In countries all over the world, the car still has a very dominant role in the way we move around, occupying large parts of our streets and cities. And while public transport in most cities provides a better alternative to private car-use, particularly in rural areas, the car is still often considered as the most preferred way of travelling due to lack or infrequency of public services.
Several statistics show that car occupancy rate for commuting trips in EU countries is about 1.1 persons per vehicle. At the same time, implications on traffic congestion, energy consumption, and environmental impacts remain the same – whether there are one or four people in one car.
As widely recognised, ride sharing has the potential to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles. But even with recent mobile technologies facilitating this way of travelling, ride sharing has demonstrated limited uptake so far. The reason for this would be a set of barriers such as insufficient awareness of available services, lack of trust and willingness to ride with strangers, need for flexibility in scheduling to allow and cope with change in plans and uncertainty in reaching agreements on sharing costs.
Now, the RIDE2RAIL project want so to solve this problem. The vision of RIDE2RAIL is to exploit intelligent mobility approaches, making ride sharing an effective feeder for high-capacity transport services (such as rail) in less-densely populated and rural areas. The effects will be to shift current demand from individual to collective mobility and even to potentially attract new demand, so improving transport accessibility and reducing “disutilities” for users.
The RIDE2RAIL approach is based on an inclusive vision of shared mobility within the transport network, supporting the access to individuals’ travel offers and fully exploiting social leverages to make the service highly effective. This service model will make the RIDE2RAIL concept easy replicable at a European level.