The 26th ACEA Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) report examines the social impacts of shared mobility. Through reviewing existing studies and evaluation frameworks, the report provides clear recommendations on how to capture the social impacts of shared mobility and how this can be delivered through the collaboration of the various public and private actors in the system.

This SAG report by Professor Greg Marsden (Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds) focuses on what is understood about the social benefits of newer forms of shared mobility such as pooled ride-hailing, e-scooters and carsharing. However, it does so from the perspective that these innovations are just a further part of the mobility ecosystem. Their role and their impacts need to be understood alongside the existing mobility options such as bus and rail or active travel.

Much sharing goes on informally, through family or social groups and often now organised via chat platforms such as WhatsApp. We know already that a large part of the population is multi-modal across the week and so these new options will most likely form part of a new blend of mobility for users.

Sometimes new services will act as complements to and sometimes as competitors with existing modes. If new forms of shared mobility are to be treated fairly in terms of regulation and support then it is important to understand what role they fulfil.

There is also a huge diversity of shared mobility innovations being developed. Some are about sharing of assets such as cars, bikes or e-scooters which can be through private companies, local governments or peer to peer. Another sharing is about sharing on the go, such as demand-responsive services, pooled ride-hailing or lift-sharing.

That too can take diverse forms. In discussing the social impacts of shared mobility it is essential to recognise that this is not one thing – but many – and the purpose, target markets, barriers and use cases will potentially be quite different. Shared mobility provides additional options into the transport mix for the areas in which they operate.

Full report: ACEA