Londoners trying to figure out the quickest way to travel from Heathrow Airport to Notting Hill can now use MobilityScore, the web-based transit-information tool that has informed commuter decisions across North America over the past year.
In addition to London, DC-based TransitScreen has phased MobilityScore into Paris and Dublin—about a year after the tool went live with data about public transit, carsharing, ridehailing and micro-transit options (e.g., e-scooters and bikesharing) for more than 100 cities in the United States and Canada.
“The problems and opportunities of mobility are the same globally,” said Matt Caywood, CEO and co-founder of TransitScreen. “Many different cities have many multimodal options. It’s the same deal from Seattle to Singapore to Sao Paolo. Every one of these cities has significant public transit systems, gridlocked road systems, new mobilty modes. This is a global trend and it’s a very exciting one for people who are interested in transportation and making their commutes better.”
TransitScreen is probably more well known as the maker of real-time transit displays found in building lobbies and common areas. In September 2017, the company unveiled MobilityScore, which rates a given location based on the available mobility choices. A score of 0 means the user has no mobility choices, while 100 means she has excellent options.
For each mobility choice, MobilityScore measures how long it would take to actually start moving – for example, the time it takes to leave a building, walk to a Metro station and wait for a train. The tool integrates data from more than 2,700 agencies and operators in North America.
For the new overseas markets, TransitScreen has tailored how it depicts data to transit environments.
“It’s always interesting to see how people experience information a bit differently,” Caywood said. “For instance in London, they have this way of showing information for different subway lines and their service lines. They’re used to seeing whether lines are experiencing good service or poor service, alerting you that there might be disruption on service lines. In London, that’s been such a standard that we had to adopt to that perspective.”
An emerging issue is how best to depict the proliferating number of micromobility options.
“We’ll kind of see how it shapes up,” Caywood said. “These electric mobility options and bikeshare are merging into one category. Companies like Lime and Jump are all over the place and also serve different functions in different places, although I think fundamentally the way people use them in different cities is pretty similar for now.”