Why public transport operators should embrace car-sharing

Posted: 13 March 2019 | | 1 comment

Ride-sharing has the potential to help solve the global problem of pollution, overpopulation and congestion. Katy Medlock, Head of UK at Drivy, explains how integrating car- and ride-share options with public transport could be the way to finally leave personal car ownership in the polluted past.

Why public transport operators should embrace car-sharing?

Last year I attended the Intelligent Transport Conference, where some of the people I met were clearly surprised to see a car-sharing player like Drivy represented. I remember one person from the rail industry suspiciously referring to me as “one of those new disruptive competitors”.

I think it was meant as a compliment, but still rather odd, given Drivy and many other car-sharing providers share the same common goal as public transport operators and local councils: developing an effective public transport ecosystem to reduce car ownership and the corresponding congestion and pollution. This essentially leads to providing people with a cleaner method of getting where they need to go, and in the process, reducing the need for personal car use.

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One response to “Why public transport operators should embrace car-sharing”

  1. Dave Holladay says:

    Well done for catching up. I’ve been doing this on a personal basis for 43 years now. Initially having to work with the limits of the time – car hire before the early car share etc.

    The suppliers of transport as a commodity, need only look to the suppliers of energy, and telecommunications to see how many now offer the package account, some with both energy & telecommunications in one bundle. It may not be too long before BT or EDF are moving in on transport perhaps, and making the major conglomerates look a bit laggard it their failure to seize the opportunities.

    Vignettes for the UK show a typical household £2000-£3000/year better off through not owning a car, but spending money on alternative mobility choices. This is also seen in areas with major ‘transport poverty’ (AKA low car ownership – a false standard to assume) where taxis have routinely been the substitute for a car club.

    I do have some concerns on regulation, already a thorny issue with dockless bike and scooter sharing, and one foreseen and managed in 2001, plus the serious downsides in peer to peer fleet quality & standards.

    The delivery of a car club with standard vehicles, renewed to a plan, with the critical battery & maintenance details sorted is also a good story for delivery of EV’s and reduced stockpiling of cars for a fluctuating private sale model (plus no need for showrooms & special offers). Commercial car clubs can & are buying the lions’ share of EV and their vehicle parc has a near 100% LEV status.

    One key factor has to change & catch up with this revolution. You cannot easily live car-free or car-light and continue to live the same way as a car owner. You’ll have shopping delivered, and know all the local shops where every weekly need is available. You’ll know all the permutations of bus and train services for regular journeys, and when these are disrupted. With that extra money now not spent on a car, much will be spent locally, delivering a virtuous circle.

    Will the politicians & planners catch up?

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