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Now digitisation and the sharing economy provide the opportunity to reduce the number of vehicles in our cities by up to an order of magnitude and end the appalling costs of pollution, accidents and congestion caused by excessive car ownership and use.
But the transition will not be a painless or easy one as shared and privately-owned cars initially compete for space and better utilisation producing positive but modest benefits. However, the ultimate prize, to reclaim our streets from car domination, would transform the quality of urban living.
Concerns that sharing schemes do not deliver a net reduction in car use are not supported by the overwhelming majority of the evidence that shows ride-sharing apps do reduce the numbers of vehicles on the road and vehicle kilometres driven. But, as important, ride-sharing apps also encourage a behavioural shift towards multi-modal, sustainable transport which complements public and active forms of transport (cycling and walking). Furthermore, while long-distance car-sharing services do compete with rail and coach services they also significantly increase car occupancy and reduce emissions per kilometre.
To ease and accelerate the transition to shared vehicles the legacies of car domination must be progressively erased.
There are four key steps. Read them in the downloadable pdf below.