Shared cars Shared bikes Shared rides & the rest Co-mobility & themes
Events News & opinion About Contact Join / donate Accreditation

News & opinion

Read the latest news from across the whole sector that highlights the development of affordable, accessible and low-carbon shared mobility

FILTER
Created with Sketch.

articles - 21 Nov 2018

What would future mobility look like if designed by real people? Alistair Kirkbride for LTT Mobility Matters

I think the Spice Girls might help us plan the future of mobility. Like an earworm, “I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want…” keeps fusing in my head with me pondering where mobility might be heading.   I would hate to think where we would get to, but the future of mobility is repeatedly said to be service-led where the user is placed centrally in terms of shaping the services. What has been missing is real-world evidence that sets out what real users might actually want, rather than what practitioners might think they want. Clearly there needs some “curation” of competing demands, but that’s not for today. In the past year, a collection of rich evidence has started to emerge that might help sketch out the demands of real future travellers. Firstly, The Commission for Travel Demand’s “All Change” report looked in depth at evidence relating to changing travel demand, and was especially interested in unpicking blips from enduring change. And? People are travelling less, making fewer trips (especially commuting) and miles. Younger people are learning to drive later and are travelling much less by car for a variety of reasons. Figure 1 illustrates that two dimensions of this trend: it is more marked in more metropolitan areas and it is age related. Whilst it could be suggested that people drive more as they get older, Chatterjee et al’s 2018 work (LTTYYY) suggests that the effect is enduring; they showed that the suppression in driving license applications by young people endures as the cohort ages. So it looks like in a future mobility system, the private car won’t be anywhere near as dominant as today. Maybe they’ll all shift to AVs, but we’ll come back to that.   Marsden, G, et al. (2018) All Change? The future of travel demand and the implications for policy and planning, First Report of the Commission on Travel Demand, ISBN: 978-1-899650-83-5; http://www.demand.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/FutureTravel_report_final.pdf http://www.demand.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/FutureTravelDemand_infographic.pdf Chatterjee, K. et al. (2018). Young People’s Travel – What’s Changed and Why? Review and Analysis. Report to Department for Transport. UWE Bristol, UK
So how will people want to travel? MaaS gets a lot of press, but only recently are results of pilots emerging. These get interesting as they show what people actually choose and prioritise when services are presented side-by-side. The ESP group’s Navigogo project[1] involved target users – young adults in the Dundee and north Fife area – in the co-design of the Navigogo MaaS platform. The main demands were facilities such as personalised journey planners, deal matchers, easy payment and booking, information on destinations and taxi fare splitters i.e. facilities to make planning easy, reduce cost and reduce the sense of “missing out” on the best deals. This reflects Transport Focus’s 2018 work “Using the bus: what young people think”[2] (LTTZZZ). This showed that younger people (late teenagers) would like bus services to be easier to use (simpler fares, mobile tech for planning and ticketing), better value for money with better facilities for people to stay connected whilst travelling i.e. wifi and at-seat charging. The value of being connected trumping travel keeps coming to the fore in research. I recently took part in a workshop at a MaaS symposium that revealed some really interesting insight into our possible views on modes in a MaaS system. The participants (imagine those who attend MaaS symposia to gauge the nature of the sample) were asked to convert their existing mobility lifestyles to a private-car-free MaaS lifestyle, then score each mode by how pivotal it was (to make their MaaS work) and how attractive it was to them. And the answers? Though core public transport (intercity & local trains, buses, underground & trams) were pivotal, 1-way bikeshare was the second most attractive mode (after the underground), followed by trains (intercity, local) then 1-way car clubs. Interestingly, ride hailing came quite a way down the list. From a co-mobility / shared transport perspective, I clearly like to hear this, but what does it tell us about future mobility, especially if the user really is going to be more central in defining services?   If I was going to extract main attitudinal themes just from the above evidence to help define a mobility system, they would probably include the following. 1. Personal control of journey-making and personal space; 2. Value for money; 3. Simplicity, transparency & fairness, especially regarding cost; 4. Reliability & back-up service “insurance”. This isn’t new, but how do these translate to a mobility system?   Here’s one stab at translating what people seem to want into a mobility system:
  • mass transit would remain the backbone – both inter-city, inter-settlement and within cities & towns. It provides the efficiency to move lots of people along the main demand corridors in an affordable way.
  • demand-responsive & ride sharing services would both feed mass transit and to pick up the finer-grained matching between users that DR services are able to do.
  • point-to-point services (1-way car sharing, bike sharing, scooters and taxis (conventional or ride hailing)) would allow for journeys where larger scale matching isn’t viable – people or small groups want to go from point to point individually, either because the points are otherwise difficult to access or there are special circumstances (large loads, special needs etc)
  • back-to-base car (sharing/rental) and bike services would provide ways of people making independent back-to-base journeys over different timescales.
Of course, within all of this walking would be the main lubricant and mode for short journeys and linking other components. We can look to continental Europe to consider where private bike use might fit in; whilst we might be jealous of the levels of cycling in places such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Ghent, the rise of bike share is seen as a solution to tackle the associated bike parking problems, especially at rail stations in larger cities. Cycling will be a key component for providing local access in future mobility, and how this is split between bike share and private bike use will mainly be determined by type of place.   Let’s just pause and ponder where autonomous vehicles fit in to all of this. It could be argued that they provide independence, personal space and reliability (?). But will they ever manage to provide the VFM that most users would stand? And let’s not get into either the AV spatial efficiency debate nor the public & political acceptability of the constraints required to realise the benefits.   How many traps have I fallen into in writing this? The future is (definitely) uncertain, and setting out different scenarios probably more reasonable than just one. What about rural areas? Won’t peoples’ attitudes and demands evolve with the emergence of new types of services? Yes to all of these, but hopefully the trap that I have explicitly avoided is the future mobility landscape being defined by the disruptor-du-jour, but instead by real user preferences.   So what? Policy and investment need direction, hence why we see so many visions of future mobility scenarios.  Whilst “only a fool would make predictions – especially about the future” (Samuel Goldwyn apparently, or choose your own favourite quote about prediction), there is a difference between laying out visions of the “stuff” (what mobility services will exist) and how we might behave. It’s easier to generate visions & scenarios of “stuff” rather than behaviour. What I have stumbled through here is an attempt to get to some of the future “stuff” from what people are saying they want to use. Cause and effect get messy when we stretch timescales (but that’s for another day). There is currently a risk of the well-funded-disruptor-tail wagging they mobility dog, and what’s likely to happen being dismissed as not visionary enough. Worse still, somewhere in the midst of this, meaningful discussion on what is important to most people gets airbrushed out. Aditya Chakrabortty recently made the point (Guardian, 6th June) “Britons can throw tens of billions on infrastructure projects… or we can choose policies that serve the everyday economy that the rest of us actually live in”. Put another way, if you had a spare few hundred million quid to invest in a mobility system that would be used by most people in 10-20 year’s time and you read the “All change” report, what would you invest in?         [1] https://www.navigogo.co.uk/ [2] Transport Focus (2018) ‘Using the bus: what young people think’ https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/using-bus-young-people-think/
...
Read more

