Transport might seem like a boring topic.
But the possibilities for how it could be different are so exciting.
Here in the UK, we live in a car-dominated society. It’s a costly form of transport that’s bad for the environment, too.
If you can’t afford the hundreds of pounds a month to maintain one, you’re a bit stuck. Especially if you live in a rural area. And if you live in a city, it can be pretty hard to access the countryside.
But imagine if we could all move freely…
It’s Saturday morning and you’re taking a trip to see a friend. You’re travelling by train – it’s very cheap and you can afford to go somewhere every weekend if you want. And you’re only on an average wage.
It feels wonderful to have that sense of freedom – to explore, to connect with people, to feel like the entire country is within easy reach.
You arrive at the bustling station and soon find your train. You step into a clean, spacious carriage with plenty of free seats. You’ve booked one, but finding a seat is never difficult – the trains are regular and large enough that there’s always somewhere to sit, even at peak times.
You settle in with your coffee and connect to the Wi-Fi to do a bit of work on your journey. You flash a smile at a nearby family who are headed out on a day trip. There are students, older people, couples; people from all walks of life. Train is the most popular way to travel.
After a relaxing journey, watching the countryside whisk by, you arrive at the city where your friend lives. As nature lovers, you’re planning to go for a hike at a beauty spot about half an hour out of town and have a picnic.
You discuss how to get there. There are regular electric shuttle buses from every city centre to the surrounding rural areas, thanks to a recent campaign to make sure the countryside is accessible for everyone.
And it works both ways, as people living in rural locations can easily get into the city for a spot of shopping or to see a show.
On this occasion, you want a bit more flexibility.
Leaving the station, your friend pulls out their phone to hire a car on her app. Every city has a fleet of electric cars that you can rent by the hour, as and when. Hardly anyone has their own car anymore – because there’s no need. There’s always a rental car available and it’s just cheaper and easier. Plus, as it’s a centralised scheme, you can drop the car off at one of thousands of hubs across the country.
There’s a free car on the next street. In a few taps you book it and hop in to start your trip. Countryside here you come.