Carpooling and the Beginning of Shared Mobility29. May 2017
KEY TAKEAWAY: Even though shared mobility may seem like a new concept, carpooling is part of the origins. For the same reasons carpooling started, shared mobility is a smarter way to spend money on getting from A to B.
The term shared mobility is new, but the concept is not. All shared mobility involves is “transportation services that are shared among users”¹, which could include carsharing, ridesharing, and even public transportation. Carpooling can be considered part of the shared mobility world as well.
Carpooling peaked in the 1970s as a result of the oil crisis when people were looking for more cost-effective ways to get to work². Carpooling was more convenient, saved on parking and gas costs, and provided a feeling of community. If these benefits sound familiar to you, it’s because they are the same benefits the shared mobility industry often touts as well.
Relevant Content: How Shared Mobility Builds Better Cities
Carpooling has declined in popularity as oil prices have since decreased, but there are growing reasons why people should choose carpooling as a way to get around the city, especially to work². In America, less than 10% of commuters share a ride to work, with 77% of commuters driving to work alone³. Sharing your ride with another passenger results in decreased traffic congestion, less emissions, and better quality of life for the community³.
On the green side, carpooling is a great way to contribute to a more liveable, clean environment. On the cost side, it is economical because costs are split; even vehicle maintenance costs can be split if needed. Carpooling is not dead yet – Lyft, for example, offers a carpool service as well as their more famous rideshare service. In their San Francisco operations, 50% of total Lyft rides are done through their carpool service; 30% in New York City³.
When the City of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, implemented a new carpooling initiative, they were able to reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions by 854 tonnes through 143 carpools². Similarly, Deloitte found that 27% of commutes could be done via a carpool program and contribute to societal savings of $30.3 billion annually³. These savings would be in the form of reduced private vehicle maintenance, lower congestion costs, and decreased need to improve road infrastructure³.
What are your thoughts on carpooling? How can today’s technological growth assist in making carpooling more commonplace?
Next article: What is Peer to Peer Carsharing
- “Shared Mobility Definitions.” Federal Transit Administration. United States Department of Transportation, 07 Dec. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/shared-mobility-definitions.
- Government of Canada; Transport Canada; Programs. “Carpooling Trends in Canada and Abroad.” Transport Canada. Government of Canada, 06 Aug. 2010. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. http://data.tc.gc.ca/archive/eng/programs/environment-utsp-casestudy-cs73e-carpooling-889.htm.
- Viechnicki, Peter, Dr, Abhijit Khuperkar, Tiffany Dovey Fishman, and William Eggers. “Smart Mobility: Ridesharing.” Deloitte University Press. Deloitte, 18 May 2015. Web. 23 Apr. 2017. https://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-en/industry/public-sector/smart-mobility-trends-ridesharing.html.
- Soper, Taylor. “Lyft’s Carpooling Service Now Makes up 50% of Rides in San Francisco; 30% in NYC.” GeekWire. N.p., 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. http://www.geekwire.com/2015/lyfts-carpooling-service-now-makes-up-50-of-rides-in-san-francisco-30-in-nyc/.
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