Mobility, by definition, is the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Shared mobility is an evolving term and generally refers to the shared use of a vehicle, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle, or other modes of transportation. Shared mobility is the short term access to one of these modes of travel based on the user’s need and convenience.
Here are some Shared Mobility Examples –
BikeSharing – Provides a user on-demand access to a bicycle at different locations
CarSharing – Provides a user on-demand access to a vehicle. Carsharing organizations have
either their own vehicles or manage vehicles for vehicle owners who have no use for the vehicle during that time.
RideSharing or Carpooling – this is when a driver and passenger/s share the same vehicle for a journey either by direct connection or through a connecting website or mobile application
Resourcing or Ride-hailing – this provides an on-demand transportation service by a
transport network provider by connecting drivers and passengers, generally through a mobile app.
Other examples of shared mobility are traditional public transit, taxis, shuttle services and car rentals.
Problems caused by the need for mobility?
Our generation is justifiably concerned about the environmental problems and social problems caused by the unrestricted use of natural resources, the absence of long term urban planning, and the deteriorating quality of life in large and densely populated cities. The majority of these problems stem from the need for mobility which is important for individuals, cities and countries. Mobility helps to generate growth and improve the quality of life through employment, income generation activities and maintaining a satisfactory personal and social life.
Our environment and quality of life may deteriorate if our mobility is adversely affected by
environmental changes, increasing the cost of living and increasing time to travel to and from our home to desired destinations.
Is shared Mobility an answer to issues caused by the need for mobility?
Shared mobility may not be the solution for all the problems related to mobility but it aims to reduce the impact of mobility problems on our environment, quality of life and cost of living.
A few ways Shared Mobility may help to improve our environment and quality of life:
A reduction in the cost of living – Utilising our personal assets such as sharing empty seats in a vehicle or sharing the vehicle when it is not in use can help us to recoup some of the money spent on owning and maintaining a vehicle. Money recouped by sharing will, in turn, reduce our cost of living. When sharing is widely and conveniently available some of us may not need to maintain a vehicle at all and then even the cost of sharing will reduce significantly.
A reduction in traffic congestion – Some of the shared mobility services, such as carpooling and ridesharing services, will definitely help to ease the pressure on our road infrastructure as the number of vehicles on the roads is reduced when two or more people share a single vehicle.
Improving our environment – Reducing the number of vehicles on the road will dramatically improve the quality of the environment through a reduction in CO2 emissions from less vehicles being on the road. Less vehicles on the roads mean faster and efficient journeys with less fuel waste and congestion.
Improved quality of life – The ultimate goal of shared mobility should be an improvement in the quality of life for society as a whole. Shared mobility has all the ingredients to improve the quality of life by improving our environment, reducing the cost of living, by helping us to move more quickly and safely and to allow us to spend more time on activities which we call life.