Car-sharing as part of funded public transit

Categories: social, governance
mobility, smart infrastructure

What? In July, 2016 the International Transportation Forum released a study that found that adding publicly funded, on-demand, vehicle-sharing to public transit systems is a cost-effective way to increase urban mobility and reduce social inequality. The Forum, part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), proposes the addition of on-demand vehicle-sharing services to public transit systems to increase accessibility for people who live beyond existing public transit routes. Through publicly funded car sharing, the report authors argue, people now outside public transit catchment areas would be better able to access jobs, healthcare and education at minimal time and financial cost, thus creating greater economic equality.

So what? To counter the trend of the ever widening gap between social classes, and growth in the suburban poor, we might see governments invest in the creation of publicly funded car-sharing services in cities. This could involve a variety of approaches: from subsidizing existing private companies to provide on-demand, publicly funded services; to the inclusion of a car-sharing fleet in a city’s public transit fleet. The cost of self-driving electric vehicles is rapidly dropping, and thus the cost of adding such on-demand vehicles to a city’s public transit fleet might be offset by the economic, social and health benefits derived from increasing social equality and access. Companies, such as Tesla, already envision being able to provide such a service.



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