Sustainability and Shared Mobility Models
2. Shared Mobility Models and Their Impact on Sustainability
- Model 1 examples:
- Turo (https://turo.com/)
- easyCar Club (https://carclub.easycar.com/)
- hiyacar (https://www.hiyacar.co.uk/)
- Getaround (https://www.getaround.com/)
- Model 2 examples:
- Car2Go (https://www.car2go.com)
- Zipcar (https://www.zipcar.co.uk/)
- Autolib (was based in Paris, with only electric cars available for short-term rental, but collapsed when it ran into debt and the local government refused to compensate the company for any losses)
- Model 3 examples:
- Uber (https://www.uber.com/en-GB/)
- Lyft (https://www.lyft.com/)
- Sidecar (was based in San Francisco, but collapsed because it could not compete with Lyft and Uber)
- Model 4 examples:
- Via (https://ridewithvia.com)
- Chariot (https://www.chariot.com/)
- UberPool (https://www.uber.com/en-GB/ride/uberpool/)
- LyftLine (https://www.lyft.com/line)
- BlaBlaCar (https://www.blablacar.co.uk), for inter-city travel
2.1. Impacts on Sustainability
2.1.1. Market Size
2.1.2. Car Ownership, Distance Travelled, CO2 Emissions, and Congestion
3. Incentives to Encourage Shared Mobility
- Short term rental of shared vehicles (Model 2 above, where vehicles are managed and owned by a provider) is “not considered an attractive substitute for private-vehicle ownership, because it is rarely appropriate for a daily commute”  (p. 105). Even young people may express enthusiasm over the idea of Model 2, but show reluctance to actually use it , and most aspire and plan to buy a car . 67% of U.S. respondents to a survey preferred “driving their own cars over using ride-hailing apps” (Model 3 above, where companies own no cars themselves, but they sign up ordinary car owners who act as drivers), and 63% would not give up their vehicles for these types of rides, even if they were free . Given the above, it will not be easy to convince consumers to switch to shared mobility services, especially those that entail simultaneously sharing a vehicle with strangers (Model 4) and compromising, even slightly, on departure and arrival times and travel duration.
- Basic transport economics defines the generalised cost of a trip as the monetary cost or out-of-pocket expenditure, plus the time taken to complete the trip, times the value of time of the trip maker. Trip makers are assumed to be rational and to minimise their generalised cost of travel. The value of time varies according to a number of factors , with the most important one being income. In addition, it has long been recognised that business (working) travel time values are different from non-working travel time ones, which include commuting, and also travel for other purposes [61,62]. The estimates of the value of travel time during the course of work are typically three to five times higher than those for other purposes, and traditionally, travel time during working hours has been valued at the wage rate, although this practice has been recently challenged .
- To complicate things further, there are many other factors that influence mode choice, such as reliability, convenience, and comfort, to name a few. Reliability has lately been incorporated in the generalised cost of travel  (p. 32), . Convenience is difficult to define and value but there have been attempts to model it for public transport . Comfort is related to crowding and it can be taken into account by using value of travel time multipliers for different modes of public transport . These multipliers can take a range of values according to whether there are plenty of seats free and the passenger does not have to sit next to anyone, or there are no seats free, and the bus or train is densely packed, or situations in-between . Evidence shows that the passengers, even those who regularly travel by bus, prefer to be in a relatively empty vehicle and not have to seat next to anyone else . Convincing solo car drivers to share taxis or mini-buses may therefore be challenging, and will need strong financial incentives to compensate for the disutility caused by the reduction in comfort.
- Last but not least, waiting time, for example, at bus stops or train stations, has a higher weight, mainly as a result of impatience. This has a long tradition and recent research provides fresh evidence for this to be the case, with waiting time multipliers being over 2 and even 3, depending on transport mode and trip purpose .
- Command-and-control measures, such as the closure of certain roads or areas to privately owned and driven vehicles;
- Subsidies to compensate for the disutility of waiting, taking longer to travel, and/or sharing the vehicle with other passengers;
- Charges, such as congestion charges during peak times or simply charges for (the privilege of) using roads; and
- Incentives in-kind, such as use of dedicated bus lanes for shared mobility vehicles
4. Research Needs
Conflicts of Interest
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Santos, G. Sustainability and Shared Mobility Models. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3194. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093194
Santos G. Sustainability and Shared Mobility Models. Sustainability. 2018; 10(9):3194. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093194Chicago/Turabian Style
Santos, Georgina. 2018. "Sustainability and Shared Mobility Models" Sustainability 10, no. 9: 3194. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093194