The Cities With the Most Innovative Transportation Futures

Anyone who remembers The Jetsons might remember the family's flying bubble car or George Jetson shooting through a pneumatic tube that transports him to Mr. Spacely's office in the year 2062.

As cities around the world become more congested and their air grows more polluted from crowded roads, mobility and transportation becomes an increasingly critical issue.

Mobility in cities plays a central role in their economic prosperity, according to research by Deloitte, which recently published a report examining the future of mobility in cities around the world. 

According to Deloitte, an international professional services and consulting network, success of city mobility tends to stem from intelligent integration and innovation rather than simply seeking more funding.

The report, the 2019 Deloitte City Mobility Index, reviews major cities on key aspects of mobility and the resulting relationship to economic performance. The report assesses each city's ability to transport its citizens both now and in the future and therefore its potential to bring prosperity to the city.

So where are the transportation leaders?

To assess the situation around the world, Deloitte examined what mobility could be in a truly smart, livable, economically vibrant city. The report scores more than 50 cities across 60 data parameters. The data is primarily from 2016 and 2017. Major themes were: the performance and resilience of transportation systems, the service and inclusion, and vision and leadership.

TheStreet sorted the cities based on the innovation performance metric. The top cities are labeled Global Leaders, followed by Top Performers, Contenders, Aspiring, and Emerging. We included the percentage of the transportation ecosystem that is made up of private cars, the types of transport options available from principal transport authorities, and the cost of a monthly transport pass in U.S. dollars.

Based on the 2019 Deloitte City Mobility Index, here are the cities with the most innovative transportation futures.

1. Berlin
1. Berlin

1. Berlin

Global leader

  • Private cars: 30%
  • Public transport options: Metro, tram, bus, rail
  • Monthly public transport pass: $98

Approval of self-driving vehicles cleared the way for the development and testing of AVs and will make road traffic safer and more efficient. By 2030, all new cars made in Germany will be electric. Berlin already has a large number of operational charging points and wirelessly charged electric buses. Berlin has a well-designed tram system but the majority of the network covers only the eastern half of the city, according to the report.

Above, the U-Bahn passes over the Oberbaumbruecke bridge in Berlin.

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Helsinki
2. Helsinki

2. Helsinki

Global leader

  • Private cars: 39%
  • Public transport options: Metro, tram, bus, commuter rail
  • Monthly public transport pass: $129

The city's goals include making public transport the No. 1 choice for all travel by 2025 and phasing out private cars by 2050 through shared mobility, demand-responsive transport, and pedestrian-centric urban design.

Photo: Karavanov_Lev / Shutterstock

3. London
3. London

3. London

Global leader

  • Private cars: 26%
  • Public transport options: Metro, tram, bus, commuter rail, ferry, bicycle
  • Monthly public transport pass: $195

London gets high scores for innovation and the regulatory environment through ambitious plans to create "healthy streets" and prioritizing alternative fuels and power sources. The city has identified 25 bicycle corridors to be created to increase bicycle ridership. Collaborations between public and private bodies provide innovative solutions to transport problems, such as facilitating self-driving testing with car manufacturers. Above, commuters on rental bikes. London's bicycle sharing system has over 13,000 bikes.

Photo: Bikeworldtravel / Shutterstock

4. Stockholm
4. Stockholm

4. Stockholm

Global leader

  • Private cars: 23%
  • Public transport options: Bus, commuter train, tram, metro, light rail, ferry
  • Monthly public transport pass: $94

Stockholm is a hub for sustainability projects, with high levels of investment in redesigning the urban space for active modes and electric bike sharing. It has also increased self-driving vehicle trials on the roads, with strong private and academic partnerships. Above, Stockholm's central metro station.

Photo: Alizada Studios / Shutterstock

5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Global leader

  • Private cars: 83% (only 1% of people use bicycles or walk)
  • Public transport options: Metro, bus, ferry, taxi, tram, light rail
  • Monthly public transport pass: $122

Dubai's detailed strategy aims to transform 25% of the total transportation in the city - involving 5 million daily trips - to autonomous modes by 2030.

Photo: Funny Solution Studio / Shutterstock

6. Seoul, S. Korea
6. Seoul, S. Korea

6. Seoul, S. Korea

Global leader

  • Private cars: 29% (35% walk)
  • Public transport options: Metro, bus, light rail, bus rapid transit, commuter train, taxi, bike sharing
  • Monthly public transport pass: $64

Seoul has introduced unique initiatives, such as transforming old flyovers into elevated gardens and pathways for walking and cycling, for example, this elevated park, pictured above, opened in 2017.

