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What the rise of the sharing economy means for transport

Publication date: 23 April 2015

In a session for the upcoming International Transport Forum, the sharing economy and its impact on transport will be discussed as a typical car lies unused for approximately 23 hours a day. This represents a tremendous investment in overcapacity – both for car owners and for the public authorities that provide and maintain public infrastructure. This unused potential is at the heart of the emerging “shared economy”, where network technologies are used to enable individuals or companies to monetise the spare capacity inherent in many material goods - such as cars.


Car-sharing and ride-sharing have gained ground in recent years, especially in urban areas, and have seen a tremendous influx of new, sometimes well-capitalised entrants. With more than 2 million users worldwide, car- and ride-sharing are still marginal, but the arrival of major car manufacturers in the market and the rapid growth of new service providers signals the growing importance of these services in urban areas.


While sharing improves resource allocation and meets consumer demand, it also raises questions about service standards, risk allocation and the regulatory framework in general. Many institutions and incumbent urban transport providers have yet to evolve to meet this new challenge and opportunity for urban mobility.

Read more about the session

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