prove me wrong.
Rule #2: When in doubt, see Rule #1.
And no, I’m not about to give up my own vehicle, any more than I’m about to give up my firearms – and to hell with any ‘urban planner’ or transportation engineer or bureaucrat who tells me I must!