Shared vehicle fleets could remove 95 % of private vehicles from city streets

Categories: technology, economy, environment

What? Smart phones can facilitate ride sharing by bringing transportation supply and demand together in real time on an unprecedented scale. The International Transportation Forum modeled three ride share scenarios for Lisbon using two types of vehicles: shared taxi minivans that can be booked in real time for door-to-door service with minor detours from a direct path; and 8- or 16-seater taxi buses that are booked 30 minutes in advance and collect or drop off passengers no more than 300 meters from their origin or destination and pick them up passengers within 10 minutes of their preferred time. Private and public transit vehicles are unused or underused for much of the day. Under all three scenarios, increased efficiency in allocation of vehicle capacity through ride sharing provided the same mobility to users with only 5% of the vehicles needed for a private fleet. The models also show that shared taxis and taxi buses could operate without subsidy at an average user price per kilometer of about one-third the price of regular taxis and scheduled public transit buses respectively.

So what? Ride share programs that continuously adapt to mobility requirements using optimization algorithms could challenge or replace models of public transit based on high volume buses or rail based systems operating on fixed routes.  Over time, increased adoption of these programs could significantly reduce vehicle traffic as well as the requirement for surface or subsurface parking.  This could allow road lanes and parking areas to be re-purposed to other activities of a civic or commercial nature.

Source: International Transportation Forum - A New Paradigm for Urban Mobility

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