Passengers Mobility Transition
Economic development, which usually involves a transition
from a rural, to an industrial to a post-industrial society, is
also linked with transitions in passenger mobility;
from non-motorized (mainly walking) to motorized forms of transportation.
The above figure represents a generic model of this transition
in terms of the respective share of collective versus individual
mobility and non-motorized versus motorized mobility.
The initial stage of involves the development of collective
forms of transportation (tramways, subways, buses) while individual
forms of transportation (mainly the
automobile) become prevalent
at a later stage of economic development. This is particularly linked with the growth of individual
incomes where at some point individual motorized mobility becomes affordable
to a large share of the population.
While in developed countries (e.g. North American and Western
Europe) this transition took place over several
decades, if not a century, many developing countries are
experiencing a fast mobility transition, which is placing pressures
on their transport systems. It remains to be seen how the balance
between individual and collective as well as motorized and
non-motorized will pan itself out in the future. It is however
expected that collective and non-motorized forms of mobility
will play a greater role in an increasingly urbanized world
where sustainability issues are more prevalent.