In the last decade, shared mobility services such as bike-share, car-share and ride-share have taken off across the United States as a complement to local public transit and an alternative to private car ownership. As these models have developed, many have explored how the emerging field can more directly benefit low-income individuals, who often face longer and more costly travel times. However, current usage of shared mobility systems among low-income communities remains lower than usage by the general population overall.
To better understand shared mobility’s potential to improve outcomes for low-income communities, Living Cities recently commissioned ITDP to survey existing shared mobility strategies and their attempts to expand services to low-income individuals. The following case studies highlight how nine different shared mobility programs were established and how they have attempted to serve low-income communities.
Specifically, these case studies offer accounts of the following shared mobility programs:
- Boston’s Hubway
- New York City’s CitiBike
- Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare
- Buffalo’s Buffalo CarShare
- Denver’s eGo Carshare
- San Francisco and the Bay Area’s City CarShare
- Pittsburgh’s Heritage Community Transportation Microbus
- Seattle’s King County Vanpool
- Los Angeles’ Metro Vanpool Program
The case studies are part of a larger report, which recommends that shared mobility be integrated into long-term transportation planning, that research be conducted on their related business models, and that pilot programs based on the actual needs of low-income communities be tested. To learn more, read the full report or the executive summary.
It is our hope that the findings can inform operators, government agencies, funders, non-profit organizations and others as they try to tap into the potential of shared mobility strategies to improve the lives of low-income individuals.