2018 Season’s Greetings

2018 has been the year of diversification for Ubiquity Consulting: our experts have had the opportunity to collaborate, write or present on a wide range of topics linked to governance, sustainability, urban mobility or even renewable energies.

Ubiquity Consulting’s team also shared expertise on innovations for the mobility sector, such as the blockchain, MaaS, electric vehicles or shared mobility.

With so many changes and opportunities to seize in the transport and mobility world, we therefore hope to be able to collaborate with you and your team in 2019 to make our sector always more sustainable and innovative!

Happy New Year! Feliz año nuevo! Bonne année! Feliz ano novo!

Sustainable mobility as a key to innovative transport system

This week sees the publication of an article by Ubiquity Consulting, “Sustainable mobility as a key to innovative transport system”, prepared for one of our long-term partners from Poland, Cogito Technology Consulting. The article appeared in a report entitled “Serving Citizens Technology”, which presents global trends in urban development, together with the most innovative Polish solutions in urban space.

With the objective of supporting cities to become more attractive to their residents and above all, more resilient, sustainable and inclusive, this report focuses on topics such as circular economy, open data, sustainable transportation, innovation, behavioural economics, civic sourcing or collaborative governance.

The article develops on the trends which are currently shaping the transport sector, such as electrification, shared mobility services or technologies such as MaaS or the blockchain, while taking into account the increased pressure on local decision-makers intending to make their cities more healthy, connected, accessible and eventually, more resilient.

This article is available here on Cogito Technology Consulting’s webpage. We hope you will enjoy this reading.

Ubiquity in Cape Verde: A Study on Electric Vehicles and Sustainable Transport

During the months of January and February 2018, Ubiquity Consulting had the opportunity to develop a complete assessment on the potential of electric vehicles and other sustainable road transport solutions in Cape Verde.

This assessment was part of a NAMA Facility Support project launched by GIZ (the German Development Agency) in collaboration with ECREEE (ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency) and CERMI (Center for Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance), aiming to reduce the greenhouse gases emissions issued from the transport sector at the national level.

The role of Ubiquity was to provide an assessment of the current transport situation in Cape Verde, and consequently propose sustainable transport alternatives to be implemented. To do so, the Ubiquity team visited Praia (the Cape Verdean capital) in January in order to meet and interview stakeholders operating in the transport and energy sectors (governmental agencies, international institutions, private players). Back in its Madrid offices, the team was able to draw its first conclusions: While Cape Verde has a huge potential in term of renewable energies (wind and solar), this potential is still underused by the transport sector, although it could strongly favour electric mobility options.

It was the first time that such an amount of qualitative and quantitative information was gathered for the transport sector in Cape Verde. Together with the subsequent analysis and conclusions, this study may then be used in the future as a cornerstone document for the transport sector at national level.

2017 Season’s Greetings

An amazingly sustainable and innovative year!

Throughout this year, Ubiquity Consulting collaborated on projects across a broad range of business sectors: missions on transport, mobility, technology and energy efficiency topics kept our collaborators busy, working on new mobility networks and innovative vehicles, electric buses and ferries, or association management and representation of interests at European level.

Ubiquity’s collaborators also participated in several European events: the new tech discoverer Smart Cities Expo in Barcelona, the mobility management ECOMM Conference in Maastricht, or the startups and new technologies hunter South Summit event in Madrid.

Plans for 2018 also look very promising: Between the elaboration of the very first Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for a major East European city, our participation in a network of new technologies consultants aimed at city-level decision-makers, or the implementation of sustainable and innovative transportation solutions at national level for a developing country in Africa, our experts will not have time to get bored.

Ubiquity Consulting will also be presenting on the topic of the blockchain’s potential applications for urban transport at the occasion of the 2018 Future of Transportation World Conference next June in Köln!

We wish you all the best for next year and would like to thank you, clients and collaborators, for your commitment, which has now been stretching over the past three years.

The Ubiquity Consulting Team

Ubiquity Consulting website in Portuguese, bem-vindos!

Ubiquity Consulting Cable Car

We are happy to announce that the Ubiquity Consulting website is now available in Portuguese, you can now read us in as many as four different languages! To celebrate this event, we also gave our website a new look, so do not hesitate to explore it.

Since its creation, Ubiquity Consulting strives to provide high-quality knowledge and tailor-made solutions to its customers in our fields of expertise: passenger transport, urban planning and mobility.

The translation into Portuguese of our website stands as a dynamic and engaging step towards our Portuguese-speaking collaborators and clients.

Enjoy your reading, and até breve!

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Ubiquity’s Activities, August 2016

It is nearly the end of the holidays, and at Ubiquity Consulting, we feel like it may be the right time to summarise what we have been working on during the past eight months.

