A roadmap for repairing rural mobility in Japan - and beyond
Japan's public transport is the envy of the world - but outside urban areas, the picture is less rosy. A new World Economic Forum white paper offers a framework for potential solutions.
Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), autonomous shuttles and micro-mobility are attracting the attention of cities, businesses, investors and policy-makers to develop a smarter, more environmentally friendly and more convenient mobility offering for the future. Meanwhile, rural mobility systems, whose economic sustainability is facing severe pressure due to a decrease in demand and a partial decrease in the supply of transportation, are garnering significantly less attention in public debate from policy-makers and the mobility industry.
While Japan is considered a global leader in providing excellent public transport, the economic sustainability of rural mobility in the country has long been in a steady decline. Japan is not alone in facing rural mobility challenges. While the country’s rapid population decline makes it a pioneer in confronting these issues, the rural population decline in other G20 countries will be 2.5-times faster in the coming decade compared with the past 10 years. As more countries face similar challenges, more global attention will turn to rural mobility.