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What is Shared Mobility?

Read this article for an introduction to shared mobility.

Shared mobility is a term that refers to modes of transport where an operator owns a vehicle and the public can rent them over a period of time for their own personal use.

Users share a vehicle over time as personal rental when they require it and will rent the full vehicle, this is where it differs from public transport. Shared mobility removes the need for the user to purchase a vehicle and instead an operator will own the vehicle and allow others to rent it for a period of time. In the process of this, users will share the cost associated with owning the vehicle, creating a hybrid between private vehicle use and mass or public transport.

Shared mobility can reduce the carbon footprint of transport, moving people from carbon intensive cars to more sustainable forms of travel. Though electric cars are less carbon intensive than petrol and diesel vehicles, shared mobility can reduce this impact further, emitting less carbon dioxide per mile travelled. However, the use of cars in shared mobility can still lower overall emissions, with newer, less polluting vehicles available to rent that would otherwise be outside the price range of users. Shared mobility allows users to access transportation services on a “need-to-use” basis removing the need for large capital investment costs. This allows the general public to access sustainable travel no matter their socio-economic status. Developments in apps and the use of smart phones allows easy and quick access to these transport modes. In the future Mobility as a Service (MaaS) apps will provide a single platform for all shared mobility modes, allowing a one-stop-shop for users instead of requiring multiple travel based apps for each operator.

There are a growing number of shared mobility services provided by operators as this market begins to develop. The key shared mobility modes that this course will cover are stated below:

  • Car clubs and car sharing: This differs to a conventional rental scheme with no restrictions on where and when you can rent, with a whole fleet of different vehicles available to you at the tap of a button
  • E-scooters: A simple to use new form of shared mobility, providing a platform to stand on and fully powered, requiring no effort from the user
  • E-bikes: An electric assisted version of a standard bicycle that can aid your journey allowing you to travel further, and with greater ease, than a conventional bike
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Sustainable Transport and Shared Mobility

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