West Yorkshire and York
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has added 20 cars across the authority from York in the north to Halifax in the west, with seamless bus, train and car club travel made possible through the MCard.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) recognises that when car clubs are integrated with other sustainable transport modes, collectively they present a realistic and alternative travel choice to the private car. The WYCA project has aimed to integrate car club vehicles with the public transport network through expansion of the MCard – the public transport smartcard used in West Yorkshire.
The project has expanded the network of vehicles available – adding new cars at five rail stations: Huddersfield, Dewsbury, York, Bradford Interchange (Jacobs Well), Saltaire and Wakefield Westgate. Three of the vehicles – those in Bradford and York – are electric.
Simultaneously, the project explored the technical issues around integrating the car club and the MCard. Initial trials proved that the integration of the car club car ‘key’ function could be achieved and the MCard has been enabled as a car club key for members. Now, when an Annual MCard member joins the car club in West Yorkshire they are provided with an option of linking their MCard to their car club account as opposed to using a separate key card.
The next step to integration is to provide a simple, integrated payment system – one payment for car club and public transport use. This, however, is the most complex part of the process. The solution which is being trialed is a ‘post-pay’ account based solution. This has potential to allow maximum flexibility for the user and potential for applying additional user incentives. It requires no additional equipment in vehicles and provides for easier compatibility by linking the MCard smartcard to a modified car club payment system. This trial creates the foundation for linking other services including cycle hire and cycle storage to an MCard account based ‘post pay’ system.
The integration achieved so far has facilitated combined promotion with the MCard that has attracted new members to the car club. The new payment facility is expected to amplify this.
The joint MCard public transport smartcard/car club membership promotion yielded 50 new members in its initial promotion phase. It is now being promoted across all MCard smartcard products, including ‘pay as you go’ and weekly/monthly smartcards. WYCA are currently planning further promotions for winter 2016.
Since the project launch in April 2015, data shows a steady increase in membership across West Yorkshire; membership grew by 9% in 2015. As membership has increased, car club usage is following a similar trend with a 5.2% increase in miles driven in car club vehicles in West Yorkshire, with an estimated reduction of 2.9 million private vehicle miles in 2015 saving 737 tonnes of CO2.
Increase in car club members
The number of members increased from 2,836 in December 2014 to 3,263 in December 2015, an increase of 427 members.
Private cars removed from the roads
16% of car club members stated that they had sold or disposed of a car in the 12 months before completing the annual survey; using this figure the estimated number of cars removed from the roads in West Yorkshire and York in 2015/16 is 513. The equivalent figure in 2014/15 was 393; a further 120 cars were sold or disposed of as a result of the additional DCCE investment.
For each new car club car approximately 6 private cars have been removed from the road.
Deferred private car purchases
Based on the proportion of members who stated that they would have bought a private car if they had not joined the car club, 935 car purchases have been deferred in 2015/16. We estimate that an additional 122 car purchases have also been deferred due to the increased membership levels since 2014/15.
Change in annual household mileage
In the 2015/16 survey, 31% of West Yorkshire and York members reported that, since joining the car club, they had decreased their car mileage while 15% reported an increase. Overall there was a net decrease in mileage, with the average decrease in mileage being 725 miles for each survey respondent. By applying this average mileage reduction to the number of new members who joined between December 2014 and 2015 (427), the total annual car mileage reduction is estimated as 309,455 miles.
Frequency of private car use
By comparing 2015/16 survey results on the frequency of using private cars before and after joining the car club, it is estimated that new members in West Yorkshire and York have made an estimated 291 fewer private car trips each week.