Shared Mobility by Region: South America

Over the past five years, South America has seen a significant transformation in how people move around, thanks to rapid tech advancements, shifts in consumer behaviour, and new regulations that support these changes. Cities are growing fast, and more and more people own smartphones, which has pushed a lot of the population to start using services that allow them to share rides and vehicles to help reduce private car ownership. Individuals are on the lookout for travel options that are accessible, cost-effective and environmentally friendly and it’s in these areas that shared mobility really

South America’s shared mobility market is shaped by several prominent companies and emerging startups, each playing a pivotal role in creating a sustainable ecosystem. In this article we take a closer look at these leading players, highlighting their contributions and innovations within the shared mobility sector.

Shared Mobility by Region: South America

South American Micromobility Solutions

New innovative apps and improved docking stations across the region have made it easier to access shared bikes, and with cities investing in cycling infrastructure, bike sharing has not only become more accessible but also a preferred mode of transport for many urban residents seeking reliable and eco-friendly travel alternatives

Tembici

Tembici is a São Paulo-based bike sharing company with presence in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile. The company is Latin America’s leading micro mobility company, having more that 21,000 bikes only in Brazil and over 250 million bike journeys across the continent. It provides different types of bikes including e-bikes, mechanical bikes, hand bikes and cargo bikes, which are parked at designated stations throughout cities in South America. The users make use of a mobile app to unblock the bikes and pay an “unblocking fee” followed by a fixed rate per minute

Recognized as one of Brazil’s most promising and innovative startups, the company has, in recent years, contributed to a potential saving of 46,000 tons of CO2. In 2022, the company conducted the world’s first carbon credit auction for micromobility and became the largest B Corporation in shared bike services.

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Source: https://www.tembici.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Micromobility_in_the_global_south_2022.pdf?eng

Car Sharing in South America

The Latin America Carsharing Market is valued at 93.65 million in 2023 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of around 22.7% during the forecast period 2024-29. The market growth is driven primarily by the swiftly rising urban population, surging vehicle ownership costs, the increasing affordability of carsharing services to commute across different areas and government support, including incentives and environmental policies.

Awto

Awto, co-founded by Francisco Loehnert Tampier, is a vehicle sharing platform aimed at addressing urban mobility issues in Latin America since 2016. Partnering with the Kaufmann Group and supported by other significant stakeholders, Awto has expanded from Chile to Brazil, focusing on a flexible, tech-driven mobility ecosystem. The platform’s profitability in Chile since 2021 and strategic growth plans, including new services and market expansion, showcase its ambition to transform urban transportation with a focus on sustainability and efficiency.

Looking to the future Awto’s expansion strategy encompasses both horizontal and vertical growth. Horizontally, it aims to extend its services and fleet to new cities and consolidate in existing ones for optimal service density. Vertically, Awto plans to enhance its platform through technological advancements, introducing several new services such as ultra-flexible vehicle subscriptions (AwtoMeses), pre-paid credit packages (AwtoCredits), doorstep vehicle delivery (AwtoValet), direct-to-consumer sales of used fleets (AwtoRetail), and a comprehensive B2B platform for company account management. This approach underscores Awto’s ambition to diversify and strengthen its offerings in the vehicle sharing market.

Flotas Awto

Source: https://latamobility.com/en/prior-to-arriving-in-brazil-and-colombia-awtos-country-manager-discusses-the-expansion-of-the-carsharing-model/

MyKeego

Launched in March 2018, MyKeego was the first car sharing service in Argentina, establishing its presence with designated pickup and drop-off points in AMBA and Bariloche. By the end of 2022, MyKeego proudly reported a milestone of 8,200 trips and total kilometers traveled, spanning over 2 million kilometers across the country. Anticipating a surge in its user base, MyKeego expected a threefold increase in app downloads, aiming to surpass its existing 25,000 users last year. 

The service, which caters to a range of needs from brief errands to extended vacations, now offers a flexible subscription model, allowing users to lease vehicles for 3 to 12 months at variable rates depending on the chosen vehicle, further enhancing its offering and convenience for users seeking longer-term rentals.

CAR SHARING

How To Evaluate Growth Areas For Car Sharing

If you operate a private carshare service and are interested in discovering how movmi assesses the growth of car sharing businesses and formulates strategies to increase revenue, download our free case study. In it, we share our insights and findings.

Demand Responsive Transportation

Demand-responsive transport (DRT) is a model ideally suited for South America because it can easily adapt to the region’s unique mobility challenges. Unlike regular buses that follow a set route, DRT adjusts its path based on where people want to go, making it especially useful in communities that are less densely populated or remote areas where buses and trains don’t always reach. This means less waiting and more direct trips for passengers. DRT can also help connect different types of transport, making travel smoother across the region. Plus, by using vehicles more efficiently, DRT could help reduce traffic jams and pollution, making it a smart choice for improving transportation in South America.

Liftango

Liftango has expanded its global footprint by launching a new on-demand transport platform, TeuBus, in Cachoeirinha, Brazil, in collaboration with Transbus. Introduced by consultants Optai, this innovative service replaces an underperforming fixed route system, offering a more flexible travel option through a user-friendly app and a fleet of 7 minibusses, with plans to expand to 16. TeuBus operates alongside the city’s existing 32-bus network, providing a competitive, door-to-door solution to traditional and private ride-hailing services, at the same fare but with added convenience and comfort. 

Following a successful Beta in June last year and an official launch in July by Mayor Cristian Wassen Rosa, the service has seen significant interest, including 4100 app downloads within two weeks. Liftango’s CEO, Kevin Orr, emphasized the role of TeuBus in modernizing Cachoeirinha’s transport system and serving as a model for demand-responsive services in South America.

