New York most prepared US city for mobility revolution, says Oliver Wyman

04 December 2019 3 min. read

New York was the top-ranked US city in consulting firm Oliver Wyman’s inaugural Urban Mobility Readiness Index, which ranked 30 global cities on how prepared they are to integrate the latest mobility technologies. The research was conducted with The Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

The index analyzed existing public and private mobility networks, current regulations, livability, and the capacity to absorb future technologies.

Cities were given an overall score out of 100, comprised of sub-scores in systems efficiency, social impact, innovation, market attractiveness, and infrastructure.

The top five cities from the initial 30-city set were Singapore, Amsterdam, London, Shanghai, and New York. According to the report, the top five performers all have legacy infrastructure such as public transit systems, a history of sustained investment, rapid technology adoption, an engaged private sector, and forward-looking policies.

“Cities destined to become tomorrow’s mobility leaders are forward-thinking and user-centric,” said Guillaume Thibault, an Oliver Wyman partner and one of the creators of the new index. “They take a data-driven approach and work with the private sector to find solutions.”

New York most prepared US city for mobility revolution, says Oliver Wyman

Singapore topped the list with aggressive infrastructure investment and strong private sector and research partnerships. The city-state has been a pioneer in reducing traffic congestion through innovative policies, and is leading the way with autonomous driving regulations and real-time, digitized traffic management.

Overall, Asian cities dominated the index, occupying five of the top 10 spots.

Runner-up Amsterdam was powered by robust infrastructure, strong public transit, and effective efforts to reduce automobile use and encourage cycling (60% of people in the compact Dutch city get around by cycling or walking).

“Cities see the benefits of re-focusing on the basics of public transportation and infrastructure development in order to lead in the next generation of mobility,” said professor Alexandre Bayen, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCB. “Cities who embrace technology and have proactive regulation will become leaders in the mobility revolution.”

New York, with its well-developed public transit system and relative walkability and bike-ability for an American metropolis, was the top ranked US city, in fifth place. New York was the top-ranked city for systems efficiency, at 82.6%, beating out Tokyo and Berlin which scored 81.3%. New York scored 57.5% for social impact, 50% for innovation, 54% for market attractiveness, and 48% for infrastructure.

The next highest-ranked US city was San Francisco, which garnered high marks for innovation (66.5%) – likely tied to its relationships with nearby startups and tech firms  – but relatively low marks for infrastructure, at 42%. Los Angeles, in 14th place, had a high score for market attractiveness (68%), but among the lowest infrastructure score (39%) for a city in a developed country (Riyadh scored 19% and Mexico City scored 21%).

Chicago and Boston ranked in the bottom half of the list, at 17 and 18, respectively.