‘Shared Use Mobility’ – Trendy or Mainstream? (Roll Call: The Container)

By Tom Curry

Anybody who has ever carpooled to the office or given the next-door neighbor a lift to the train station is a practitioner of “shared use mobility.” But the term covers a lot more.

The app-enabled Uber car service is shared use mobility, as are corporate-sponsored bus services such as the one Microsoft runs all over Seattle to get employees to and from the corporate campus. The concept was subject of the Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday, where state and local officials and transportation entrepreneurs discussed how governments and shared use providers “can work together to create more seamless transportation systems.”

One of the speakers, Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at University of California, Berkeley, said shared use vehicles have become big business with the acquisition of Zipcar by Avis and with Enterprise Car Share acquiring several independent operators.

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