Imagine, instead of just having access to your mountain bike or your SUV, you can take an ebike when you want to get up Cypress mountain. Or you can test the latest hybrid from Toyota. You’d like access to a cargo bike after shopping or a Van if you need to pick up a mattress at Ikea?
That’s what shared-use mobility means: we gain access to fleet of vehicles, bicycles, or other low-speed modes on an “as-needed” basis. Shared-use mobility includes carsharing, personal vehicle sharing, bikesharing, scooter sharing, ridesharing, on-demand ride services and shuttle services.
Imagine not having to worry about cleaning your car. You would like someone else to takes care of your annual bike checkup. Suppose you would also like to save money on transportation.
That’s why shared-use mobility services are designed to be extremely convenient. Not only are they integrating the latest GPS and smartphone technologies so we have ultimate control of when we want to get in a vehicle and where we want to leave it. But the operators take care of any operational tasks to leave the vehicles in good condition. Whether a vehicle sits 23 hours/day, like your personal vehicle, or whether it is used for several trips, the cost for insurance, parking, general maintenance remain the same. You, however, only carry a fraction of the cost when you actually use it.
Now imagine that by using shared-use mobility you also transform your city into a more liveable place. Picture cities where there are more pedestrian areas. Dream of a city where there are more parks possible because there are less cars on the road that need parking.
That’s how sharing vehicles transform cities. There have been a number of studies that report environmental, social, and transportation related benefits. Susan Shaheen has documented the reduction of vehicle use, ownership, and vehicle miles/kilometers traveled (VMT/VKT) in some studies.
Shared-use mobility is no longer a dream, it’s reality. And it’s one that benefits all of us: on a personal level because we gain access to more options, to more convenience and savings. But it also benefits us on a social level with more green space, less congestion and ultimately a future of moving around in cities that is scaleable.