A new study released by the International Transport Forum (ITF) examines how cities can manage the challenges of geographical scale and transition to shared mobility services.
Initiated by the ITF’s Corporate Partnership Board (CPB), the report expands on two earlier studies that looked at the impact of replacing private cars in a city with shared services, but which did not address the questions of implementing these services and expanding them to a wider, metropolitan area.
Like the 2015 and 2016 studies, it used mobility data from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, but expanded the assessment to the whole metropolitan area (LMA). Application to this wider territory followed widely the same approach, but took advantage of the introduction of a new type of service-feeders to the existing network of high-capacity public transport services.
In doing this, the results were even better than those in previous studies on just the city area, with three very important co-benefits:
Access to jobs and other public services would become much better and more equitable;
A massive release of parking spaces for other forms of public usage would be possible;
Introducing the feeder services leads to a considerable increase in the use of high-capacity transit services.
The study found the reduction of traffic volumes, emissions, and prices, as the result of a full-scale implementation of shared mobility in a metropolitan area is even more significant than for the core city itself.
Compared to 2011 levels, the analysis showed total vehicle-miles in peak hours are reduced by 55% for the LMA, while the reduction for the city alone was 44%. LMA CO? emissions are reduced by 62%, and 53% for the city. This is associated with the possible use of demand-responsive services based on Shared Taxis and Taxi-Buses as feeders to the region’s existing rail lines. Shared mobility also makes access to jobs and other public services easier and more equitable, and releases 95% of parking spaces.
The report recommends cities:
Start integrating shared mobility solutions into existing urban transport plans;
Use shared mobility to increase use of existing high-capacity public transport;
Deploy shared mobility services in a phased way that maximizes public acceptance;
Optimize overall efficiency, while assuring a healthy level of competition in the market;
Limit exclusive occupancy of shared vehicles to avoid the erosion of traffic reduction and emissions benefits;
Make Shared Taxi services fully accessible to citizens with reduced mobility.