San Francisco Tops 2022 Urban Mobility Readiness Index

Hong Kong Leads in public transport, while Oslo tops sustainability rankings

December 14, 2022

San Francisco ranks number one in urban mobility readiness, according to the newest edition of an annual global study of 60 cities by the Oliver Wyman Forum and the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS). As the first city to introduce automated vehicle technology, the Golden Gate city topped the 2022 Urban Readiness Index for its rich ecosystem of autonomous and mobility-as-a-service tech and for its business resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 4th annual Urban Mobility Readiness Index also awarded Hong Kong first place in a new sub-index for public transportation while Oslo ranked number one in the sub-index for environmental sustainability.

The Index is a forward-looking ranking of 57 quantitative and qualitative key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure social impact, infrastructure, market attractiveness, system efficiency and innovation. Findings of the Index show that efficient and equitable mobility networks are key engines of economic vitality and environmental sustainability. Other measures in the overall Index include electric vehicle (EV) charging station network investment and incentives, the number of car-free zones, autonomous vehicle adoption, and public transport ridership and affordability. 

Golden Gate Embraces Mobility Technology

As the overall global Index leader, San Francisco excels in its market attractiveness for the private sector thanks to its proximity to Silicon Valley firms and top academic institutions. It embraces new mobility technology from these resources, particularly in autonomous driving systems. Earlier this year, San Francisco became the world’s first city to allow commercial operations of self-driving cars.

Public Transit Leaders in Europe and Asia

Hong Kong ranked first in a new Public Transit sub-index. The mass transit railway (MTR) corporation offers an extensive network of stations to match one of the world’s most densely populated cities. Many residential and office buildings are located above stations, and there were 1,550 retail outlets within the stations at the end of 2021. Hong Kong’s public transit system has the highest usage rates and is one of the most profitable operators globally. It is self-financing and offers affordable fares.

Europe and Asia claim 14 of the top 15 places in the Public Transit sub-index. Zurich ranked second for the Swiss city’s plan to build more hubs layered with its mass transit stations that offer shared bicycles, cars and scooters. Fifth-ranked Helsinki offers a suite of options, from bus and metro to train and ferry, that can be connected through a mobile phone app created by a startup firm in the Finnish capital. A single ticket costs just over $3 and can be used on any travel mode.  

Meanwhile, Tokyo, which ranked seventh, plans to enhance its network with more buses that connect the city center with the waterfront area. The Japanese capital is also testing demand-responsive transport programs, and creating more convenient transport hubs.

Scandinavian Cities Among Most Sustainable

Oslo leads the Sustainable Mobility sub index because of its climate-friendly transport infrastructure and mobility. The city, which is known as the EV capital of the world, has a dense network of charging stations and provides a comprehensive package of incentives for EV owners, like cheaper toll fares and priority access to certain roads. The city ranked high for its car-free zones that have significantly improved air quality, reduced noise and decreased traffic congestion. In all, eight of the top 10-ranked cities in the Sustainability sub-index are European.

John Romeo, Head of The Oliver Wyman Forum said: “To ensure their place as location of choice for businesses and visitors, cities must ensure government and the private sector work together to make public transit systems efficient, affordable and fully accessible. The most successful cities are integrating traditional public transit with new, sustainable mobility options to serve everyone: commuters, tourists and local riders.”

Alexandre Bayen, [current title?] UC Berkeley said: “Public transit is by far the most efficient and sustainable way for cities to transport large groups of people compared to private means. Many public transit systems are struggling to recoup riders and revenue, however. Making public transit convenient and affordable is vital.”

Guillaume Thibault, Partner, Oliver Wyman Forum, said: “An increasing number of governments, cities, and mobility firms are committing to net-zero mobility, and that is promising. But inflation, social unrest, climate change, and other disruptions all pose a risk that urban mobility will fall off the priority list for governments. An increased commitment from the private sector is crucial to supplement the cost of new solutions and equitably raise the quality of life among all communities.”

About the analysis

The Oliver Wyman Forum, in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, has developed an annual forward-leaning ranking of how well-positioned global cities are to lead mobility’s next chapter. The 2022 Urban Mobility Readiness Index measures 60 cities across 57 KPIs. The Public Transit sub-index new for 2022, measures cities on public transit density, efficiency, and utilization rate. The Sustainable Mobility sub-index, first launched in 2021, measures cities’ efforts to build greener and more sustainable mobility ecosystems. 

About the Oliver Wyman Forum

The Oliver Wyman Forum is dedicated to building leadership communities to act on shared global challenges. As Oliver Wyman’s think tank, we engage leading thinkers and undertake innovative research to inspire action. Together with our diverse community, we focus on making a difference.


About Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in more than 70 cities across 30 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has more than 6,000 professionals around the world who work with clients to optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a business of Marsh McLennan [NYSE: MMC].  

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