Shared mobility improves public services

A public transport system using on-demand shared mobility rather than a traditional system with fixed routes and timetables significantly improves citizens’ access to schools, health services and work opportunities according to a new report.

The study published by the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD – Shared Mobility: Innovation for Liveable Cities – suggests that with shared mobility providing better service and at lower cost, traditional urban bus services are likely to disappear.

In a simulation exercise, ITF researchers used detailed data on mobility behaviour from the city of Lisbon (Portugal) to compare how easily citizens can reach workplaces, health services and educational institutions using two different transport systems: a) the currently existing public transport system of metro, rail and bus services; and b) a system where metro/rail services are complemented by fleets of on-demand eight or 16-seater taxi-buses.

The results showed that the on-demand shared mobility system provides vastly superior access to jobs, health services and education services. A second commonly-used indicator for social inequality, the so called Gini co-efficient showed similar results.

IFT claims the study results confirm and augment those of a previous study which examined the impact of self-driving shared cars on urban mobility and found that this could make nine out of 10 vehicles redundant.

José Viegas, secretary-general of the International Transport Forum, who oversaw the study, said, ‘As a next step, we will test our model with data from five more cities. This will help to better understand how to adapt shared mobility solutions so they provide maximum benefit in specific conditions.’