The underlying rationale that led to Simply ConnectTM was a recognition that the global transport system is unsustainable, inequitable, and has deleterious impacts on our daily use of the public realm.
Despite the enormous personal benefits of private car use, excessive vehicle use affects each car user through congestion and parking problems. In a vicious circle, increased demand leads to reduced performance and system efficiency, with everyone's travel becoming more difficult and expensive.
At core was the inefficiency of how each car is used. A car is typically used for about 4% of the time at about 25% average load factor in each vehicle: in combination, this is 1% of their potential capacity.
We challenged ourselves to improve this efficiency, whilst retaining the personal benefits and qualities of cars, not least the flexibility that leaves the user in control of their own life. Could there be a way to create a virtuous circle, whereby increased mobility demand translates to better lives, better streets and better journeys?
London shows public transport can achieve that, offering certainty, consistency and affordability for all. Yet in less dense areas where the built form creates very diverse travel patterns, only small proportions of journey demands can be met by seeking to integrate pre-determined fixed services. Simply Connect is designed to retain this public transport ethos – yet for all journeys – and to match the performance, flexibility and reliability of the car. As demand grows, it sees a virtuous circle of improved performance – the opposite of private car use.