In 2022, mobility in France still lags behind in the ecological transition, with solo driving (or single-occupancy vehicle use) continuing to dominate. While mobility is an essential need for every individual, it remains particularly unequal and polluting.

Solo driving, a real societal problem confirmed by the numbers

In May 2018, the study « Mobility and Access to Daily Life Services, » conducted by ELABE for the Laboratory of Inclusive Mobility, revealed that 78% of residents in rural areas had only their personal vehicles to get around, and 33% of young French people had already turned down a job because they couldn’t get there.

Since then, not much has changed. In 2022, the second edition of the « Barometer of Daily Mobility » conducted by the Foundation for Nature and Man points out that more than 13 million of our fellow citizens face difficulties in daily travel, mainly due to dependence on individual vehicles. In the same study, 87% of those living in peri-urban areas stated that the car remained their only means of transportation.

On the other end of the spectrum, Vinci Autoroutes’ « Solo Driving Barometer » indicates that 85.2% of drivers are traveling alone in their cars in 2022, up from 82.6% in 2021. Additionally, the portal « notre-environnement.gouv.fr » notes that transportation remains the largest emitter of CO2 in France, and the Citepa, an organization guiding action for air and climate, states that emissions have returned to the same level as in 2019 after the period of calm due to various lockdowns.

These numbers highlight the limitations of our model. They are the most glaring indicator of our civilization’s failure to move towards an inclusive, equitable, sustainable, and solidary transportation system. They come with significant financial, human, and environmental costs.

Given the current societal and climate challenges, transforming our mobility is no longer an option; it has become an imperative.

Local: a principle of action and innovation

Ultra-local, even! Everything should start with a detailed understanding of local flows and customers: their behaviors, expectations, pleasures, frustrations, constraints, and more. In addressing the modal shift challenge and promoting collective and shared transportation, let’s apply professionalism similar to what large companies use to launch their consumer products. New technologies and access to mobility data, especially data from individual cars that make up the bulk of traffic, will enable us to recommend locally tailored solutions and manage the resources invested in these transitions.

This is the focus of Mobility Metrix, in which Impact Consultants has invested. Its purpose is to observe and understand the flows and customers, offering advice and tools for « shifting. »

A concrete mobility focus, ideally by the local area of life, allows for an appropriate combination between the local community setting the direction and selected private partners executing it. Innovative solutions should always have a pivotal role in accelerating these transitions.

The Ile de France Mobilités innovation challenge, focused on improving the customer experience in collective and shared transportation, opens the system to innovative solutions like the winning startup Ezymob, which helps people with reduced mobility travel with others, or Nextérité, using peer-to-peer social networks as a tool for public transportation traffic information.

A « Personalized » Collective Solution

To facilitate the shift from solo driving to collective transportation, a solution is to deploy locally tailored collective solutions that offer accessible alternatives to individual vehicles. This includes on-demand transportation solutions (typically 9-passenger vans) with real-time route adjustments based on reservation requests, similar to a « shared taxi. »

One notable technology company in this field is Padam Mobility, which provides locally configurable solutions to municipalities like Ile de France Mobilités and public transport operators like Transdev, Keolis, RATP Dev, and Prêt à Partir. These solutions put the power in the hands of customers and users who can book and use them through a local app. These solutions can accelerate modal shifts, now making it possible to transport between 8 and 10 people per hour per vehicle through a well-thought-out On-Demand Transportation solution, whether in the Ile de France, peri-urban areas, or provincial cities. These group transportation solutions are also accessible and vital for people with reduced mobility or « limited mobility. »

The mobility issue is complex because it is at the center of everything. It requires rapid evolutions and real local intelligence and governance to avoid mistakes in innovations and transformations. That’s why, at Impact Consultants, we are committed to supporting local communities and entrepreneurs for maximum local impact.

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