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Welcome to the July 2019 issue of Voices, a collection of insights on advancing urban transport infrastructure. Transport is experiencing a wave of global innovation, attracting some of the world’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. Yet most metropolitan areas have not seen significant performance improvements in the safety, congestion, reliability, or net carbon emissions of their transport systems.

Moving the needle on these outcomes will likely rely on autonomy, sharing, electrification, connectivity, and many other emerging themes in our transport ecosystem. But it will also be critically shaped by infrastructure that is designed, planned, delivered, and operated with these trends in mind. As public- and private-sector leaders lay the groundwork for the future of mobility, how should they think differently about our roads, micromobility systems (such as walking, e-bikes, and e-scooters), subway and rail networks, and even air space?

This edition of Voices looks at how our cities’ core infrastructure needs to evolve in lockstep with new mobility technologies and business models. It outlines a vision of seamless tech-enabled mobility; explores how cities worldwide are forging steps toward that vision; and discusses the implications of this future for our metros, bus networks, airports, and more.

Stefan M. Knupfer
Senior partner, Stamford
McKinsey & Company

Shannon Peloquin
Partner, San Francisco
McKinsey & Company

More Articles


Jakarta's flagship rapid-transit project has proven successful within its first year. MRT's director envisions a total of 230 kilometers of railway alleviating some of the world's worst congestion.

William Sabandar, MRT Jakarta, and Rajat Agarwal, McKinsey & Company


As Seoul’s mayor seeks to bring transportation improvements to the city, he must carefully consider how to implement sustainable infrastructure and new technologies to best meet citizens’ needs.

Park Wonsoon, Seoul Mayor


Our road and rail infrastructure is not ready for the future of mobility. Owners and operators should act now or risk being left behind.

Carsten Lotz, McKinsey & Company


Tony Hansen, Global Infrastructure Initiative


What infrastructure improvements will promote the growth of autonomous vehicles while simultaneously encouraging shared ridership?

Tyler Duvall, Eric Hannon, Jared Katseff, Ben Safran, and Tyler Wallace, McKinsey & Company


McKinsey’s latest mobility start-up and investment tally shows the industry invested $120 billion in the last 24 months.

Daniel Holland-Letz, Benedikt Kloss, Matthias Kässer, and Thibaut Müller, McKinsey & Company


Los Angeles International Airport has undertaken one of the largest public works projects in California’s history. A focus on public–private partnerships has helped keep things on track.

Deborah Flint, Los Angeles World Airports


Transport authorities are navigating lower public-transit ridership, declining air quality, and growing financial pressures. Integrating bus networks into the broader urban infrastructure is key.

Emma Loxton, Denis O’Connor, and Naba Salman, McKinsey & Company


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, are a hot topic of debate. McKinsey asked two professionals close to the issue to weigh in on whether they believe UAVs will gain traction and claim a significant share of urban deliveries by 2030.

Will Hetzler, Zipline, and Carlo Ratti, SENSEable City Lab


Urban traffic is getting worse. Here's how public- and private-sector leaders can forge a strategy toward seamless mobility.

Eric Hannon, Stefan Knupfer, Sebastian Stern, and Jan Tijs Nijssen, McKinsey & Company


What does the data tell us about the performance of urban transport systems across different geographies?

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