DRT-main-peq

Demand Responsive Transport (DRT): Where does it fit?

If you are interested in learning more about integrated mobility and the cities and regions that have implemented strategies for creating successful multimodal integrated transportation systems. Download our free Multimodal Case Study Index here.

Pubilc Transportation

As Latin America continues to urbanize and seek sustainable development paths, public transportation remains at the heart of discussions on improving quality of life, reducing environmental impact, and shaping the future of cities across the continent.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

Originating in Curitiba in 1974, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has become a model for cities worldwide, showcasing how high-quality, low-cost mass transportation can be achieved. Its dedicated bus lanes ensure rapid transit free from general traffic congestion, leading to a more reliable and faster service than conventional bus services.

The BRT systems across Brazilian cities, including major implementations in Rio de Janeiro, have managed to significantly reduce commute times, in some cases by as much as 65%, and serve densely populated areas that previously suffered from a lack of quality public transportation. BRT stations are often connected to other transit options like metro, rail, and regular bus services, enabling passengers to seamlessly switch modes of transportation within the same journey.

This has been particularly beneficial for low-income residents, offering them more affordable and efficient travel options, thereby improving access to employment and education opportunities.

Integrated Mobility & MaaS

To make an integrated mobility service work well, it’s important to focus on a few key things. It should connect smoothly with other ways of getting around, so people don’t have to sign up for a number of different services. People should be able to use their smartphones to access these services easily, and to make digital payments. Mixing the innovation of private services like car and bike shares with the wide reach of public transport can offer users the best of both worlds which means that public and private transport providers need to work together closely to make the whole system work better for everyone.

99 & 99Pay

99Pay is part of the 99 app, initially known as 99Taxis, and is now a subsidiary of DiDi Chuxing in Brazil. This app offers a variety of services, from taxi and vehicle hires to food delivery with 99Food. With 99Pay, users can transfer funds, pay bills, or place orders for rides and deliveries through 99Food, all within the same digital wallet app.

The addition of 99Pay to the 99 app shows how digital platforms are changing the way people get around in South America. With more people using smartphones, apps like 99Pay make it easier for everyone to access different ways of moving around, like taxis and food delivery, all in one place. This is important in areas where getting from one place to another can be a challenge. By combining money management with transportation options in a single app, 99 is making travel simpler and more connected. As technology gets better, this could lead to the integration of more shared transport options, making daily life easier for people in South America. 

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Multimodal Case Study Index

If you are interested in learning more about integrated mobility and the cities and regions that have implemented strategies for creating successful multimodal integrated transportation systems. Download our free Multimodal Case Study Index here.

Women's Safety in Transportation

In South America, women’s safety on public or shared transportation is a pressing concern that demands attention. Despite the widespread use of these transport modes, incidents of harassment and safety breaches have highlighted the urgent need for improved measures and policies.

NINA Mobility

The Nina App, created in Fortaleza and a previous EmpowerWISM finalist, offers a novel way to report public transport sexual harassment, benefiting both victims and witnesses. By integrating with the city’s transport app, it activates bus security cameras upon a report, aiding in assailant identification. It points to nearby support centers and collects data to inform government prevention strategies. This collaboration highlights a proactive approach to tackling harassment, blending technology with public safety efforts.

 

More than 65% of paying public transport users are women, especially black members of the underclass – in Brazil CDE class (ITDP, 2018). However, sexual harassment, for example, was only criminalized in Brazil in 2018. Since then, there are still no clear reporting channels, guidelines, or plans to combat gender violence in the context of urban mobility. There is still a lack of consolidated data on official government bases and clear public combat policies. In this sense, NINA’s vision is, in up to 10 years, to provide companies and the government with grounded information to understand why public spaces are unsafe and to favor combat and safety actions for these women. This way ensures that no woman suffers gender-based violence when traveling.

NINA’s approach fosters safer and more inclusive urban environments, particularly for women. By encouraging reporting and leveraging data for decision-making, it aims to make cities more welcoming for marginalized communities. Addressing gender-based violence in transportation enhances women’s sense of security, fosters their engagement in urban life, and helps prevent their withdrawal from educational and professional opportunities.

UpGirl

UpGirl is a Chilean start-up and a previous EmpowerWISM applicant. Their goal is to generate great social impact in the lives of women and their families, providing the best mobility experience and creating a powerful community that provides solutions to their main pains, problems and needs. For that they have developed UpGirl, a female mobility app that connects only female drivers with female passengers incorporating a new verification, travel and business model.

They are creating a strong community where crimes of a sexual nature are prevented in transport that suffer both, female drivers and passengers, family mobility that falls mainly on women is solved, a tool to generate income in a flexible and adaptive way in times of economic crisis, empowering in labor areas that have been dominated by men and a meeting point to go further.

Currently, UpGirl is focusing on working with companies and creating and offering mobility with a gender focus for those with a social responsibility.


As we look at how transportation is changing in South America, it’s clear that new technologies and ideas are making travel better for everyone. From an increase of bike sharing in big cities to car sharing services that reach new places, these changes are helping people move around more easily and in eco-friendly ways. There’s also a big push to make travel safer, especially for women, and to connect different ways of getting around so that everyone has equitable access to new and improved shared mobility modes. All these efforts show that South America is working hard to improve how we all travel, making it safer, greener, and more connected for the future.

If you’d like to learn more about how shared mobility is present in Brazil, check out our Global Mobility – Brazil series, in particular ‘How the Sharing Economy is Present in Cities. In this episode, the panel of experts discuss how it is possible to develop smart and sustainable mobility solutions for both residents and companies in Brazilian cities.

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