The world is changing. We’re at the centre of it.
We grew up in a world of personal transportation. It was all about owning your own car, scooter, motorcycle, or bike. Then there’s the traditional world of public transport: buses, trains, taxis and ferries. We’ll familiar with them. We have them. We use them.
But a new kind of mobility is increasingly taking over here. It’s a new world of sharing; a world of new possibilities. A simple approach to moving around. Only driving by car when it’s absolutely necessary. Grabbing a bike and cycling off to take care of a short errand. Sharing a shuttle with others, enjoying your own privacy even with others around you, and charging your mobile phone en route. Using. Sharing. Travelling. And all this without the need for ownership any more. So much is so easily available.
Courage is like change. Just one step before.
The only thing we need for this – besides a virtual mobility account – is a certain frame of mind. An attitude. Our attitude to mobility is influenced more than anything by our routines. And sometimes by status too. Routines are a good thing in one sense. They make everyday life simpler. They allow us to take things for granted. Status gives us the feeling of being at a certain level in society. Of having reached a certain level. Both make change difficult. Leaving familiar paths, giving up things we thought were certain. Not worrying so much about receiving recognition from others. This isn’t easy. It might even be a challenge. It takes a lot of courage. Willpower. A readiness to embrace open-mindedness and freedom. In the end though, all it takes is a change.
Sharing is owning. Just in a new sense.
What exactly are we giving up if, for example, we leave our own car at home? The freedom to decide the exact route we want to take? Just like all the other people sat alongside us on the roads, stuck in traffic jams and struggling to get where they need to go in the bumper-to-bumper traffic? The secret pleasure of being able to show off what we can afford? Being able to sit in our own cars, listening to our own music or drinking a coffee? That’s just as easy to do travelling on a train or bus, driving a car through a car-sharing provider, or taking a shuttle. Traditional notions of status are shifting. Owning certain things is no longer important. The new status is how we make use of these things. The new status is knowledge about the potential for living differently and with more freedom. And our mobility is an important part of that.
So let’s rethink our routines. Rethink why we’re holding on to a status that’s no longer important. Let’s question our thinking and our behaviour. Let’s free ourselves from the constraints of traffic, and from the possessions that weigh us down and supposedly boost our social standing. Let’s bring freedom and flexibility to our mobility. Let’s re-design it in ways that suit our needs right now.
Let’s turn our mobility into the freedom of travel wherever we want. Into something we don’t have to think or worry about. Into a public asset that we all use together and with one another.