Thursday, July 7, 2016

New FHWA Report: Shared Mobility: Current Practices and Guiding Principles

Executive Summary

Shared mobility-the shared use of a vehicle, bicycle, or other mode-is an innovative transportation strategy that enables users to gain short-term access to transportation modes on an as-needed basis. The term shared mobility includes various forms of carsharing, bikesharing, ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling), and on-demand ride services. It can also include alternative transit services, such as paratransit, shuttles, and private transit services (called microtransit), which can supplement fixed-route bus and rail services. With diverse options for mobility on the rise, smartphone apps that aggregate these options and optimize routes for travelers are also proliferating. In addition to these innovative travel modes, new ways of transporting and delivering goods are also emerging. These courier network services have the potential to change the nature of the package and food delivery industry, as well as the broader transportation network. Shared mobility is having a transformative impact on many global cities by enhancing transportation accessibility, while simultaneously reducing driving and personal vehicle ownership.

In the context of carsharing and bikesharing, vehicles and bicycles are typically unattended and concentrated in a network of locations where information and communication technology (ICT) and other technological innovations facilitate the transaction of vehicle or bicycle rental. Typically, carsharing and bikesharing operators are responsible for the costs of maintenance, storage, parking, and insurance and fuel (if applicable). With classic ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling) and on-demand ride services, such as ridesourcing (e.g., Lyft and uberX) or “transportation network companies" or “ride-hailing" and app-enabled taxi services (e.g., Curb, Flywheel), many providers also employ ICT to facilitate the matching of riders and drivers for trips.

A number of environmental, social, and transportation-related benefits have been reported from the use of shared mobility modes. Several studies have documented reduced vehicle use, ownership, and vehicle miles/kilometers traveled. Cost savings and convenience are frequently cited as popular reasons for shifting to a shared mode. Shared mobility can also extend the catchment area of public transit, potentially helping to bridge gaps in existing transportation networks and encouraging multimodality by addressing the first-and-last-mile issue related to public transit access. Shared mobility can also provide economic benefits in the form of cost savings, increased economic activity near public transit stations and multimodal hubs, and increased access by creating connections with origin points not previously accessible via traditional public transportation.

This Shared Mobility Primer provides an introduction and background to shared mobility; discusses the government's role; reviews success stories; examines challenges, lessons learned, and proposed solutions; and concludes with guiding principles for public agencies. The primer aims to provide an overview of this emerging field and current understanding—as in the years to come, shared mobility will continue to evolve and develop. In light of this evolution, ongoing tracking and longitudinal analysis are recommended to support sound planning and policymaking in the future.

Publication #: FHWA-HOP-16-022
[Quality Assurance Statement][Notice Statement][Technical Report Documentation Page][SI Conversion Factors]

Table of Contents

List of Figures

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