Since January, our clients have, in a random order, taken us to a tour of the United States to visit their plants, tried to communicate with us in exotic languages such as Tagalog (successfully, eventually), developed (with our support) training material for African professionals, or developed activities in Turkey. For you, Ubiquity clients, we have notably assessed various car-sharing schemes in Europe and the Americas, developed feasilibity studies for ride-hailing services, or represented and advised private players to support their growth in the transport sector. By the way, we also made a presentation about transport authorities and autonomous vehicles at the ECOMM 2016 in Athens in June!

We would therefore like to thank our clients for the opportunities they gave us during the last six months to develop the company’s activities and for the stimulating everyday work. We will keep up the good work in the months to come, and to start with in September, we will be in Brussels for events around the European Mobility Week, and participate to the InnoTrans fair in Berlin.

Tres consejos para un plan de movilidad eficiente

Las autoridades locales están empezando a ser conscientes de que para que sus ciudades avancen, creciendo de forma rápida y eficiente, necesitan un Plan inteligente. Esta es probablemente la razón por la que los primeros planes de movilidad fueron nombrados estratégicamente “Planes Maestros” o “Planes Sostenibles”.

La elaboración de un Plan inteligente no es tan sencilla como parece. Antes de llegar a una versión del Plan que se adapte a sus necesidades y prioridades, es probable que las ciudades y demás organismos institucionales tengan que pasar por una serie de tediosos pasos y circunstancias que requerirán conocimientos especializados multidisciplinarios.

En este contexto, partiendo de nuestra experiencia en Planes de movilidad y colaboraciones con diferentes responsables dentro del sector, queremos compartir tres consejos que nos parecen cruciales para la elaboración de un Plan de este tipo, llevando su Plan un paso más allá.

Consejo 1: Fomentar un enfoque participativo.

No, la participación ciudadana en la creación de un Plan de este tipo no es opcional ni una manera de realizar talleres divertidos. Por el contrario, resulta la ocasión perfecta para mezclar métodos de trabajo top-down y bottom-up, y escuchar lo que los usuarios (y no usuarios) de transportes públicos tienen que decir sobre el Plan y la movilidad en general. Puede que le sorprendan sus puntos de vista.

De hecho, numerosas ciudades ya han decidido incluir una dimensión participativa en su Plan, y han podido comprobar que la retroalimentación ciudadana tiende a ser muy concreta y práctica. Además, al verse incluidos en la toma de decisiones desde el principio, los ciudadanos vislumbran mejor el panorama general, y empiezan a entender mejor las limitaciones a las que se enfrentan las autoridades.

Este proceso, además de fomentar el apoyo de los ciudadanos a las políticas urbanas, permite, en cierta manera, restaurar una base de confianza entre las autoridades que se encargan de la toma de decisiones y los ciudadanos (que experimentan los desafíos de gobernar en primera persona).

En algunas áreas, las municipalidades han llevado esta práctica incluso a la entrega de parte del presupuesto a los ciudadanos, a fin de que ellos elijan qué proyectos inician o apoyan. Más allá de ser medidas de participación ciudadana realmente integradas, éstas demuestran también un uso inteligente de internet y de las redes sociales, que sin duda se verán aumentados en el futuro.

Consejo 2: La integración es la clave.

Nunca se repetirá lo suficiente, si usted quiere que su Plan de movilidad sea sostenible, necesita que sea un Plan integrado.

Después de estudiar el ecosistema global de la movilidad de su zona, sin omitir ningún aspecto, el objetivo será ofrecer a sus ciudadanos las mejores combinaciones de modos, que les permitan viajar con completa serenidad y sin barreras.

“Sin barreras” significa que los límites entre modos deben ser eliminados lo máximo posible. Concretamente, esto puede conseguirse, por ejemplo, mediante la implementación de una revisión de toda la red de transporte y la oferta de movilidad, o bien, mediante una mejor integración del sistema de ticketing entre los diferentes operadores.

“Con completa serenidad” se refiere al hecho de que los usuarios no tengan que elegir entre variedad de complejas opciones de transporte. Esto puede lograrse gracias a la creación de un planificador de viaje en el que se incluyan todos los modos de transporte y movilidad (ferroviario, carretera, modos de movilidad compartidos, e incluso el ir a pie); o una simplificación de las tarifas.

Consejo 3: Abrirse a las nuevas tecnologías y la innovación.

