Keoscopie International: global mobility insights

Explore • Pulse #4 • 6 min

From Montreal to Brisbane, Paris to Doha, London to Beijing — all around the globe, people are using public transport, though differently in different places. Private cars are a feature of the landscape, to a greater or lesser extent, as are new forms of mobility like ride sharing, electric bicycles and self‐service scooters. Lifestyles, working habits and smartphone ownership also vary from one country to the next. By analysing all these statistics, Keoscopie International, a global study produced by the Keoscopie observatory, provides insights into mobility worldwide with some surprising findings.

89 %

of respondents have a smartphone.
The figure is 98% in China, but just 79% in Montreal and Rotterdam.

60 %

of respondents want the option of human assistance when making transactions on the internet. It is only the case for 64% of public transport users. So, the solutions we offer need to be ‘phygital’ — combining physical and digital.


One in four people have used voice guidance to find information. People in India talk to their phones the most (55% of respondents in Delhi). Voice assistance is most popular with public transport users, with 30% using it, compared to one in four people overall.

70 %

of smartphone owners use a travel or map app at least once a month. Features used on a weekly basis include maps (61%), journey planners (53%) and next departure times (46%).
Apps with these functions have an advantage since they’re really useful for knowing whether or not you have to run for your bus!

59 %

of respondents said they prefer walking to public transport. This is true in almost all cities, except Los Angeles, where the car is the favourite (53%), and Amsterdam, where bicycles are the preferred option (59%). However, only one in four people said they’re satisfied with the infrastructure in place for pedestrians. This means designing services that fit with walking, paying attention to the planning and layout of pavements and providing information for pedestrians.

37 %

of public transport users almost always rely on another form of transport to reach the network. The numbers are even higher in Perth, Brisbane, Manchester (55%) and Lyon (51%). As they seek to meet people’s requirements, transport networks need to offer a variety of services, where different modes can be readily combined.

42 %

of respondents said they sometimes work Sundays, especially in New Orleans (56%) and Wuhan (54%). 36% often and/or occasionally work at night, especially in Delhi and Hyderabad (68%). 26% work from home at least once a week, especially in Mumbai (43%), Delhi (42%) and Boston (39%). As working habits change, so do peak travel periods. On Sundays and at night, transport services need to take account of these flexible working hours.

44 %

said they travel at least once a week to go shopping, especially in Australia (62%). 22% travel at least once a week to visit family, notably in Bergen, Norway (32%). 17% travel to participate in a sport or cultural activity, especially in Paris (40%). And 46% travel at least once a week simply to go for a walk in the city or a park, especially in Oslo (60%). Work‐related journeys are only part of the picture. Network routes and timetables need to take account of the many reasons for travel.


Almost two in three people change means of transport from one day to the next in a given week, at least occasionally, especially in Mumbai (88%) and Los Angeles (78%). And almost two in three people use different means of transport on their outward and return trips in a given day, at least occasionally, especially in Chinese cities (80%) and Los Angeles (87%). When we travel, we like to have a choice. As they seek to meet people’s requirements, transport networks need to offer a variety of services, where different modes can be readily combined.


One in two people said the days of the week when they work or study change often or occasionally. In the United States of people said their work schedules change.
Changing work patterns means changing lifestyles, so public transport needs to adapt accordingly.

38 %

of respondents are already using new mobility solutions at least once a month. Uptake is even higher in the United States (47%), Argentina (57%) and China (77%). 65% said they’re ‘potential users’ of new mobility solutions (90% in China). In US cities like Boston, Los Angeles and New Orleans, over one-third of respondents regularly car share, while 50% said they use a private hire vehicle at least once a week. Electric bicycles, ride sharing, self‐service scooters — these solutions conveniently complement public transport services, which are nonetheless used by 64% of respondents at least once a month. All should be seen as options!

+ 90 %

In Scandinavian cities like Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen over 90% of people use buses. Trams and metros are also popular, with around 60% and 65% of people using them, respectively. Conversely, new forms of mobility such as carsharing and private hire vehicles are much less widespread, with under a third of people making use of them.


In American cities like Boston, Los Angeles and New Orleans, over a third of respondents say they car share. In the land of the automobile, 50% of respondents say they car share. In the private hire vehicle at least once a week. Scooter and bike share schemes are gaining ground: over 20% of respondents in the cities surveyed said they use these solutions. Yet buses and metros are also popular, used by almost 50% of respondents in locations where they operate.


types of improvements top the list as ways to facilitate mobility:

  • More frequent public transport services, especially evenings and weekends (45% of respondents).
  • Higher standards of comfort on public transport (seats, air conditioning, etc.): 40%
  • Improved infrastructure for pedestrians (walkways, benches, lighting, signage, etc.): 43%.

83 %

of respondents said they think technologies make mobility simpler. Thanks to technologies people can select the right transport mode at the right time, mix transport modes, travel faster and more comfortably.
This is especially true for transport users — 87%.


32 %

of respondents are ‘digimobiles’: smartphone owners who are hyperconnected, fully at ease with digital technologies and enthusiastic about them in general.

27 %

are ‘followers’: people who are at ease with many of the apps and functions on their devices and believe digital technologies positively contribute to their lives.

21 %

are ‘web-focused’: these people have a smartphone, use it for entertainment only (social media, games, music, etc.) but also readily use other types of devices.

20 %

are ‘offline’: who own a mobile phone or smartphone but only use it to communicate (make phone calls, send texts) and potentially take pictures. Not really at ease with technology in general.

52 %

of ‘digimobiles’ nonetheless have concerns about an all-digital world.

Set up in 2007, the Keoscopie observatory looks beyond the conventional statistics to uncover the deeper mobility trends and challenge preconceived ideas and assumptions. First in France, then internationally from 2017, Keoscopie has conducted and commissioned a huge number of quantitative and qualitative surveys to gain insights into lifestyles and the mobility transformations taking place today. In 2018, the observatory launched Keoscopie International, a global study focusing on 37 cities across 15 countries. The travel patterns of 6,000 public transport users and non-users were analysed, along with how new technologies are impacting them, based on a 20-minute online questionnaire compiled with the Ipsos institute. Keolis uses these insights to expand and tailor its range of mobility solutions for transport authorities and passengers.


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