The Strategist

BCG: Megacities dwellers don't want to refuse personal cars

10/26/2020 - 03:04

According to a survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) among more than 2,000 residents of Beijing, Boston, London and Moscow, half of car owners do not yet want to give up personal cars. It was noted that the respondents most appreciated the opportunity not to be tied to schedules, the opportunity to use their travel time for work and/or entertainment, and the eco-friendliness of transport when moving around the city.

The company estimates that by 2030 more than 750 million people will be living in megacities, which is 30% more than today. And each of the megacities is a habitat for at least 10 million people.

BCG surveyed over 2,000 residents of Beijing, Boston, London and Moscow about their transport preferences at the end of 2019. "As there are many players competing for a share of the urban mobility market, today's metropolitan population can choose from a huge number of competing offers. The municipal authorities need to put order into this chaos. But above all, they need to understand what consumers want from urban transport," says Nikolaus Lang, managing director and senior partner at BCG.

Fifty-three percent of the respondents indicated that their top priority is to be able to work and/or have fun while travelling. 48% said they do not want to be dependent on public transport schedules, while 47% put the sustainability of transport at the top of their list.

At the same time, most respondents considered travel costs, ease of use (e.g. when buying and validating tickets) and comfort to be less important factors. In addition, to BCG also learned about the main issues that city dwellers care about when moving around the city by transport. 57% consider the impact of transport on the city's ecology to be a major pain point, 56% consider the inefficiency of time spent on travel, and 53% consider the lack of flexibility in planning travel.

When asked "How has your desire to own a private car changed in the last 12 months", only 9% of car owners said that this desire has decreased. 41% said it has increased, and 50% said it has not changed - that is, they are not ready to give up using a car in their city. At the same time, among those who do not own a car, the desire to have a personal car has decreased in the last 12 months for 23% of respondents, has increased - for 24% and has not changed - for 53%.

Speaking about how to solve the problems of urban mobility, the researchers believe that "the city of the future should have an impartial transport system co-ordinator who will regulate the actions of transport operators, ensuring the best results for users. City authorities will have to make fundamental changes to the way transport systems are organised, as well as develop mobility management systems and digital platforms for users to provide customer-oriented solutions".