Cities are changing at a pace never seen before and with a change in structure and behaviour, there has been a meteoric rise in ‘shared mobility’.
Technological advances have paved the way for a shared mobility market that completely rethinks the way city dwellers move and interact both in and out of a city. With so many alternatives to traditional travel, city inhabitants are turning away from car ownership, especially the younger generations.
Here’s how the shared mobility revolution is fuelling this decline.
Shared mobility and the ‘Primed’ Generation
In a world of Amazon Prime, we are conditioned for immediacy, convenience and on-demand services. From food and shopping to handymen and cars, everything you need is just a few clicks away. Technology has changed the way we interact, move, shop and even sleep these days and it is the driving force behind the rapid rise of shared mobility.
As of 2016, just 4% of miles driven were shared, yet research from Morgan Stanley indicates that within the next 15 years this figure is expected to surpass 500% growth. Shared mobility has become an umbrella term for all kinds of shared transport services; from car-sharing and ride-hailing to bicycle schemes and electric scooters, companies are innovating in the transport scene and giving consumers more choice when it comes to their commutes or holidays.
Extra urban mobility services such as mobile-first car rentals provide alternative travel solutions to residents who don’t want to or cannot afford the costs of purchasing and maintaining their own private vehicle; these services are quick, easy and convenient and can often be cheaper than long-journey train tickets too.
Light transport vehicles such as bikes and scooters are also becoming increasingly popular in helping with the first and last-mile connections for commuters, who would previously have used cars to travel to and from tube, train and bus stations. In addition, ride-hailing apps allow residents to travel at their own convenience and cost, often in areas where public transport is lacking. As more people become open to using these shared mobility options, they no longer have to rely on their own personal vehicles.
Convenience and cost are becoming top priorities for many when considering travel options in cities. Owning cars no longer fits into these categories due to the rising maintenance costs, insurance and the parking space required among other factors. By prioritising our own individual travel needs, consumers are fueling the desire for transport companies that disrupt traditional ownership and factor in people’s priorities.
Studies have shown that millennials and younger generations are buying fewer cars than their elders. For many older generations, car ownership symbolises freedom and opportunity, while younger generations value affordability, convenience and instant access when it comes to travel.
With more and more young people flocking to cities for jobs and careers, many quickly discover that owning a car isn’t necessary in these areas. Public transport is a valuable travel resource, but shared mobility brands are making it easier than ever to pick a transport mode that suits young people’s own individual needs, all at the touch of a smartphone. Many young people, burdened with debt, are therefore turning away from car ownership and its associated costs.
Urbanisation and changing cities
Cities are transforming at a pace in-line with the changing face of mobility, and it is predicted that by 2050 two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities compared with 50% today. With limited space and major congestion, many cities are embracing the chance to cut down on the number of private cars being used by individuals, by supporting shared services as alternatives. In the UK, owned cars are parked 95% of the time.
Through shared mobility, cities can save space and benefit from newer more efficient cars that are regularly serviced. With new charges such as the Ultra Low Emission Zone now in place in London, car owners are disincentivised to drive in the capital, and we may see a shift towards a society where residents will only use cars on a needs-basis through services such as modern car rentals and ride-sharing.
The future role of shared mobility
Technological advances are helping to speed up the innovation of urban mobility globally, providing more alternative transport options for city dwellers. This increase in the diversity of travel options will continue to reach more consumers every year, ultimately leading to a rise in the global adoption of shared mobility solutions.
No longer are city inhabitants reliant on owning a car to get around, with more and more people opting for new generation car rental services, bicycle schemes and ride-hailing companies. With this wide variety of shared mobility services appealing to younger generations’ priorities of convenience and cost, there is no doubt that car ownership will decline faster in urban areas than anywhere else as the transport industry shifts its focus to a new wave of urban mobility services.