The role of lift sharing in future urban mobility

Andy Richards, Mark Edward Beecroft, Ben Waterson, Mike McDonald

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The ability of the private car to provide flexible, attractive and cost‐effective personal
travel is gradually being eroded, particularly in urban areas. Contributing factors are the increasing
levels of congestion and enforcement, limited and increasingly expensive parking, and controls /
charging on road use. Also, local authority targets such as those relating to the environment and
road traffic reduction are constraining the use of cars in urban areas. In this context, the role of the
car in future mobility may change and lift sharing offers the prospect of enabling more efficient
usage by reducing single occupant car trips. This paper discusses research undertaken through the
FUTURES project (Future Urban Technologies: Undertaking Research to Enhance Sustainability) to
enhance understanding of the current practice and future potential of lift sharing in the UK. Current
evidence relating to the benefits and impacts of lift sharing is limited. However, the presence of the
UK’s principal lift sharing service provider, Ltd, amongst the project’s stakeholders has
enabled the research team to access previously unavailable data on the practice of lift sharing in the
UK. In 2006, some 37,000 new subscribers joined and this paper reports on the
analysis of this 2006 membership database to identify common characteristics amongst lift sharers.
The main variables analysed were journey purpose, type, distance and frequency, as well as age and
gender of the subscriber. The paper then summarises key findings to emerge from this analysis
before identifying some future research options.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event40th Annual Conference of the Universities' Transport Study Group - Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jan 20085 Jan 2008


Conference40th Annual Conference of the Universities' Transport Study Group
Abbreviated titleUTSG 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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