We broadly define shared mobility as transportation services and resources that are shared among users, either concurrently or one after another. This includes public transit; micromobility (bikesharing, scooter sharing); automobile-based modes (carsharing, rides on demand, and microtransit); and commute-based modes or ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling).
This page provides an overview of shared mobility as well as a Shared Mobility Typology for each mode. For more information, see SUMC’s Shared-Use Mobility Reference Guide.
Shared transportation has grown tremendously since we began in 2014 as a result of renewed interest in urbanism and growing environmental, energy, and economic concerns intensifying the need for sustainable alternatives. Simultaneously, advances in electronic and wireless technologies made sharing assets—and data—easier and more efficient. This led to automobile manufacturers, rental car companies, venture-backed startups, and city-sponsored programs springing up with new solutions ranging from large physical networks to mobile applications designed to alter routes, fill empty seats, and combine fare media with real-time arrival and departure information.
Since then, change has been rapid: business models continuously evolved; some startups folded while others became multimodal services themselves; public-private partnerships have been tried, tested, and expanded; and now the COVID-19 pandemic is altering shared transportation further.
As of March 2020, many transit operations and mobility services are suspended or working in ways that differ greatly from their standard models. We believe shared mobility services will continue to evolve and add multimodal options for different user scenarios that, as a whole, form the Mobility as a Service transportation framework. And the benefits are many.
- Provide more mobility choices
- Offer last mile and first mile solutions
- Reduce traffic congestion
- Mitigate various forms of pollution
- Reduce transportation costs
- Create equitable access to jobs and other resources
- Improve efficiency
- Identify choices for those who cannot afford to buy and maintain a vehicle
- Create accessible mobility options for those with limited physical ability
Shared Mobility Typology
New mobility services provide a continuum of choices that cover many types of personal trips, and together with a robust public transit system, allow people to get to work, run errands, and get to all the places they need to go in daily life without the need for a personal vehicle.
The Shared Mobility Typology provides an overview of the variety of mobility service models in a pre-COVID-19 environment. We will provide updates as public and private sectors make long-term changes.