Keolis and Netexplo: International Digital Mobility Observatory

The first, global snapshot of passenger expectations for technology in daily transport in a digital age
In order to understand the impact of the digital revolution on mobility around the world, Keolis and Netexplo created the first International Digital Mobility Observatory. This new resource provides Keolis with a head start for improving the passenger experience and better supporting cities in their transformation towards smart mobility.


Keolis, in collaboration with Ipsos, has published the results of Keoscopie International, a new global mobility study investigating the habits of a sample made up of 6,600 people based in 37 cities across 15 countries. The study looks at mobility habits of people living in different cities, how those people use new technologies, and the impact that digital technologies have on their mobility. The study also highlights specific national or local features.

The study, which reflects Keolis’ commitment to responding to passengers' needs as effectively as possible, has been used to develop bespoke mobility policies that are compatible with public transport authorities’ objectives and passenger aspirations. Operating in 16 countries in partnership with 300 Public Transport Authorities, 2018 saw Keolis decide to expand the study’s scope to become a worldwide study taking in 37 cities in 15 countries. 

  • Globally, 89% of respondents are equipped with a smartphone. There are large disparities between countries, as well as within the same country. The equipment rate is 99% in Shanghai compared to 87% in Paris, 88% in Lyon, 86% in London and 79% in Rotterdam.
  • In terms of the impact of technology on mobility in cities, 83% of respondents believe that technology plays an essential role in simplifying their travel (by car, public transit or any other mode of travel), including for:
  • In terms of mobility, the use of different modes of transport for a regular route is widespread: 62% report using different modes on the way and back and 57% change mode from one day to the next.

Keoscopie International is available here in summary with the full results here.

An unprecedented snapshot of digital mobility on a global scale 

In this digital age, mobility is becoming increasingly ‘passenger centric’. The public transport market is transforming into a mobility environment that is both individual and shared. In this context, Keolis is listening out for and analysing new passenger expectations and, through its partnership with Netexplo, has produced the World Mobility Report. The report is an extension of Keolis’ Keoscopie and the Digital Mobility Observatory

A new exploratory approach covering five continents 

Keolis and Netexplo combined two complementary approaches : 

  • On-the-ground, exploratory studies conducted in 13 major smart cities spread over five continents: Abidjan, Boston, Dubai, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, London, Lyon, Melbourne, Montreal, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Stockholm and Tokyo.
  • The identification and analysis of 400 digital innovations observed among these cities and 30 or so others including New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Beijing, Lahore and Seoul. 

This dual approach has given Keolis a comprehensive overview of current and emerging passenger needs, and by extension, has helped it identify concrete solutions to address them. 

Three universal expectations for digital mobility

The study brought to light three major expectations shared by passengers throughout the world, completing and confirming the results of an earlier survey of 3,000 passengers conducted in France in 2016 by Keolis and Netexplo (

  • ‘Real time’ updates : Whether looking for timetables, service availability, tailored travel itineraries or alternate routes in the event of service disruptions, passengers want up-to-the-minute information and transport solutions.
  • Personalised : Citizens no longer want generic timetables and maps. They want personalised information that is tailored to them, responding to their travel needs and personal situation at any given moment. This reflects the movement from a mass-transit focused approach to one of personalised mobility.
  • ‘Step-by-step’ directions : Passengers are also looking for door-to-door guidance, a digital pocket guide, covering every step of their journey.

Ten fundamentals and three pillars for the passenger experience of tomorrow

Drawing on these three common expectations, Keolis and Netexplo identified ten key fundamentals of ‘smart mobility’ that respond to passenger needs. These ten criteria take into account tomorrow’s everyday mobility players and are grouped into the three pillars of the passenger experience.   


The World Mobility Report reveals new uses and expectations for passenger information, as much in its format and content as for how it is accessed (apps, SMS, passenger information panels).



Digital technology is a powerful driver to help passengers plan itineraries at any moment according to their needs.  


Digital tickets make mobility easier. It’s an innovation that can be applied across multiple payment and ticket validation platforms (first generation mobiles, ID cards)

Multimodal transport

Digital solutions allow for even more streamlined combinations of transport modes for passengers.  

Pillar 2 : Stress-free travel 

When it comes to travel, passengers have clear expectations regarding their safety, such as being free from harassment or assault, their well-being and the possibility for their travel time to be productive and even enjoyable.

These are all areas in which digital technology can provide high performing solutions. To ensure passenger safety, for example, systems that monitor areas and times of day identified as higher risk can be put into place using open data. SOS buttons on smartphones, voluntary GPS tracking systems for passengers and personalised services for more vulnerable passengers are also available. 

Pillar 3 : A more human travel experience

In an increasingly digital world, passengers are expressing a need for a more human approach to mobility. This applies to interactions with staff and other passengers, but is also shown by passengers’ desire to help others. Many of the initiatives observed in smart cities respond to this request for collaboration. Digital technology solutions support crowdsourcing, bilateral information sharing between operators and passengers, the creation of mutually beneficial passenger communities and improved access to assistance for vulnerable passengers. They are part of the mobility evolution from individual transport modes to public and collective modes. 

A decisive tool to help smart cities build the mobility solutions of tomorrow

The World Mobility Report is beneficial to the cities Keolis partners with as its in-depth studies allow for a stronger understanding of mobility issues. 

It reinforces Keolis’ capacity to develop customised digital solutions that respond to the primary challenges of different areas of mobility. It also allows the Group to redefine its vision of future mobility and enrich its transport offer by developing solutions for a more enjoyable and human travel experience. 

Keolis stays one step ahead in digital mobility

Around the world, the Group is implementing innovative, digital solutions that are adapted to meet each region’s needs and to enrich the passenger experience. 

For example: 

  • Melbourne, Australia: the tramTRACKER app allows users to track the arrival of trams at a given stop in real-time throughout the network. 
  • Orléans, France: With Keolis’ Plan Book Ticket app, passengers can plan their trip according to their individual needs and purchase and validate their tickets using a smartphone. 
  • Washington DC, USA: The ticket purchasing app, VRE Mobile, gives passengers on the VRE suburban train network the possibility of buying their train tickets and passes with just their smartphone, any time, any place. 
  • Boston, USA: the MBTA See Say app offers passengers a discreet and fast means of alerting transport police to suspicious activity, allowing passengers to send through images, texts and their location.

Mobility plays a significant role in life of regions. Digital technology has revolutionised the way transport is used and the creation of solutions is heralding the arrival of new players. As a pioneer in integrating all forms of shared mobility, Keolis is at the heart of this transformation, and supports communities in their transition to smart cities by providing an in-depth understanding of passenger expectations. Together, as partners, we will build the future of smart mobility.


Jean-Pierre Farandou, Executive Chairman, Keolis Group