Press Release

Study: Untapped demand for mobility offerings as travellers demand more flexibility

Pandemic-influenced shifts in behaviour and priorities have significant impact on mobility offerings.

The Travel Trends 2021 study* conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global strategy and marketing consulting firm, shone a spotlight on consumer demand for varying mobility offers, such as local public transport or rental offerings (bike, scooter, car-sharing, etc.).

The results show that mobility providers still have significant untapped potential, as half of those surveyed do not use mobility offers yet -- even within large cities where they are more easily accessed, the utilisation is only about 60 percent.

For those who do make use of mobility offerings, leisure travel (weekends, evenings) is the most common use case with 62 percent of respondents saying they typically use mobility offers for leisure purposes. For commuting to work or business trips, mobility offers tend to be less popular with only a third of respondents indicating that they rely on these modes of transport.

Rosalind Hunter, Partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners, says: “We still see a lot of opportunity for both traditional mobility providers as well as those offering newer concepts to grow usage. With commuter and business travelers only just starting to discover, and adapt to, their post-pandemic normal, this is a key points to for mobility providers to make their offering habitual.”

Change in demand and way of travelling

The pandemic has led to a shift in behaviour: UK commuters are going to travel less as the amount of people that used to commute to work five days a week is expected to decrease from 45 percent to 30 percent. Whilst those who travel for leisure purposes are also going to hold back with almost half of respondents planning no more than two trips per week.

The importance of elements such as price, travel time, safety or hygiene differs significantly between these use cases. While commuters pay most attention to travel time, price, and hygiene, business travellers focus more on safety and comfort during their trips. When travelling for leisure, UK respondents mainly focus on price, travel time, and safety.

Lisa Neumeier, Partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners, comments: “Travel behaviour will change, which puts pressure on mobility players to maintain and grow ride volumes given the current user base. A real focus on the increasing number of business travellers, where current usage is realtively low, is recommended. Players also need to consider the needs of varying customer groups and ensure both their product and price can adapt in an agile manner as the needs of these groups change.”

Consumers keen to combine traditional transportation with newer mobility solutions

When asked what they would include in their ideal season ticket for urban mobility, two thirds of the UK respondents indicated that they’d want traditional public transportation (buses, trams, trains, metro), followed by car sharing (21 percent), bike sharing (18 percent), and e-scooters (17 percent).

Hunter says: “Consumers will increasingly demand a multi-mode offering with both traditional and newer mobility solutions available within one pass or season tickets. This will incentivise traditional mobility players to form stronger connections with companies offering newer solutions, if not move to offering them themselves.

Potential demand for e-scooters in the UK is similar to ride-hailing and bike rental. TfL’s trials are still underway in a small number of London boroughs but it is clear that scooters could become a common sight on the streets of London and the rest of the UK soon given the consumer interest. We see consumers demand supporting this at least.”

Full study report available upon request

*About the study: The global study, Travel Trends 2021 was conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners in June 2021. More than 7,000 people in China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States were surveyed about their travel and booking behavior for 2021 and beyond.


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