this report and the research underpinning it are aimed at analysing: the contribution of collaborative mobility actors to more sustainable mobility; their development challenges, especially in peri-urban and rural areas, where people are most dependent on private cars; the way in which the public authorities, especially the local authorities, can benefit from the innovations developed by these new actors.
A NEW GENERATION OF ACTORSCarpooling and peer-to-peer carsharing start-ups have multiplied in recent years. The widespread use of smartphones and digital innovations has made it possible to design new tools and to improve the ergonomics of user interfaces, thereby facilitating transactions between individuals. These “collaborative mobility” actors are renewing the shared use of cars, which emerged in the 2000s with the first generation of actors supported by the public authorities: professional carsharing (Communauto, Autolib’, etc.) and carpooling companies (La Roue Verte, Covivo, etc.).
PROMISE FOR SUSTAINABLE MOBILITYWhile the first generation of carpooling and carsharing actors is struggling to grow beyond certain areas and population groups, collaborative mobility actors are hoping to win over new users and to extend carsharing and carpooling services into new areas. They would thus contribute to improving the sustainability of travel by reducing its environmental impacts and also its cost, with annual savings for an individual ranging from a few hundred to more than 3,000 euros. These benefits are greater for short-distance than for long-distance mobility, particularly because there is less competition with public transport in the short-distance segment.
DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES FOR SHORT DISTANCESHowever, these goals come up against the challenges inherent in short-distance mobility. First, the development of collaborative mobility depends on users’ access to a mix of transport solutions, including public transport. Second, the platforms on which these collaborative mobility solutions are based require a large number of users to be efficient. While it is difficult to reach this threshold in densely populated areas, the challenge is even greater in less densely populated areas: peri-urban and rural areas, small towns, etc.
WHAT ROLE FOR THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES?Faced with these difficulties, which are compounded in less densely populated areas, the question of the role of the public authorities arises. A public strategy for collaborative, sustainable mobility could be based on six pillars: communication support; tax clarification; road system planning; experimentation; better governance; and public funding. This final pillar is a contentious issue, but it could prove essential to ensuring new forms of collaborative mobility are developed in some areas, particularly rural ones.
Following on the project