Shared mobility solutions for sustainable urban mobility
Urban travel, particularly between home and work, is still heavily dependent on the use of individual vehicles. These internal combustion engine cars have harmful effects on the environment, the health of city dwellers and their wallets, which are no longer in evidence.
The development of more sustainable urban mobility solutions in France's major cities and elsewhere seems inevitable to meet new environmental, economic and social challenges. These solutions include electric cars, soft mobility (cycling, walking), public transport and new sustainable mobility solutions in the city (notably electric bikes and scooters).
Another solution for sustainable urban mobility is car sharing: carpooling or car sharing. Discover the different challenges of shared mobility for urban travel.
The challenges of sustainable urban mobility
If urban mobility refers to the movement of people within a city, sustainable urban mobility refers to more ecological and responsible modes of travel.
As urban mobility is part of the transport sector, which is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in France, it is essential to review travel habits in cities.
The importance of reducing the use of combustion engine cars
The gasoline or diesel car is still the most common mode of transportation used by city residents, especially for commuting. However, combustion engine cars are responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions: they are in fact the most polluting mode of transportation in the city. Indeed, according to Ademe's calculation, for a 4 km trip in the city, a combustion engine car emits almost 1 kg of CO₂.
In an ecological transition approach that concerns all sectors in France, it is then essential to reduce the impact of transport on the climate, in particular by limiting car use.
The need for new, more sustainable urban mobility solutions
The State and local authorities are supporting the development and use of new mobility solutions to reduce the use of gasoline or diesel cars, whether in cities or in rural areas. Moreover, the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines should be banned in the European Union as of 2035.
Urban mobility is therefore being rethought taking into account many criteria, including:
- the ecological transition ;
- accessibility of transport for all city dwellers
- the digital revolution.
City dwellers are firstly encouraged to return to traditional modes of transport (walking, cycling), but also to make greater use of public transport by means of free or extended networks.
New sustainable mobilities are also offered to them, with the development of electric vehicles and motorized personal mobility devices (MPMDs ), including electric scooters, electric bicycles, hoverboards and gyropods. Sustainable mobility also includes shared mobility solutions, i.e. car-sharing and car-pooling.
Carsharing for sustainable urban mobility
Rather than abandoning the car altogether, city dwellers can take advantage of shared mobility solutions for their trips in the city, such as carsharing services.
Car-sharing refers to the rental of self-service vehicles in urban areas. City dwellers with a subscription to the service can access driverless vehicles for short trips in the city, thus saving themselves the purchase of a personal car. Users simply drop off the rented vehicle at a parking space near their destination or at the point of departure, depending on the terms of the carsharing service.
Carsharing services are now available in hundreds of cities in Europe and around the world. They offer a response to the three-dimensional challenges of sustainable urban mobility. First, carsharing has a positive impact on the environment: the cost of the service can encourage city dwellers to turn to public transport or other soft mobility. This contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. In any case, the car-sharing vehicles made available to city dwellers by operators are generally newer, and therefore more environmentally friendly: for example, they may be electric vehicles that can be dropped off near a charging station.
In addition, carsharing has advantages from a socio-economic point of view. Indeed, city dwellers who only occasionally use a car or who cannot afford a personal vehicle have access to a mode of transport that is more economical than a personal vehicle that has to be purchased and maintained.
Finally, consider the benefits of carsharing services for urban management. The reduction in the number of vehicles makes it possible to reduce parking spaces and to dedicate traffic spaces to more sustainable modes of transport (walking, cycling, scooters).
Carpooling as a sustainable urban mobility solution
Another solution for sustainable and shared urban mobility is carpooling. More widespread than car-sharing, carpooling refers to the sharing of a personal vehicle with one or more other passengers, for the duration of a trip of varying length. The owner of the vehicle goes to his destination accompanied by other passengers, allowing him to reduce his costs, among other advantages.
Like car-sharing, the carpooling service reduces the number of vehicles on the road and parked. Several benefits result:
- reduced CO₂ emissions;
- reduced energy consumption;
- reduction of traffic jams on the road;
- improved well-being of road users.
From a socio-economic point of view, carpooling obviously benefits city dwellers' wallets: vehicle owners can divide their mileage costs by 2, 3, or even 4, while passengers have access to a convenient and affordable mode of transportation. The organization required to plan a carpool and ensure its smooth running (waiting times for passengers, meeting and drop-off points, cancellations, etc.) can sometimes be a hindrance for city dwellers.
However, communication tools and technologies make it possible to simplify this organization, with access to carpooling websites and mobile applications. Moreover, the development of these technologies makes it possible to imagine an increase in the use of carpooling for trips in the city. Indeed, from their cell phones, city dwellers would only have to consult carpooling offers and requests in real time, to organize themselves more quickly.
Finally, carpooling is an interesting sustainable urban mobility solution for communities: no financial investment is required to offer carpooling to city dwellers. They only have to pay for the development of parking spaces dedicated to carpooling.
In any case, the use of shared mobility such as car-sharing and car-pooling is a first step in reducing the number of internal combustion engine cars in circulation. We can then hope for a steady increase in the interest of city dwellers for new sustainable urban mobility solutions.
We recommend these other pages:
- Urban mobility: why should it be multimodal?
- What are the challenges of new urban mobility solutions?
- Electric cars and urban mobility: a solution for the future?
- Urban mobility and EDPM: an alternative to the car?
- Walking, skating, cycling, rollerblading for a soft urban mobility
- Urban mobility: what place for public transport?
- Comparison of different urban mobility solutions
- Urban mobility and new solutions: what regulations?