Shared mobility in the aftermath of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on how we move around in our cities. How has it affected shared mobility and new mobility services operators?

The pandemic has imposed a huge disruption on public transport where ridership went down dramatically, and many challenges are now ahead for the transport sector. Important efforts will be needed to rebuild trust and enthusiasm for public transport in the coming months. New mobility services if well integrated in the transport planning can offer some benefits in terms of capacity, allowing more people to move around in a more sustainable way while preventing many to make use of private cars, particularly for short trips and last mile connections.

The pandemic has proved challenging for shared mobility operators, with many halting operations whilst some chose to remain during lockdown. From a survey that POLIS launched among its members Cities & Regions, the majority of respondents were not requiring private shared mobility operators to take action to tackle COVID-19, but in several cases, private operators were performing very well in supporting citizens and local authorities during lockdown. Many of them offered free rides for healthcare workers, supported local businesses, assisted restaurants with food delivery options while at the same time offering extra sanitation.

During the POLIS Post-Lockdown Mobility webinar: Sharing is (Still) Good it emerged how new mobility operators are willing to engage in strategic partnerships with cities and the public sector in order to deliver an adaptive mobility system that can respond to future shocks and complement the current transport offer. Particularly in the aftermath of this pandemic where we are all required physical distancing, micro-mobility coupled with walking and cycling can help capitalize on the reallocation of road space to sustainable modes that already many cities around Europe and beyond have initiated.

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