Shared mobility increasingly popular in Italy, research shows

Shared mobility has become a particularly hot topic during these two years of pandemic chaos. On the one hand, it is essential to promote the sharing of vehicles, especially electric ones, in order to optimise energy consumption linked to mobility and reduce emissions. On the other hand, there are the obvious safety considerations that are essential in times of pandemic and that lead us less and less towards sharing and more towards individual and private transportation. This had produced a sharp drop in the growth of sustainable mobility in 2020, which was however followed by a recovery in 2021.

Foundation for Sustainable Development report: Shared mobility is on the rise

A recent report by the Foundation for Sustainable Development looked at the growth of this type of mobility in Italy and observed a return to and surpassing of 2019 values for bike sharing and e-scooter use in 2021. A very similar, if slightly lower, level was reached by car sharing. Italy was a little late in adopting shared mobility compared to other European countries, but it quickly caught up, tripling the popularity of this type of mobility in just six years, with almost 160 active services in 49 cities and a growth trend above the European average. At the moment there are about 5,600,000 subscriptions to shared mobility services, which is an excellent start, with quite a lot of room for growth. The total target audience that, based on the territories concerned, has access to these services is over 15 million. In many Italian cities, especially smaller ones, only one or two shared mobility options are available. In fact, only the most cosmopolitan (if not necessarily the largest) cities in the country can count on all four types of services (i.e. cars, bicycles, e-scooters and mopeds). They are Florence, Milan, Turin and Rome.

Micro-mobility: electric scooters are the most popular shared vehicles

The most popular means of transport in Italy at the moment seem to be e-scooters, whose sharing services saw a 65% increase in membership in 2020. In general, micro-mobility is proving to be particularly well suited to Italian city traffic, with streets that are often narrow and jam-packed with cars and cycle paths that are not always up to scratch, as well as historic town centres with alleyways that are difficult to navigate by car. At present, 91% of shared mobility in Italy is made up of this kind of transport. On average, over the last five years, the weight of shared vehicles has dropped from 400 to 120 kilos, which indicates a considerable increase in the popularity of small, manageable scooters and bicycles.

The growth is driven by northern Italy, where 26 cities have at least one shared mobility service, followed by the south, with 13, and the centre with 10. Contrary to what happens in other countries, especially in the south of Italy, it often happens that cities with only one shared mobility service tend to favour e-scooters. On the other hand, the only cities in the south with more than one service are Palermo and Naples.

Heading towards a MaaS-focused model

The aim is to move towards a model of "Mobility as a Service", or MaaS. This way of managing mobility means that users can access and pay for all the services they need to plan their route with a single app, even if the vehicles they use are part of different services, according to their specific needs.

If you are interested in sustainable mobility, we recommend that you attend GECO EXPO. You will be able to listen to many distinguished experts and meet companies that have innovated this industry.

Published on 01-12-2021


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