Smart Mobility

Shared Transport: Moving Towards a Common Goal

On-demand and shared vehicles are the foundations of the future of transportation. Owning a car may soon be far less common, and hailing a ride may become the standard. The way city dwellers are choosing to move around is changing, and the smart mobility industry is thinking beyond traditional modes of mobility.

In this article you'll learn about:

What Is Shared Transport?

Shared transport refers to a demand-driven vehicle-sharing process where travelers share a vehicle, either at the same time (e.g., ride-sharing) or over time (e.g., bike-sharing or car-sharing).  In this arrangement, travelers share the cost of their journey, providing a hybrid between public transportation and private vehicle use. 

The Rise of the Sharing Economy and Its Impact on Transportation

What is the sharing economy?

The term ‘sharing economy’ denotes a collaborative consumption. Typically, the sharing economy uses a technology platform, which people and sectors use to exchange assets, services, and goods. The sharing economy originated from the open-source community, where it was used in connection to peer to peer-based sharing. It is now used generally in reference to any sales transactions initiated via online marketplaces.   

How sharing transport is disrupting traditional business models?

Sharing transport is disrupting conventional business models. Three factors form the foundation of its rapid development:

  • A capacity to make use of spare resources and extend systems without significant investment.
  • The exponential growth of collaborative learning and experimentation.
  • Distributed capacity is now ever-present and everywhere.

Emerging transport market services

These services provide new ways to deal with growing urban populations. With approximately 2 million worldwide users, ride and care sharing have not yet entered the mainstream. However, the participation of influential car manufactures in the market, and the growth of new service providers indicates the increasing significance of these services.   

Why Is Shared Transportation Popular?

Shared transportation has developed dramatically in recent years, as concerns for the environment, energy, and the economy increase. These concerns have intensified the desire for sustainable solutions.

An Investor’s Perspective: 4 Reasons Why

  • Everyone needs shared transportation: Everyone is reliant on transportation and mobility, even people restricted to their homes need goods and services brought to them.  
  • A shareable asset: Mobility services can be used by more than one individual; for example, a person can interchange vehicles or seats.
  • Most people will live in large cities: Studies show that most of the population of the world will live in large cities, and many in megacities (which have over 10 million inhabitants), which means that shared vehicles and shared rides are unavoidable.
  • Global adoption: The mobile-based apps phenomenon spurred rapid growth. Startups have reported that adoption numbers show an increase in global adoptions. Users can access and pay for a ride by downloading an app and connecting it to their credit card.

The Commuter Perspective: 4 Reasons Why

  • Saves money—the cost of shared mobility is decreasing when compared to the cost of running a privately owned vehicle, making it financially viable.
  • People ride 5-seater cars alonethe majority of Americans ride in their 5-seater cars by themselves, daily. Shared mobility solves congestion issues by increasing the number of car passengers.
  • No longer a status symbol—private car ownership is losing its status as a symbol of wealth, and fewer people, particularly in city areas, are getting their license to drive. However, these individuals still need to be mobile.  
  • Increased urbanization—car ownership is becoming complex and expensive. Urban centers are more expensive and less pleasant to drive in due to congestion charges, expensive parking, and the many traffic lights.

6 Shared Transport Modes

Six shared transport modes that are striving to improve journey times, transform travel, better passenger safety, and comfort while protecting the environment.

1. Bicycle Sharing System  

A system that provides bicycles for shared use. Individuals can borrow a bike for a short time for free or a price. Many services permit people to use a bike from a “dock” and return it to a different dock that is run by the same service. Docks are a kind of bike rack that locks and releases the bike via a computer system. For some systems, smartphone mapping apps reveal bikes and open docks closeby.

2. Carpooling

Carpooling (also called car-sharing, lift-sharing, and ride-hailing) is where individuals ride together in a car, thus sharing the car journey. Carpooling reduces the travel cost of each passenger as the costs, including fuel costs and tolls, are split. Carpooling is a sustainable way to travel as it reduces carbon emission, traffic congestions, air pollution, and the demand for parking places.

3. Demand Responsive Transport

A type of transportation where vehicles change their routes according to particular transport demands. Thus, these vehicles do not use timetables or fixed routes. They pick-up and drop-off passengers in places in response to the needs of the passenger; examples include buses and taxis. These vehicles are typically in use in areas of low passenger demand, including rural regions. They may also be used to cater to people with special needs.

4. Sustainable Transport  

Transport that is sustainable in relation to the effect it has environmentally, socially, and climatically. Elements used for evaluating sustainability include water or air transport, the source of energy, the type of vehicles used for the road, and transportation infrastructure, including railways, roads, airways, waterways, terminals, and canals.  

5. Vanpool

Elements of a transit system where groups of people share a ride. Vanpools are like carpooling but on a larger scale.  People share the ride from a common meeting point and travel to a common destination. The vehicles can be provided by individuals, individuals working together with public and private programs, via a program operated in connection with the government, or a program run by an employer.

6. Ride-Sharing

Ride-sharing, or shared mobility, allows users to gain short-term access to transportation when they need it. It can include car sharing, bike sharing, carpooling, and platform-based ride services.

Paving the Way With the Sharing Economy

Advancements in transportation will help cities understand what can be shared to lessen congestion, minimize stress, and provide value to the lives of individuals. Many cities are striving to reach a point where people can get to their destination without thinking about, for example, where to park or having to remember when to fill up their gas tank.

Cities will achieve this goal by utilizing technological advancements in personal, on-demand services, and the sharing economy will likely provide the way.