Shared transport refers to schemes or project which allow people to share vehicles over time, through bike and car shares or simultaneously through ridesharing. Users access vehicles on a needs-based basis, typically becoming members and paying for time used or miles covered with the project vehicles.. There are a number of models in which shared transport projects can be delivered, some create hubs in central areas where vehicles are kept when unused and can be picked up and dropped off however floating schemes, in which vehicles (usually bikes or e-scooters) can be left at any location within a certain area after use and also popular for bike and scooter sharing projects. Peer to peer sharing is increasingly common, whereby a vehicle is shared between members of a community and moves from user to user as an when needed.
The variety of sharing models means that projects can work in almost any location, reliant that they meet the needs and interests of local communities.
Sharing transport can bring benefits to individuals and wider society. For the individuals such projects can offer considerable financial savings when compared to purchasing and maintaining vehicles, particularly cars. As many car clubs offer electric vehicles, they can be a great way to drive and test an EV before, or instead of, making the substantial investment for a personal vehicle.
Bike or scooter sharing can be a great way to re-engage with cycling, embed exercise within daily routines or serve as an alternative to public transport. Users of bike share schemes report mental and physical health benefits as key benefits and reasons to use such modes of transport.
On a wider scale, greater adoption of shared transport schemes can reduce the number of cars on the road, lowering emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants and creating more space for active travel infrastructure, community projects or environmental initiatives. The average car club removes around 18 cars form the road meaning even small initiatives can have a large impact on a local area.
Huntly and District Development Trust (HDDT) are a great example of community led shared transport initiatives, delivering both car and bike share projects. Through their Green Travel Hub they have established a community car club and now host two electric vehicles within the town. They have around 20 regular users have helped 10 people take their cars off the road. The Green Travel Hub also hosts an ebike sharing project through which residents or visitors to Huntly can hire various ebikes for days, weeks or months. By presenting the community with a multiple options to travel sustainably HDDT are helping to bring significant change to local transport and are leading the way for other rural communities. Find out more about their work from CoMoUK.
CoMoUK are a charity working across the UK for the public benefit of shared cars, bikes e-scooters and rides. With over 20 years of experience in promoting shared transport modes, CoMoUK are well placed to assist communities on developing ideas and delivering projects when anything “shared” is involved. Their work involves conducting and publishing research on the impact of shared transport, developing best practice guidance, running an accreditation scheme for UK car and bike share providers and providing technical and consultancy services to a range of organisations. CoMoUK work with a number of community groups across Scotland to design shared transport schemes from the ground up. They can help fund sharing aspects of community projects, such as locks or back-of-house software and, if their comprehensive car and bike share guidance documents don’t answer your questions the team are on hand to help with any community inquiries.