VISA, Stanford University examine demand for public, private transportation

Daily News Egypt
6 Min Read

Visa, in collaboration with Stanford University, launched one of the largest global studies examining the growing demand for public and private transportation, and the important role digital commerce plays in driving sustainable growth.

Notably, the UN stated earlier that by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in urban centres – and the number of “megacities” with populations greater than 10 million people will rise from 43 today to 51 within that same period.

Building on Visa’s experience in working with transit operators, automotive companies and technology start-ups, Visa commissioned a global study, ‘The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity’ to better understand the challenges commuters face today and in the future. The key findings were combined with a view of existing and near horizon innovations provided by experts at Stanford University, to better understand the technology gaps in addressing their pain points.

Payments lie at the heart of every form of travel, and will continue to become more integral as more cities move to contactless public transportation, digital payments for parking and rental services such as bikes or scooters.

Commenting on Egypt’s statistics, Ahmed Gaber, Visa’s general nanager for North Africa said: “The study shows that only little more than a quarter of Egyptians use personal mode of transport for commuting and only 20% of the youth (Gen Z). Respondents communicated that they had problems with public transport, with the biggest issue amongst all ages being overcrowding. Progression within the local start up scene indicates that we can expect initiatives in Egypt that will increase the efficiency of transport.”

He further added, “The Egyptian government, alongside the private sector, are working on improving the infrastructure by creating new roads and renovating metro lines. Infrastructure combined with new technological mechanisms that ensure quick and safe transactions mean that people will spend less time, money, and energy on commuting in their everyday lives. The youth are able and keen to develop Egypt into a functional tech savvy nation and they are the biggest demographic in the country. Progress is essential to the growth and success of the Egyptian economy. At Visa, we believe that the future success of our cities is intertwined with – and reliant on – the future of transportation and mobility.”

According to the results of the study, 61% of the total surveyed in Egypt think that ease and the speed of payment is important.

“If it was easier to pay for public transport, the average use in Egypt would increase by a mean of 33%, vs 27% globally,” according to the study.

The study also revealed that 43% in Egypt said that the need for different tickets for different modes of travel is an issue, vs 47% globally.

Concerning the public transport use, the study revealed that just under a quarter of people (22%) surveyed in Egypt use a personal car as a way to get to work, school or university, compared to 44 % globally.

In terms of the car use, the study showed that personal car use is low with only 26% of respondents using a personal car to get to and from work, school or university, which is far from the global average of 60%

“Finding a parking spot was cited to be a problem by 55% of Egyptian respondents while it was cited as the biggest issue globally with 64% of respondents citing this as the most disliked aspect of driving,” according to the study.

Concerning the commute times, 48% of the respondents in Egypt have seen their commuting time increase (compared to 46% globally).

Unfortunately, “51% in Egypt expect more time commuting over the next five years,” the study revealed.

Herman Donner, a PhD and postdoctoral researcher from Stanford University, co-authored the report and summarised: “When looking across the technology landscape, there are already many existing products that could easily address people’s daily frustrations with travel. However, none of these solutions should be developed in isolation. A major challenge therefore lies first in identifying relevant technologies that provide suitable products for the market then managing implementation, in conjunction with a broad set of stakeholders including mobility providers, technology companies, infrastructure owners, and public transport agencies. From our research, we think that many of these small and incremental changes have the potential to make a significant difference in people’s daily travel, whether it is to help find parking, get the best price to refuel their car, or to plan their journey on public transportation.”

Notably, the study reflects the feedback of 19,000 consumers in 19 countries and identified significant challenges faced by growing urban centres, including commute times, car use, public transport use, and payments.

Visa suggested some recommendations, including investing in connectivity, creating a seamless payment experience to support commuters’ journeys with multiple “legs”.

In addition, the recommendations included integrating personal authentication into the payment experience, and designing commerce system with all members of the society in mind, as well as developing strategic partnerships to drive insights.

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