Photo: Sagase48 / Shutterstock

7. Tokyo
7. Tokyo

7. Tokyo

Global leader

  • Private cars: 45%
  • Public transport options: Metro, bus, ferry, light rail, commuter rail
  • Monthly public transport pass: $73

As a part of Olympic 2020 preparations, Tokyo is investing in technologies such as electric vehicles, hydrogen-fuel cars, and self-driving vehicles. Tokyo now has more EV charge points than gas stations. Above, a high speed train runs from Tokyo to Osaka.

Photo: Blanscape / Shutterstock

8. Boston
8. Boston

8. Boston

Top performer

  • Private cars: 73%
  • Public transport options: Metro, bus, taxi, commuter rail, ferry
  • Monthly public transport pass: $85

Boston is rapidly emerging as a center for mobility innovation, with a strong focus on autonomous vehicles. Areas such as South Boston Waterfront and Raymond Flynn have become testing grounds for private players. However, there are limited public transport options in low-income regions of the city area, the report says.

Photo: Shutterstock

9. Chicago
9. Chicago

9. Chicago

Top performer

  • Private cars: 81%
  • Public transport options: Train, bus, metro, taxi, ferry
  • Monthly public transport pass: $101

Chicago's Complete Streets initiative aims to make city streets equally accessible to pedestrians, transit users, and cyclists. Above, water taxis on the Chicago River.

Photo: Shelly Bychowski Shots / Shutterstock

10. Los Angeles
10. Los Angeles

10. Los Angeles

Top performer

  • Private cars: 89%
  • Public transport options: Metro, light rail, bus
  • Monthly public transport pass: $84

The LA Metro, in partnership with ride-hailing companies, plans to build an on-demand "microtransit" program; unlike a standard bus, the service will follow turn-by-turn instructions from a navigation system using live traffic conditions and real-time requests to generate the most efficient possible shared trips. The city is challenged by its a wide geographic spread, with multiple commercial hubs, and is mostly designed around car travel. And, it turns out, somebody does walk in L.A. - about 3% of travelers.

Photo: vesperstock / Shutterstock

11. New York
11. New York

11. New York

Top performer

  • Private cars: 57%
  • Public transport options: Metro, rail, bus, ferry
  • Monthly public transport pass: $121

As part of the city's target for 20% of motor vehicle registrations to be electric by 2025, the city will invest $10 million to develop fast-charging hubs with up to 20 chargers per site. The city, however, is underinvested in public transport, resulting in over-crowding, poor reliability, and long waiting times.

Photo: Spiroview Inc / Shutterstock

12. Toronto
12. Toronto

12. Toronto

Top performer

  • Private cars: 70%
  • Public transport options: Metro, light rail, bus
  • Monthly public transport pass: $111

Toronto's long-term vision is focused on network expansion with ambitions to foster a smart transport revolution in the future.

Photo: Shutterstock

13. Vancouver, Canada
13. Vancouver, Canada

13. Vancouver, Canada

Top performer

  • Private cars: 72%
  • Public transport options: Bus, metro, ferry, commuter rail
  • Monthly public transport pass: $133

The region of about 2.5 million has a projected population growth of more than one million people in the next 30 years. Vancouver will develop an EV infrastructure plan to support the transition to renewably powered transportation, expand its 250+ charging stations, and offer low charging fees.

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Washington, D.C.
14. Washington, D.C.

14. Washington, D.C.

Top performer

  • Private cars: 76%
  • Public transport options: Commuter train, metro, bus, tram
  • Monthly public transport pass: $156

Washington, D.C. has strong elements in its transport vision, but its network remains underfunded and its governance structure is complex and ineffective, the report states. In 2012, the city introduced the Autonomous Vehicle Act, which allows autonomous vehicles on public roadways.

Photo: Shutterstock

15. Amsterdam
15. Amsterdam

15. Amsterdam

Top performer

  • Private cars: 20%
  • Public transport options: Metro, bus, ferry, tram, commuter train
  • Monthly public transport pass: $108

Bicycles make up 32% of the the mode of transport here, and walking 29%.

Amsterdam has become the transportation laboratory of the world. The city aims to be the first emission-free city in Europe through adoption of EVs. The city is using self-driving technology to launch autonomous boats on its canals in 2019.

Photo: StevenK / Shutterstock

16. Barcelona, Spain
16. Barcelona, Spain

16. Barcelona, Spain

Top performer

  • Private cars: 29%
  • Public transport options: Metro, commuter train, bus, tram
  • Monthly public transport pass: $66

Barcelona introduced space-vacancy sensors and automated fare collection in car parking lots, which has increased the city's revenue by $50 million per year. The city has endeavored to install bicycle docks and lanes closer to 95% of residents.

Photo: Shutterstock

17. Birmingham, England
17. Birmingham, England

17. Birmingham, England

Top performer

  • Private cars: 62%
  • Public transport options: Bus, tram, commuter train, bicycle
  • Monthly public transport pass: $79

As Birmingham prepares for the Commonwealth Games in 2022, it is planning new investments in public transport infrastructure and transport innovation.

