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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article12 December 20192 min read

Developments in Shared Mobility - TRIMIS Insights

The Transport Research and Innovation Monitoring and Information System (TRIMIS) is a portal run on behalf of the European Commission, which captures the latest research in the transport sector across Europe. The TRIMIS Digest provides a snapshot of the latest trends in transport, with Issue 11 focusing on developments in shared mobility. This article provides an overview of the key themes outlined by the Digest.

Shared mobility models

A recent study conducted by Santos (2018) identified four models of shared mobility:

  • Peer-to-peer car rental;
  • Modern car club;
  • Uber-like service;
  • New public transport on demand.

The study found that models 1, 2 and 3 provided profits to private organisations, and do not seem to have the potential to reduce congestion or carbon dioxide emissions significantly. However, it states that model 4, which involves individuals not only sharing a vehicle but travelling together at the same time, is promising in terms of reducing congestion and carbon dioxide emissions. For more information, read more here.

The role of car-sharing in low-carbon mobility

A study of free-floating car-sharing (FFCS) found that this service was primarily used for shorter trips in the 12 city pilots undertaken, with a rental time of approximately 30 minutes. 

A study by Sprei et al. (2019) found that FFCS has the potential to contribute to low-carbon mobility if the vehicles are electric and if the usage does not displace active travel and public transport use. For more information, read more here.

The role of 'willingness' in car-sharing

Car sharing can contribute to reducing car ownership, car use and the number of kilometres vehicles travel. A study by Kent and Downling (2018) highlights the role of users in maintaining a positive attitude towards alternative transport practices. It demonstrates that willingness is central to mobility transitions. For more information, read more here.

What users thinking about MaaS

The success of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) depends on having a deep understanding of the motives, expectations, perceptions, and concerns of key actors.

A study by Polydoropoulou, Pagoni and Tsirimpa (2018) used a mix-method approach to gain an understanding of MaaS users in Hungary and the UK. It found that, while there was a willingness to join a MaaS, a lack of data and app programming interfaces were key operational/technical barriers. The study provides useful insights for MaaS actors to make informed decisions to implement MaaS schemes. For more information, read more here.

For more information on any of these studies, please visit the TRIMIS Digest



Publication date
12 December 2019
  • Shared mobility
  • Europe-wide