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New Study Shows Shared Vehicles Cuts Congestion and Emissions

| October 16, 2017

Shared Vehicles

A new research study has shown that replacing private car traffic with shared vehicles in urban areas dramatically reduces the number of cars needed, significantly cuts CO2 emissions and frees large swathes of public land for uses other than parking – without making it more difficult for users to get from door to door.

These initial results from ground-breaking shared mobility simulations using mobility data from Lisbon (Portugal) have now been largely confirmed in a further study using data and focus group results from Helsinki (Finland).

In the simulations, motorized road trips (private car, bus and taxi) trips were replaced by different configurations of 6-seater shared vehicles that provide on-demand door-to-door service and Taxi-Buses that offer a street corner-to-street corner service booked 30 minutes in advance.

With these services that provide shared vehicles, all of today’s car journeys in Helsinki Metropolitan Area could be provided with just 4% of the current number of private automobiles.

The best results in terms of reducing emissions and congestion are achieved when all private car trips are replaced with shared rides:

  • CO2 emissions from cars would fall 34%;
  • Congestion would be reduced by 37%;
  • Much of public parking space could be used for other purposes.

Shared mobility also means fewer transfers, less waiting and shorter travel times compared to traditional public transport. The improved quality of the service could attract car users that currently do not use public transport and foster a shift away from individual car travel.

The Helsinki study also confirms initial results for Lisbon that shared mobility improves access to jobs (and public services) notably for citizens in areas with few such offers. Shared vehicles thus can play an important role in creating more equitable access to opportunities for citizens.

Respondents want shared services to be available in the entire Metropolitan Area, not just in the city center. Shared vehicles as feeders for rail and metro lines are seen as highly relevant. This squares well with simulation results showing that the service would require sufficient scale to ensure positive impacts and manageable costs.

In the survey, participants chose shared mobility services for 63% of all trips. There is some evidence, however, that public transport users in the Helsinki region are more willing than car users to adopt the new shared modes. Those aged 55 and above and those living far from the city center also tend to favor shared mobility.

The results of the study will be used by the Helsinki region in its regional long-term land use, housing and transport planning process. The main aim of the process is to decrease emissions drastically by year 2030.

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Category: Featured, Green, Management, News

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