In the last decade, shared use mobility has created new travel modes like carsharing, bikesharing, services like Uber and Lyft (sometimes called Transportation Network Companies), and private shuttles (like Bay-Area tech shuttles). Transit agencies struggle with these new transportation options, since they represent competition for riders. Some transit agencies are identifying ways to co-exist with TNCs. Ridesourcing/Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) use smartphone apps to connect community drivers with passengers. Examples of these services include: Lyft, Uber (specifically, uberX, uberXL, and UberPool), as well as specialized services, such as Lift Hero (older adults and those with disabilities) and HopSkipDrive (rides for children either to/from school or afterschool). These services can provide many different vehicle types including: sedans, sports utility vehicles, vehicles with car seats, wheelchair accessible vehicles, and vehicles where the driver can assist older or disabled passengers. While taxis are often regulated to charge static fares, TNCs typically uses market-rate pricing, popularly known as “surge pricing” when prices usually go up during periods of high demand to incentivize more drivers to take ride requests.
Cities are increasingly recognizing the potential of bicycle transportation to reduce congestion, improve environmental and public health, increase accessibility, and complement transit. Along with infrastructure improvements, bikeshare
is one of the best ways to encourage cycling in a city. The number of bikeshare systems around the world has grown exponentially in the past decade. The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy’s Bike-Share Planning Guide
offers a comprehensive look the process of developing and implementing a bikeshare system.
The advent of Ride-hailing services that allow smart-phone users to request taxi-style services via apps has substantially changed the mobility landscape. Uber alone has provided over two billion rides, with just six months elapsing between the first billion and the second. Ridesharing companies have also brought conversations about shared use mobility into the mainstream since they capture a diverse array of travelers. Discourse on the sharing economy, the gig economy, and the growing influence of the tech sector all touch on ridesharing. Ridesharing's impacts demonstrate that shared use mobility goes beyond transportation to include debates about the economy, ownership, and how new technology will shape the future.
Bikeshare systems have gained prominence as transportation tools in cities around the United States. According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, 88 million bikeshare trips have been taken in the U.S. since 2010, with 55 systems operating as of 2016. Many systems seek to complement and supplement local transit service, with bike docking stations placed near rail transit and discount programs for low income users. Municipalities often enter into partnerships with private vendors to operate the bikeshare system with city branding. A recent change is the advent of dock-less bike share systems, which are often not operated by municipalities, but instead by private companies.
New first/last mile solutions, like Scooter share are being deployed in cities. The increase of app-based technology allows for private companies to make new mobility options available with limited infrastructure and investment. In the case of scooter share systems, companies are able to deploy scooters and advertise the app. Users gain awareness of the service simply by seeing the scooters in public and can download the app to start riding. Whereas mobility systems with fixed assets (e.g. bikeshares with docking stations) often require users to register and then receive a fare payment device, new mobility systems grant users system access through their smart phone apps. Due to their lack of fixed infrastructure, new mobility systems have created some controversy among local governments that do not have adequate time to decide on a regulatory framework before the systems debut.
Recent events in shared use mobility.