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Action of the Month: Choose Shared Mobility and Ditch Driving Alone!

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Cuttingedge technologies, mobile apps and new business models are developing fast and improving access to an increasing number of ecofriendly, inexpensive and practical transportation options across Quebec!

This month, Équiterre encourages you to choose shared mobility. So let’s explore your transportation cocktail options, which include car sharing, bike sharing, carpooling, car lending, commercial carpooling and nextgeneration taxis. It’s high time to ditch car dependency and driving alone and step into the future.

SHARED MOBILITY: A SOLUTION TO TRANSPORTATION ISSUES

A few short years ago, shared mobility was just an emerging trend with a few people on board. Today, it’s on a roll, particularly in light of the issues we’re facing:

  • In Quebec, 44.7% of GHGs are emitted by the transportation sector, in particular road transport, which accounts for 78% of this category.
  • Canadian households who drive nearly 20,000 km per year spend on average $9,000 per year on their vehicles—the second biggest expense after housing.
  • In Montreal, there are 1.5 million cars on the road every day. But just one in five carries passengers.

 

Here are some options that will save you money and propel you into the new era oftransportation!

CAR SHARING

“Someone who commutes to work by bike or public transit may need a car for other trips. Car sharing is an additional transportation option that can be used for weekends out of town, trips involving luggage or simply when public transit isn’t the best option. When these services are inadequate, people resort to buying cars to get around,” said Sidney Ribaux, Équiterre’s Executive Director, at a panel discussion on May 18, as part of the annual Carsharing Association conference.

Car sharing refers to the use of a car or fleet of cars by multiple users. Carsharing programs give subscribers access to a private fleet of personaluse passenger cars according to their needs. So you get to use a car without the costs and responsibilities of ownership.

With one-way car sharing (short trips from A to B in urban areas), you can pick up a car and drop it off anywhere within a designated service area (specified area and/or parking space).

  • One-way car-sharing services in Canada include Car2Go and Communauto’s Automobile.

With roundtrip car sharing (longdistance or longlasting trips from A to B then back to A), you have to pick up and drop the car off at a designated place. These services could easily replace conventional rental services.

CLASSIC CARPOOLING

Classic carpooling is when more than one person uses the same car for a trip. This most common form of carpooling is good for people who live near each other and share the same destination. Drivers are entitled to compensation, but cannot be paid for the service. Companies that connect carpoolers include Kangaride, Netlift and ridesharing.com.

  • Kangaride organizes carpooling for intercity trips, commuting (Kangaride local), events (shows, festivals and sports events) and winter activities (to ski stations).
  • The Netlift mobile app combines carpooling and public transportation. You just input your origin and destination addresses together with your ride schedule (work or study) and Netlift will match you with a driver. The price is based on distance and parking costs at the destination. Users communicate through in-app messaging to adjust pickup points or meeting times, as needed.
  • There’s even a mobile app for safe ride hailing in Montreal—OuiHop’.
  • Some institutions have platforms for carpooling to a particular destination, like the one for Université de Montréal, its affiliate schools and Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM).
  • In Montreal, Covoiturage AMT (Agence métropolitaine de transport) matches you with one or more carpool partners. You can use it for occasional carpooling, as well as carpooling to a parkandride lot (near train or metro stations) or to your place of work or school. Partners are connected by email to make arrangements.
  • UberPOOL allows you to share your ride with other passengers going in the same direction. It’s available in Ontario, some major American cities and Paris. Maybe it’ll cross the border soon.

COMMERCIAL CARPOOLING SERVICE

Commercial carpooling services (also known as chauffeurdriven car services so as not to be confused with classic carpooling) use a platform to put customers in touch with drivers who provide a transportation service for a fee.

  • Commercial carpooling services include Uber (Canada and the U.S.) and Lyft (U.S. only). Uber provides taxi drivers who are Uber members, and UberX drivers drive customers in their own cars.

NEXTGENERATION TAXIS

Taxis are also benefiting from advances in technology and providing practical, topquality services.

  • Téo Taxi in Montreal has a fleet of 100% electric vehicles with WiFi. The drivers are employees, and taxis are booked via the mobile app.
  • Taxi Diamond also has a mobile app and you can pay online.

CAR LENDING

Car lending is a form of car sharing whereby owners rent out their cars to other people for short periods of time. Service firms offer mobile apps to match owners with customers.

  • Turo is currently the only service in Canada, operating in Toronto and Montreal.
  • A similar service, ShiftRide, is running a pilot project on the campuses of the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid-Laurier University.

BIKE SHARING

Bike sharing is a system that gives you access to bikes on a onetime or regular basis. You either sign up for a season or pay for the required length of time at the pay station when you take a bike. You can return the bike to any other station in the city.

  • Montreal has the largest bikesharing system in Canada—BIXI. You can check the number of bikes available at each station with the BIXI mobile app.
  • New apps like #findmybikes give you the total time of your trip, including walking, the location of the bike nearest you, the location of the most optimal free dock at destination.
  • If you need a bike in the OttawaGatineau area, you can reserve one through the bike share program, VeloGO, using the mobile app.
  • Other bikesharing initiatives that have emerged elsewhere in Quebec include Bécik Jaune in Lanaudière, Vélo Bonbon in Saint-Élie- de-Caxton, Coop Roue-Libre in Quebec City, Vélos de Quartiers in Mauricie, and Baiecycle in Charlevoix.

TRANSIT: THE TRANSPORTATION COCKTAIL ROLLED INTO ONE APP!

The Transit app was born in Montreal and is now available in over 125 cities worldwide. It tracks your location, suggests all the options to get to your destination on one screen—public transit, carpooling, bike sharing and car sharing—and automatically gives you upcoming departure times. What’s more, Transit GO guides you along your journey, providing you with realtime data: where the bus is, when you should leave and in how many stops you need to get off.

RESOURCES ACROSS QUEBEC

There are six transportation management associations (TMAs) in Quebec, and their mission is to help organizations find alternatives to solo driving for their employees, suppliers and customers.

  • CADUS, the centre for action on sustainable transport for the Saguenay–LacSaintJean and North Shore regions, has set up montrajet.ca, a tool combining carpooling, collective transportation, walking and biking.
  • MobiliT has a list of sustainable transportation options, as well as a map of initiatives for the national capital, Chaudière-Appalaches, Lower St. Laurence and Gaspésie–ÎlesdelaMadeleine regions.
  • Roulons VERT is the TMA for Mauricie and central Quebec.
  • Voyagez Futé serves Greater Montreal.
  • MOBA serves the western part of the Greater Montreal area and the Laurentians.
  • MOBIO is for people in Gatineau, Outaouais and Abitibi-Temiscamingue.
     

MIX IT UP!

Shared mobility solutions can help reduce individual car ownership and car use, and have the potential to bring significant individual and collective benefits to the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, social.

So in June, switch on your phone, mix up your transport and try things out! Find a solution that works for you and is good for the planet and your wallet!

For more information, read Équiterre’s report, Shared mobility: Removing Regulatory Barriers in Canadian Cities.