Photo: Shutterstock

18. Lisbon, Portugal
18. Lisbon, Portugal

18. Lisbon, Portugal

Top performer

  • Private cars: 53%
  • Public transport options: Metro, tram, bus, ferry
  • Monthly public transport pass: $47

The city will develop pedestrian areas and shared public spaces and extend bicycle lanes. It has launched awareness campaigns to communicate the benefits of walking and cycling.

Photo: travellight / Shutterstock

19. Manchester, England
19. Manchester, England

19. Manchester, England

Top performer

  • Private cars: 58%
  • Public transport options: Metro, tram, bus
  • Monthly public transport pass: $79

Manchester has a clear long-term city vision, backed by investment and plans to adopt new technologies.

Photo: Shutterstock

20. Paris
20. Paris

20. Paris

Top performer

  • Private cars: 25%
  • Public transport options: Metro, tram, bus
  • Monthly public transport pass: $90

Paris has plans to promote sustainable transport through electric car sharing and EV purchase incentives.

Photo: Nikonaft / Shutterstock

21. Warsaw, Poland
21. Warsaw, Poland

21. Warsaw, Poland

Top performer

  • Private cars: 32%
  • Public transport options: Metro, bus, light rail, tram, commuter train, bicycle
  • Monthly public transport pass: $32

Warsaw's vision includes using open data to build new transport solutions. It is also redesigning its urban infrastructure to increase cycling and walking.

Photo: MrMR / Shutterstock

22. Oslo, Norway
22. Oslo, Norway

22. Oslo, Norway

Top performer

  • Private cars: 35%
  • Public transport options: Bus, metro, tram, ferry, commuter train
  • Monthly public transport pass: $160

Oslo is the EV capital of the world; more than 30% of new cars sold between 2015 and 2017 were EVs.

Photo: Shutterstock

23. Copenhagen, Denmark
23. Copenhagen, Denmark

23. Copenhagen, Denmark

Top performer

  • Private cars: 26%
  • Public transport options: Metro, bus, commuter rail
  • Monthly public transport pass: $106

Through its 2025 Climate Plan, the city aims to be the world's first carbon-neutral capital. Above, the city's rebuilt Norreport Station, an S-train, metro and main line railway station.

Photo: Melander / Shutterstock

24. Tel Aviv, Israel
24. Tel Aviv, Israel

24. Tel Aviv, Israel

Top performer

  • Private cars: 48%
  • Public transport options: Bus, commuter rail, bicycle, shared taxi
  • Monthly public transport pass: $68

The city has plans to expand the lightrail lines and has an ecosystem conducive to startups and incubators.

Photo: Boris-B / Shutterstock

25. Melbourne, Australia
25. Melbourne, Australia

25. Melbourne, Australia

Top performer

  • Private cars: 72%
  • Public transport options: Commuter train, tram, bus
  • Monthly public transport pass: $111

Melbourne has a clear transportation strategy to tackle its challenges by 2030.

Photo: Shutterstock

26. Singapore
26. Singapore

26. Singapore

Top performer

  • Private cars: 29%
  • Public transport options: Metro, bus, ferry, light rail
  • Monthly public transport pass: $68

Singapore is on track to attain a highly innovative transportation system with the increased testing of AVs. It plans to unveil operational driverless rides in three towns by 2022.

Photo: Shutterstock

27. Sydney
27. Sydney

27. Sydney

Top performer

  • Private cars: 59%
  • Public transport options: Commuter rail, light rail, bus, ferry
  • Monthly public transport pass: $129

Car sharing initiatives look especially promising given Sydney's dispersed layout and reliance on car travel.

Photo: Shutterstock

28. Buenos Aires, Argentina
28. Buenos Aires, Argentina

28. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Contender

  • Private cars: 14%
  • Public transport options: Bus, taxi, metro, commuter rail, bicycle
  • Monthly public transport pass: $13

A significant investment program is planned to modernize the transport network and improve the infrastructure.

Photo: Marianna Ianovska / Shutterstock

29. Columbus, Ohio
29. Columbus, Ohio

29. Columbus, Ohio

Contender

  • Private cars: 89%
  • Public transport options: Bus
  • Monthly public transport pass: $59

Columbus has gained over $500 million of funding from the federal government and private investors to deliver Smart City initiatives.

Photo: Shutterstock

30. Mexico City
30. Mexico City

30. Mexico City

Contender

  • Private cars: 22%
  • Public transport options: Metro, bus, light rail, commuter rail
  • Monthly public transport pass: $25

The city's transportation plan addresses current challenges, such as congestion and infrastructure, and promotes the use of active modes of transportation and electric vehicles for sustainable mobility. The city has the fifth-largest public bike-share system in the world.

Photo: Santiago Castillo Chomel / Shutterstock

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