News - 4 Jun 2018

The evolution from Carplus Bikeplus, echoes the evolution of shared mobility

CoMoUK is the new name for Carplus Bikeplus, short for Collaborative Mobility it represents the wider remit of the charity. Over the last 2 years, Carplus developed the sister arm Bikeplus to represent the shared bike sector. The shift to CoMoUK will help to enable more effective integration between these and new shared modes.

CoMoUK's intention is to play a leading role in the UK's transition to integrated mobility solutions designed for the public good.

 

CoMoUK works to maximise public benefit of shared modes, car clubs, bike share, 2+ ride share, and emerging modes such as "on demand" buses and scooter sharing, by supporting their development and nurturing innovation.

 

The charity carries out research to illustrate the impacts of the sector, leads on innovative development projects to maximise benefits to all and facilitates the sharing of best practice. In addition CoMoUK offers technical advice and consultancy services.

...
Read more
Created with Sketch.

Newsletter - 1 Jun 2018

Previous Newsletters


...
Read more

Shared Cars News - 30 May 2018

Car Clubs are growing in Scotland


The 2017/18 Annual Survey of Car Clubs in Scotland shows how the sector is changing and growing, with a 29% increase in membership in the last 12 months. As well as these members reducing their own mileage by an average of 572 miles, they have saved 300 tonnes of CO2, by using a fuel efficient car club vehicles (compared to the average UK car).

The full report and infographic highlighting the key findings are available here.

...
Read more

News - 10 May 2018

UK Bike Share Forum

Bike share holds a Forum Network of local authority and interested partners currently managing or developing a bike share system.
 

The Forum meetings usually occur monthly by telephone conference as well as through conference events.

 

Discussions cover latest funding opportunities and sector innovations as well as providing scheme managers with a chance to share challenges and experience.

 

The previous topics have covered:

 

• National users survey

 

• Procurement process

 

• Electric bikes

 

• Bike share safety

 

• Community engagement and responses to theft & vandalism

 

• Quality assurance

 

• Different models of bike share

 

• Marketing

 
...
Read more

Shared Bikes News - 25 Apr 2018

Expansion of successful social inclusion project in Glasgow inspiring refugees and women to cycle

Bikes for All is growing from its roots in Govanhill to work with community organisations city-wide including refugee and homeless charities such as Saheliya and the Night Shelter. The project is offering access to a bike for £3, reducing the price of nextbike annual membership from £60, aiming at boosting people’s health and wellbeing by encouraging those without access to their own bike, or in need of confidence building through road skill and route navigation sessions. The launch was celebrated on 13th April with bike rides and a film screening.
The partnership is a collaboration between Bike for Good, nextbike, Bikeplus, Glasgow Centre for Population Health and Cycling Scotland. The organisations involved are: Red Cross (Chrysalis project), Night Shelter, Govan Community Project, Kinning Park Complex, Central and West Integration Network, Maryhill integration network, Youth Community Support Agency (YCSA), Blue Triangle, Thenue Housing Association, New Gorbals Housing Association, Saheliya, LGBT Mental health and wellbeing. Victoria Leiper, Head of Projects at Bike for Good said “Although the nextbike scheme is incredibly popular in Glasgow, we know that there are significant barriers which prevent more people from accessing it.  These are often financial, language related or due to a lack of confidence to cycle in the city.  This project will attempt to break these barriers down by providing support and guidance to get cycling. Julian Scriven, Managing Director of nextbike UK, commented: “We are delighted with how well the scheme has been received in Glasgow by people from all walks of life. “By offering reduced price memberships and reducing payment barriers, nextbike is demonstrating its commitment to making cycling more accessible to low income and under-represented groups.” Bikes for All is part financed by the European Social Fund and Scottish Government through the Social Innovation Fund.
...
Read more

