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Whose ride is it, anyway? The impact of shared mobility on public transit

Ottawa, July 23 2019 – Public transit ridership levels vary across Canada, raising questions and debate about the impact of shared mobility services such as ride-hailing and car-sharing on transit systems. The Conference Board of Canada’s My Ride, Your Ride, Our Ride report provides insight into the combined effect of shared, connected, autonomous, and electric vehicles on long-term public transit investments and operations. The report, released through the Board’s Roundtable on Shared Mobility, also provides strategies for transit agencies to consider in this era of shared and new mobility innovation.

“Public transit needs to accommodate evolving societal preferences, and leverage operational and technology innovations, to remain vital in the era of shared and new mobility” says Dr. Babatunde Olateju, Senior Research Associate, The Conference Board of Canada. “The impact of shared mobility on transit is complex. It can be complementary, competitive, or neutral, depending on local factors”.

Key Findings from My Ride, Your Ride, Our Ride report:

  • Transit authorities should develop symbiotic relationships with shared mobility services. Opportunities lie in first and last mile shared services to and from transit stations, as well as off-peak periods and areas with infrequent transit service.
  • The risks and implications of partnerships with shared mobility providers must be managed carefully, with a long-term view.
  • Customer-centric service delivery models of shared mobility providers should be adopted by transit authorities. These same delivery models should embed digital transaction and customer identification capability, such that it translates into smart, paperless boarding of transit services.
  • The introduction of agile and on-demand attributes may increase the cost of paratransit. Surcharges could be levied on shared mobility providers that don’t offer a service that accommodates mobility related disabilities.
  • In partnership with municipalities, transit authorities need to ensure that shared mobility providers share customer trip data. Data will become increasingly important for planning and management purpose.

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Corporate Communications

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