Shared mobility is the shared use of a vehicle, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle, or other travel mode; it provides users with short-term access to a travel mode on an as-needed basis. Shared mobility includes carsharing, ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling), bikesharing, scooter sharing, and on-demand ridesourcing through transportation network companies (TNCs) and microtransit services. Shared mobility also includes public transportation and incumbent services, such as car rentals, shuttles, taxis, paratransit, and pedicabs. Courier network services and for-hire deliveries are also part of the shared mobility ecosystem.
Shared mobility services have become increasingly common and many public agencies are beginning to integrate them into their transportation planning and decision-making processes. Agencies see the potential for shared mobility to increase multimodal transportation choices, provide new ways to access goods and services, reduce driving trips, and improve safety and mobility for people who do not own or have access to a private vehicle.
Shared mobility represents a new challenge for transportation planners, one largely driven by technological changes advanced by private sector companies. While advances in technology are changing the transportation landscape, the roles and responsibilities of public agencies remain the same. Transportation planners will likely rely on established planning techniques to integrate shared mobility into their planning and decision-making processes while also exploring new resources, innovations, and partnerships to advance their community visions, policies, and goals.