22nd of September is World Car-Free Day, but for MaaS Global and Whim, every day is car-free day. We want to do our part in ensuring that the planet can support future generations. Instead of putting restrictions on how people travel, we want to offer something better than a privately owned car. Our goal is to replace 1,000,000 cars with Whim subscriptions by 2030 by offering our users multiple different modes of transport to ensure they can travel efficiently and sustainably. Allowing our users to create their own travel chains by planning, booking and paying for their trips with one app helps make their trips easier and more efficient.
Transportation is responsible for 25 % of CO2 emissions, and this number is expected to rise to 40 % by 2030*. But it is also one of the lifestyle choices people view as the least important*. Because mobility is something that affects everyone one way or another and it is something we think about and do most days, it has become a blind spot where people cannot see a more sustainable option having much of an effect on the climate. But only in 2021, MaaS Global alone was able to reduce 2400 tCO2. This was made possible by small decisions done by individual people choosing public and shared mobility options over private cars.
A survey sent out by Whim at the end of November 2021 has already given a good insight into how people see cars now and how they might change their habits in the future**. When asked to describe what owning a car means to them, many summarized it as an easy, efficient and flexible way to move. Whim also asked them what they would need to encourage them to use public transport and shared mobility more. Several of the responses emphasized the need for better roads for cyclists and pedestrians as well as better public transport services, including timetables and routes. Moreover, a survey sent out to the users in early fall about their commuting habits in August-September revealed that 51% of respondents are planning to increase the use of public transport and 42% are planning to decrease the use of their own car***.
More sustainable mobility does not mean giving up your car immediately, but even going car-lite can have a huge impact. Using mobility apps like Whim to plan the best route with the most sustainable modes of transport can ease your mind when all your maps, booking info and tickets are under one app. You may even find new modes of transport you prefer to old ones, but most importantly by using these public and shared modes of mobility, you are affecting how cities are designed and built to maintain changing mobility.
So, while private cars are still easier and faster for certain occasions, part of the problem at the moment lies in how public transport and shared mobility is built, maintained and how it engages consumers. A lot in the transport industry starts with infrastructure and policy makers, but it is people who show the need for change. It starts with us all as individual consumers who can demand better roads and better public transport, but also do our part in making the decision to start the change at home, by choosing public transport and shared mobility, by choosing to use our car less or get rid of it altogether.