New forms of shared mobility, such as ride-hailing, car-sharing, bike- and scooter-sharing, are all touted as promising means to address car dependence and mass car ownership. Most Australian cities and their policymakers are devising policies to facilitate the entry of these new modes. Many have, however, disputed whether many of these new disruptive transport innovations are indeed sharing and several knowledge gaps remain about shared mobility.
Transport policy is overwhelmingly focused on increasing transport supply by building more infrastructure. Demand-side responses such as increase “sharing” of modes receive comparatively less research and policy attention. A key challenge is the limited understanding of “how much transport is shared” and “how to make sharing easy”. Conventional household travel surveys and other forms of data collection are ‘blind’ to whether travellers are either sharing vehicles or sharing rides.
In this paper, we explore fundamental questions about sharing in Australian cities – How should we define and measure sharing? How much transport is shared? How could we better measure and capture it? Most importantly, how much of the currently non-shared travel is amenable to sharing? The methods involve in-depth review and analysis of South East Queensland Travel Survey in 2017-18. The results provide preliminary analysis on the state of shared mobility from existing data, and propose improved protocols and new data sources. Urban policymakers should embrace and encourage shared mobility but not ignoring the potential pitfalls.