Carsharing is increasing diversity among electric vehicle users

By Susan Shaheen, Move Forward

In 2001, the California Air Resources Board added incentives to its Zero Emission Vehicle Program to include electric vehicles (EVs) within carsharing fleets, prompting many operators and manufacturers to add these vehicles to their systems. Now that the incentives are set to expire in 2018, researchers from the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) [at the University of California, Berkeley] recently examined the impact of exposure to zero- and low-emission carsharing on user behavior and opinions.

California’s Zero Emission Vehicle Program has been critical to curbing the number of petroleum-dependent vehicles on California’s roads by setting standards for manufacturers to meet and incentivizing consumers to purchase electric vehicles (EVs). Further, the program has offered incentives for carsharing operators to include EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) in their fleets.

With the program’s expiration on the horizon in 2018, TSRC researchers partnered with carsharing operators and vehicle manufacturers to understand who was using EVs and PHVs in carsharing and how featuring these vehicle types in carsharing fleets affects carsharing user inclinations toward them.

Read the full article at


European City Centers are Saying No to Cars

From Sustainable Mobility

Once again, the Nordic countries appear to be ahead of the game when it comes to sustainable mobility. The new coalition in charge of the Norwegian capital, Oslo, has just announced that it is to ban all cars from its city centre by 2019.

This measure should cut the city’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. To reinforce this project, the city of Oslo has set out a massive investment plan aimed at developing public transport and creating almost 40 miles of new cycle lanes.

Denmark is not getting left behind either, since Copenhagen has launched an ambitious cycling development plan. By the end of 2015, the Danish capital hopes that at least 50% of its inhabitants’ commuter journeys will be made by bike.

Read the full story at


Imagine a Driverless Future


Five Big Lessons to Help Small Cities Expand Shared Mobility

By Cassie Halls, Mobility Lab

Discussions on shared mobility often focus on transportation solutions for high-density city neighborhoods.

But most of the recent growth in the U.S. – and by far the greatest share of urbanized land – is now in suburban areas outside the urban core, as well as in smaller, lower-density cities.

This issue was addressed recently at the national shared mobility summit, “Move Together,” in Chicago. Hosted by the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC), where I work, the summit featured several panels with transportation officials from smaller cities who discussed how new models of shared mobility have been effective in serving low-density areas with diverse needs and demands. These successes yielded several lessons upon which other smaller jurisdictions can build.

  1. Even if you are a small (or mid-sized) city, you can still think big

Suzanne Carlson, transportation and mobility project manager for Memphis, Tennessee, is working to create a mode shift by altering transportation behaviors in this car-reliant city. Nearly 80 percent of Memphis residents drive alone to work. Carlson hopes to change that by “thinking big” with a large bikeshare pilot of 60 stations with 600 bikes, instead of the handful of stations as many smaller cities have done. Hamilton, Ontario, has already successfully done this: starting with 110 stations and 750 bikes, a relatively large pilot for a mid-size city. Carlson says that this model is necessary to shift mindsets in Memphis, so that people see bikesharing as a viable public transportation option. By starting big, Memphis can also ensure its system has the station density needed to be successful. This large-scale pilot could serve as a model for other mid-sized cities hoping to have a large impact and tackle a major mode shift goal. To substantially alter mobility habits, Carlson also notes that cities have to implement a comprehensive strategy that integrates a portfolio of multimodal options, not just one service.

Read the full article at


Informal Public Transport in Practice

New book published September 18, 2015: Informal Public Transport in Practice

Transport discourse often concentrates on what is missing from transport policy and practice in developing countries vis-à-vis high-income countries rather than articulating local creativity in responding to transport needs as revealed in informal public transport modes such as matatu, motorcycle, bicycle and animal transport. This book helps to correct some of the tendency of inadequate contextualization of knowledge, technology and practice learning and transfer from one setting to another in transport and other development programmes. While countries such as Kenya have ambitions to develop their transport systems to fit into the globalized transport system, they also need to plan transport for ordinary life in both urban and rural areas.

The matatu service, provided by privately-owned transport carriers, can be seen as a mirror of the life of Kenya, revealing how indigenous African entrepreneurship and capitalism straddles various economic, political and social systems. This book offers a phenomenological and situated analysis of the matatu entrepreneurship in the political economy of Kenya and its embeddedness in society. By adopting a social science approach, this book highlights a number of political, social and practical issues to demonstrate the matatu is not a decontextualized, disembodied and lifeless piece of moving metal carrying people and goods but rather part of a self-organizing industry, with its own logic of practice.

Find out more at


Paris Is Sharing Electric Cars by the Thousand. Will It Play in Indianapolis?

By Carol Matlack, BloombergBusiness

An electric car share called Autolib’ has been a hit in Paris, with more than 3,300 of its distinctive silver hatchbacks cruising the streets or recharging at curbside stands. Users can pick up a car at any of nearly 1,000 stands, then drop it off at a stand near their destination, for as little as 20¢ a minute. No surprise, then, that London and other cities outside France have looked at replicating the four-year-old program.

What may be more surprising is that the first city to take the plunge  is Indianapolis.

Its BlueIndy car share, backed by the same French company that runs Autolib’, was launched on Sept. 2 with an initial fleet of 52 cars, which will expand to 500, with 200 recharging stations planned. BlueIndy’s general manager, Scott Prince, says demand has “exceeded our expectations,” with more than 500 people signing up in the first two weeks. BlueIndy users register on its website, then can opt for a one-time rental costing $8 for the first 8 minutes and 40¢ a minute after that, or a weekly, monthly, or annual membership offering per-minute costs as low as 20¢.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has said he’s “delighted to welcome BlueIndy as a clean, affordable transit option” for residents and visitors to Indiana’s capital, which like many midsize U.S. cities doesn’t have much mass transit. Ballard ponied up $6 million in city funds to top off the $41 million being spent on the program by Groupe Bolloré, the French manufacturer of the four-seat, battery-powered cars, which have a range of 150 miles between recharges.

Read the full article at