Un train est arrêté dans une station avec une personne qui attend sur la plateforme de la gare.

Carsharing and public transport: an alliance for sustainable mobility

Car-sharing and public transport are inextricably linked. Together, they are meeting the challenges of sustainable mobility. This article explores the links between these two travel modes, integrating offers, multimodal stations, integrated pricing, awareness campaigns and public-private partnerships. The subject of synergies between carsharing and public transport was one of the topics covered in the round table discussions at France’s National Carsharing Day on March 26, 2024. The initiatives launched by the Metropole of Lyon, which we will mention several times in this article, are a concrete example of these synergies.

Integration of Mobility Offers

Efficiently integrating mobility offers, such as car-sharing and public transport, is a key lever for improving the urban mobility experience and achieving an effective MaaS model. The aim is to create an ecosystem where switching from one mode of transport to another is as simple and seamless as possible,
while reducing individual car use
.

A recent concrete example set up by the Metropole of Lyon: The “
Découvertes mobilités”
program, launched in March 2024 in the 58 communes of the Lyon Metropolitan Area.

For 3 months, the public is invited to try out four alternatives to individual car use: public transport, car-sharing, car-pooling and self-service bicycle hire. The aim is to introduce these fast-growing mobility solutions to those who are still unfamiliar with them. For example, car-sharing and car-pooling are often confused, even though they meet different needs.

Advantages of this approach

  • Easy access: An ‘à la carte’ mobility program available for 3 months.
  • Extended options : Encourages the use of alternative modes of transport to the private car.
  • Coherence : An integrated transport network contributes to better mobility and more sustainable cities.

Multimodal Transfer Stations

Multimodal transfer stations represent a central pillar in the creation of synergies between carsharing and public transport. Designed to facilitate the transition between different modes of transport, these stations transform the urban mobility experience, making it more fluid and integrated.

In Strasbourg, for example, there is
the “Parkings Relais” network
which combines parking and direct access to public transport. Users can park the shared car and immediately take the streetcar to the heart of the city, optimizing their time and reducing the use of individual vehicles.

The cities of Paris and Montreal have set up
Communauto
car-sharing stations close to public transport stations, encouraging seamless transfer between different modes of transport.

There are other interesting and fairly advanced examples: in the Munich region of Germany, thanks to the

Smarter Together project,
hhree multimodal e-mobility stations have been built, connecting different individual mobility offers: rental and electric bicycles, shared electric cars (STATTAUTO) and electric vehicle charging stations.

Advantages of Multimodal Transfer Stations :

  1. Intermodality: Allows users to move effortlessly from one mode of transport to another, always reducing the use of a private car.
  2. Accessibility : Positioned at key locations for better coverage of the territory.
  3. Savings : Reduce the costs associated with owning a private car, thanks to complementary services.
  4. Sustainability: Encourages sustainable mobility by limiting the carbon footprint of urban travel.

The success of this type of service relies heavily on collaboration between public and private players to ensure the availability of resources and coordinated implementation. By adopting this integrated approach, the vision of more sustainable, interconnected mobility becomes a reality.

Integrated pricing

Integrated pricing is an important factor in developing synergies between carsharing and public transport. This involves offering advantageous fare formulas when users combine these two modes of transport.

A case in point is the Navigo pass in Paris. This system allows unlimited use of the public transport network (metro, bus, RER, tramway), plus access to car-sharing services(with a regional Autopartage label), through a single subscription. As a result, users can easily switch from one mode of transport to another, optimizing their mobility while benefiting from a significant fare reduction.

The offer
Mobility Discovery
set up in the 58 communes of the Lyon Metropolitan Area, enables the public to try out four alternatives to the private car over a 3-month period: public transport, car-sharing, car-pooling and self-service bicycles. Subscribing to the offer enables users to benefit from pre-defined rates with each of the partner operators – from TCL (Lyon’s public transport system) to Citiz (car-sharing fleet) to FreeVelo’v.

Unified pricing encourages sustainable mobility by reducing the use of private cars and facilitating access to more environmentally-friendly forms of mobility.

Awareness campaigns

To encourage the simultaneous use of carsharing and public transport, communication and education are very important. Awareness campaigns should aim to educate users about the multiple benefits of such an approach. Public awareness of the environmental, social and other impacts of transport and individual car use seems to have evolved in recent years. It’s important to keep up these efforts. Here are a few elements that can be highlighted: :

  • Savings Savings: Highlight the reduction in personal transport-related expenses, such as vehicle purchase, insurance, maintenance and fuel.
  • Environmental benefits Explain the positive impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and urban pollution.
  • Ease of use To illustrate how easy it is to combine car-sharing and public transport, thanks to integrated ticketing systems and user-friendly mobile applications.

Authorities and operators can organize workshops, distribute brochures or launch digital campaigns. Practical demonstrations or discovery days can be organized to familiarize citizens with these services.

The key to these campaigns is to offer a clear and attractive image of the possible synergies between carsharing and public transport to promote sustainable urban mobility accessible to all.

Digital applications and platforms that provide access to a network of different mobility solutions play a crucial role in promoting integration between different modes of public transport. In fact, they can consolidate information on the different modes of transport available in a given region, enabling users to plan their journeys more efficiently by having access to all available options, including timetables, fares and routes.

Communauto and Transit App are among the first mobile applications to combine public transport and car-sharing on a single digital platform.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the development of synergies between carsharing and public transport represents a key challenge for the advent of sustainable and efficient urban mobility. This combination reduces dependence on the private car while facilitating mobility in congested and polluted urban areas. Car-sharing services complement existing transport networks, helping to diversify modes of transport and improve the quality of life in urban areas.

It is essential that public and private players work together to integrate these forms of mobility into a coherent mobility policy, focusing on the provision of a fleet of adapted vehicles and the establishment of efficient connection platforms. The aim is to create a flexible and accessible mobility service, promoting better mobility for all and sustainable development for our cities. The new challenges of urban mobility call for new mobilities – an approach that is not only desirable but necessary for the future of our urban environments.

Openfleet is proud to contribute to the evolution of more sustainable and efficient transport solutions. By providing cutting-edge car-sharing technology corporate and public fleets, we are contributing to a future where mobility is more accessible, flexible and environmentally friendly. Together, in collaboration with public and private players, we can shape a more pleasant, fluid and sustainable urban landscape for generations to come.