Shared Bikes News - 29 Nov 2017

Local Authorities Developing Bike Share Schemes

List of Local Authorities currently seeking Bike Share suppliers

Updated 19.04.18 Bikeplus has collated a list of local authorities currently developing a bike share scheme for their area. The list is designed to support open transparent competitive procurement processes as well as reducing unnecessary approaches to city authorities. Bikeplus encourages all cities interested in a scheme to provide us with their details for this list.  

Name of Authority:- Bournemouth Borough Council and the Borough of Poole

Status:-tender submissions due by 14th May 2018” Contact  

Name of Authority:- Luton Borough Council

Status:- Open to proposals  until 9th March Login  Contact  

Name of authority: Derry Council and Strabane District Council

Status: ‘Delivery of a Public Bicycle Hire Scheme – TENV18-003’. Contact details: Request tender documents  

Name of authority: Essex Highways

Status: Currently open to proposals. Contact  

Name of authority: Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

Status: Currently open to proposals. Contact
...
Read more
Created with Sketch.

articles - 14 Nov 2017

Bike share: reaching people who could cycle, but don’t

Mobility Matters 11 November 2016 The bicycle is an incredible invention. It’s a social leveller, the second cheapest mode (after walking), leads to healthier people and cuts congestion and emissions. There are also still far more bikes in the world than cars. Rather than being displaced by the internal combustion engine, the humble bike is busy reinventing itself as an increasingly important component of future travel and future lifestyles.  
  Whilst there must be access for those who cannot walk or cycle, active travel has to be top of the list for planning local access. This year has seen the Government publish its Value of Cycling report, and the draft Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. The case for cycling has never been better made.   But cycling is not one uniform activity. There are distinct bike-related cultures in the UK. People riding bikes as utility vehicles and the lycra-clad cycling devotee. From a professional point of view, they seem more like separate species linked at the bike-shaped genus level – maybe cyclum communalis vs cyclum individualis.   How do we reach out to those who might cycle, but don’t? Or those who don’t consider it an option, but could? In short, how do we cultivate the delicate flower that is cyclum communalis or, in transport speak, encourage a modal shift to cycling?   Bike share is an important tool for reaching this group. It consists of mainly public bike hire schemes such as those in London, Liverpool and Glasgow, and also includes bike pools in workplaces or communities and bike hire from rail stations.   A key market for public bike share schemes is people making first or last-mile links with public transport hubs. Many of these people have one or more bikes at home, but they either do not want or can’t use their own bikes for these journeys. This alone probably justifies public bike hire becoming a norm in all urban areas.   Public bike share also reaches a different demographic: people who might cycle but don’t. The most recent research for Transport for London shows that 38% of users were prompted to start cycling by Santander Cycles.   Giving people the option of an electric bike opens access to bikes further. This is not a new idea. Bike share and electric bikes (plus leisure cycling) were all recognised as significant agents in expanding the reach of cycling through the DfT’s Cycle Demonstration Towns, in the latter stages of Cycling England’s work and through the initial results from the Finding New Solutions programme.   Both bike share and electric bikes remove significant known barriers to cycling. Bike share provides access to bikes with no commitment or need for investment or maintenance. Electric-assist bikes ‘iron out’ hills, encourage novice cyclists to give cycling a go, as well as encouraging cycling for longer distances. Whilst these benefits are concrete and obvious, their real value is more subtle and is reflected in the joyful reactions as people try an electric-assist bike for the first time.   The anecdotes are supported by the initial findings of the DfT-funded Shared Electric Bike Programme to be published shortly. In addition, the recent Cycleboom project shows impressive physical and mental health impacts of older people using electric bikes. This highlights an otherwise elusive win; health benefits in a non-traditional cycling user group. In short, people riding electric bikes without having to purchase one were happier and healthier. Scaling this up by making electric bikes available through various bikeshare models would be incredibly simple to do.   A big challenge in “cycling” is in normalising it in the public mind. This requires a change in people’s attitudes to cycling – which we are seeing happening – and then this translating to a shift in individual’s behaviours.   For bike share, it requires planners, policy-makers, advisers, fleet managers and communities to be aware of what’s possible, how to make it work and what the impacts are likely to be. It also requires some re-framing of language and approach – it’s about investing in health benefits, accessibility, social inclusion and reductions in congestion and emissions rather than subsidising a bike hire scheme.  
...
Read more