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The boundaries between collective and individual transport are fading. Current solutions for payment and planning of trips are suboptimal for journeys that span across individual, collective and shared transport modalities. The discussion around these innovations often tends towards public authorities needing to strengthen their integrating role, or towards the private companies developing key innovations. We argue that focusing on only one of these perspectives, either integration or innovation, is likely to lead to what we call ‘subtopias’. Furthermore, we discuss and resolve the conflict between the two roles based on four different scenarios, ranging from nightmare to utopian dream. Our claim is that a balance is needed between, rather than a prevalence for private and public, for integrated and innovative mobility services to manifest themselves. As we see it, authorities will need to direct, harmonize and coordinate specific elements of personal mobility systems in order to be able to facilitate a seamless multi-modal mobility experience for travelers.

Chapter in: B. Müller and G. Meyer (Eds.): Towards User-Centric Transport in Europe 2, LNMOB, pp. 225–239, 2020.

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