June 18, 2024
Global Shared Mobility

The Rise of Shared Mobility: How Car Sharing is Transforming Transportation Globally

Shared mobility on the rise across the world

Shared mobility services like car sharing, ride-hailing and bike sharing have seen tremendous growth globally in recent years. According to a study by Shared Mobility Principles Project, the carpooling industry has grown by over 50% annually between 2010 to 2018. Major cities around the world have seen huge uptakes in these services with people increasingly choosing shared transportation over private vehicle ownership.

Car sharing services allow people to rent vehicles for short periods of time, typically by the hour. Major car sharing companies like Car2Go and Zipcar have established large fleets in cities across Europe and North America. For example, Car2Go has over 25,000 vehicles available for use in over 30 major cities worldwide. Users can locate and unlock vehicles parked anywhere within their service area using a smartphone app. After use, vehicles can be parked in any legal spot.

This flexibility and ease of access has made car sharing very popular, especially with young urban residents. According to a survey, Global Shared Mobility nearly 70% of car sharing users in major American cities are under 35 years old. For many people in dense urban areas, car ownership no longer makes financial or practical sense given the availability of on-demand shared transportation services.

Ride-hailing transforms urban transportation

Ride-hailing services have revolutionized how people get around in cities. Led by companies such as Uber and Lyft, the ride-hailing industry has grown exponentially in the last decade. It is estimated that over 10 billion rides were completed on Uber alone between 2014 to 2019.

Ride-hailing provides a convenient mobility alternative to private car ownership. Users can summon a vehicle within minutes using the app, without the hassles of parking, insurance or fuel costs. For many, it fulfills their occasional transportation needs more practically than using infrequent public transit or paying exorbitant taxi rates.

Ride-hailing popularity is particularly notable in developing world cities where public transportation infrastructure is lacking. In cities across Latin America, Africa and Asia, ride-hailing has become integral to urban transportation systems. As per industry estimates, over half of all Uber rides globally now originate from outside North America and Europe. The app-based, pay-per-use model has proven successful in solving ‘last mile’ transportation issues across diverse urban contexts.

Shared micromobility taking cities by storm

Shared micromobility services involving products like electric scooters and bikes have exploded in popularity in recent years. Dockless shared bikes and scooters can be located and paid for using mobile apps, addressing ‘the first mile’ and ‘last mile’ problem for public transit users.

The rapid rise of companies such as Lime and Bird demonstrates the demand and potential of micromobility. Lime alone claims to have completed over 150 million rides across over 100 cities globally since its launch in 2017. Scooters can be parked almost anywhere after use, providing a convenient, sustainable option to travel short distances within dense urban cores.

E-scooter sharing systems are now available in over 300 cities across 30 countries. Regions like Europe and Latin America are embracing the technology at a fast pace. Beyond addressing transportation needs, micromobilty sharing also provides environmental advantages by reducing vehicle ownership and trips by private automobiles within cities. With continuous improvements in technology and distribution networks, micromobility is poised to transform urban transportation worldwide.

Shared mobility – The future of urban transportation

Ride-hailing, car sharing and micromobility services represent the ongoing shift towards accessibility-based models of transportation globally. As more people move to cities worldwide, there is increasing demand for flexible, carpooling options integrated within sustainable transit systems.

Major cities are actively supporting shared transportation through policies and infrastructure investments. Designated carsharing parking spots, docking stations for shared bikes and regulations allowing scooter rentals are encouraging wider adoption. Public-private partnerships also aim to integrate shared mobility services within transit networks to allow seamless multi-modal transportation.

The COVID-19 pandemic momentarily slowed Carpooling growth in 2020. However, measures by providers to ensure vehicle sanitization and contactless services indicate the long-term resilience and potential of the industry. As urban populations grow exponentially, Carpooling will remain critical to reducing pollution and congestion from private vehicles. With ongoing technological innovations and policy support, shared transportation is poised to become the dominant form of urban transportation worldwide in the coming decade.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public Source, Desk Research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it