A pesar de que las nuevas tecnologías no van a solucionar todos los problemas urbanos, definitivamente pueden ayudar proporcionando una base sólida para la rápida recopilación de datos y obtención de resultados; sobre todo en términos de calidad y de frecuencia. Esto es en lo que se basan las ciudades inteligentes y el “Internet de las cosas”, que proporcionan a las ciudades los datos, sensores o dispositivos necesarios para sustentar las decisiones en evidencias concretas.

Un plan de movilidad debe fomentar desarrollos tecnológicos e innovaciones, ya que éstos facilitarán de forma efectiva tanto las operaciones de transporte como los viajes a los usuarios: aplicaciones de teléfonos móviles, pagos sin contacto, amplio uso del Big Data, intercambio de datos, etc. Por otro lado, las nuevas tecnologías pueden ser vistas como una herramienta para ayudar a conectar mejor los “silos sectoriales” tradicionales que existen dentro de la industria, o sectores que trabajan con patrones similares al de los transportes y la movilidad, como energía, transporte de mercancías o logística.

Overview of Activities for 2015

Happy 2016!

In this post, Ubiquity Consulting’s team would like to give you a short glimpse of its activities during 2015.

Countries with whom we collaborated:

Italy – Kuwait – Spain – The Netherlands – The United Kingdom – The United States

Some keywords to define our collaborations:

Business Development – Governance – Innovation – Knowledge – Manufacturers – Mobility – Project Management – Rail – Sustainability – Training – Transport – Transport Authorities

Our clients and collaborators’ core activity:

Consultants – Industries – Operators – Transport Authorities

We would like to thank our clients and collaborators for this wonderful year, and look forward to collaborating again in 2016!

Three tips for an efficient mobility plan

Three tips for an efficient mobility plan

Awareness is growing among local decision-makers that if you want to go forward and grow your city quickly and efficiently, you need a plan, and a smart one… Which is probably why the first mobility plans were strategically branded as “Masterplans” or “Sustainable Plans”.

But elaborating a smart plan is not as easy as it seems. Before reaching a version of the plan which will suit their needs and priorities, cities and other institutional bodies will most probably have to go through a number of time-consuming steps and require the contribution of multidisciplinary expertise.

In this context, and from our collaborations with decision-makers and our experiences in mobility plans, we propose to share here three tips which are crucial to the plan elaboration, and may help to take your plan to the next level.

Tip 1: Foster participatory approach.

No, involving citizens in the creation of a plan is not optional or just a way of organising fun workshops. On the contrary, it is the perfect occasion to mix bottom-up and top-down methods, and listen to what daily users (or non-users) have to say about the plan and mobility in general. You may be surprised by their viewpoints.

In fact, numerous cities have already decided to include a participatory dimension in their plan, and have noticed that citizens’ feedback was very concrete and practical. Also, since they were included in the decision-making from the start, citizens got a better glimpse of the overall picture, and started to understand better the constraints of their decision-makers.

While this process allows population groups to spread support of the city’s policies, another non-negligible advantage is also that it helps (re-)build a trust base between decision-makers and their citizens (who experience the challenges of governing).

In some areas, municipalities have pushed the experience as far as putting in the hands of citizens part of their budget in order for them to choose the projects to start or to support. Beyond the fact of being genuinely integrated citizens participation measures, it also demonstrates of a smart use of internet and social media, which will undoubtedly increase in the future.

Tip 2: Integration is KEY.

It will never be repeated enough, but if you want your mobility plan to be sustainable, it will have to be integrated.

After studying the entire mobility ecosystem of your area – don’t leave anything out! – aim at offering your citizens the best combinations of modes, which will allow them to travel seamlessly and serenely.

Seamlessly means that barriers between modes should be removed as much as possible. Concretely, this can be done for example by implementing a holistic review of the whole transport network and mobility supply chain, or by a better ticketing system integration between different operators.

Serenely refers to the fact that users should not have to choose between too many complex travel options. This could be achieved thanks to the creation of a journey planner including all transport and mobility modes (rail, road, shared mobility modes, and even walking), or a simplification of the fare grids.

Tip 3: Open up to new technologies and innovation.

Even though new technologies are not a solution to all urban problems, they are definitely enablers, and will provide a solid base for data collection and quick wins in terms – notably – of quality or frequency: This is what Smart Cities and the Internet of Things are about, providing the necessary data sets, sensors, or devices for cities to sustain urban decisions based on concrete evidence.

A mobility plan should indeed foster technological developments and innovations, as they represent effective facilitators for both transport operations and users’ journeys: mobile phone apps, contactless payments, big data use, open data sharing, etc. On a different note, new technologies can also be seen as a tool to help bring together the traditional “sectoral silos” existing within the industry, or between sectors which work on similar patterns as transport and mobility, such as energy, freight or  logistics.