In recent years, economic, environmental, and social forces have quickly given rise to the “sharing economy,” a collective of entrepreneurs and consumers leveraging technology to share resources, save money, and generate capital. Shared mobility—the shared use of a vehicle, bicycle, or other low-speed travel mode—is an innovative transportation strategy that enables users to have short-term access to a transportation mode on an as-needed basis.
Demographic shifts, improvements in computing power and mapping technology, the use of cloud computing, and changes in wireless communication — coupled with the growth of data availability and data sharing — are changing the way people travel. Increasingly, mobility consumers are turning to smartphone “apps” for a wide array of transportation activities including: vehicle routing, real-time data on congestion, information regarding roadway incidents and construction, parking availability, and real-time transit arrival predictions.
In the past ten years, passenger and goods movement transportation systems have evolved rapidly. Shared mobility providers are filling gaps in service and creating new markets for delivery; vehicle fleets continue to electrify; and pooled services are increasing vehicle occupancy. The uptake of innovative pooled services, as well as automation, promise to continue the trend of transformative change.
Shared mobility modes have reported a number of environmental, social, and transportation-related impacts. Several studies have documented the reduction of vehicle usage, ownership, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Cost savings and convenience are frequently cited as popular reasons for shifting to a shared mode. Shared modes can also extend the catchment area of public transit, potentially playing a pivotal role in bridging gaps in existing transportation networks and encouraging multi-modality by addressing the first-and-last mile issue related to public transit access.
Teddy Forscher, Alexandre Bayen, PhD and Susan Shaheen, PhD
Pricing transportation infrastructure, either to achieve a desired outcome or to raise revenue, is a concept that has been present in economics and transportation since the early to mid-20th century. Different approaches to pricing (e.g., area-wide pricing, vehicle miles traveled, express lanes, etc.) have been adopted in parts of Europe and Asia; some strategies cover all road users, some only passenger vehicles, and others only commercial and goods movement vehicles.
Susan Shaheen, PhD, Hannah Totte, and Adam Stocker
Transportation is arguably experiencing its most transformative revolution since the introduction of the automobile. Concerns over climate change and equity are converging with dramatic technological advances. Although these changes – including shared mobility and automation – are rapidly altering the mobility landscape, predictions about the future of transportation are complex, nuanced, and widely debated. California is required by law to renew the California Transportation Plan (CTP), updating its models and policy considerations to reflect industry changes every five years.
In 2017, researchers from UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center and Institute of Transportation Studies produced eight policy briefs on shared mobility. Shared mobility – the shared use of a vehicle, bicycle, or other travel mode – services are experiencing rapid growth and expansion. This is, in part, due to the launch of innovative business models across California, and their use of the smartphone as a way to enable on-demand transportation options.
Travel behavior is undergoing a period of significant change in the United States. In 2016, public transit ridership fell in almost all major U.S. metropolitan regions. While Americans are still heavily dependent on the personal automobile for mobility, technological and societal changes are transforming how mobility is accomplished.
The market for personal mobility is changing rapidly due to shifting social and cultural trends, as well as technological advances such as smartphones, information processing, and widespread data connectivity. Mobility on Demand (MOD) is an innovative transportation concept. On the supply side, transportation providers manage mobility rather than traffic through demand-responsive service, shifting use to alternate modes.