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Mobility and the Sharing Economy



The Shared-Use Strategy of Transportation


[02:33] Introduction of Susan Shaheen.

[02:56] Susan explains what shared-mobility services are.

[03:46] Susan describes the societal and individual benefits of shared-mobility services.

[05:48] Susan shares if car-sharing services are being universally accessed or if they are more concentrated in certain areas.

[07:10] Is anyone currently making car-sharing services available to other parts of the population?

[07:42] How is the Zipcar model—individuals sharing a car—expanding, and what is the market acceptance?

[10:38] Susan shares the benefits of shared-mobility services to municipalities and society.

[12:34] Are these shared-mobility services putting cab companies and their drivers out of business, and is there any data about these services driving down wages for those drivers?

[14:35] Are all communities being served by shared-mobility services?

[16:30] Are shared-mobility services impacting the need for public transportation, as well as the investments that would result in the reduction of vehicle-miles traveled?

[20:29] Susan shares where people can learn more about her work.

[21:31] Susan shares one change that would lead to smarter, more sustainable, and more equitable communities.

[22:17] Susan describes the action that listeners can take to help build a more equitable and sustainable future.

[22:34] Susan explains what our communities look like 30 years from now.


Susan’s interest in environmentally- and socially-beneficial technology applications led her to focus her doctoral research on carsharing, linked to public transit in the mid-1990s. Today, she is an internationally recognized expert in mobility and the sharing economy and co-directs the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. She is also an adjunct professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. She has authored 57 journal articles, over 100 reports and proceedings articles, four book chapters, and co-edited one book. Her research projects on carsharing, smart parking, and older mobility have received national awards.


The Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) was formed in 2006 to combine the research forces of six campus groups at UC Berkeley: the University of California Transportation Center, the University of California Energy Institute, the Institute of Transportation Studies, the Energy and Resources Group, the Center for Global Metropolitan Studies, and the Berkeley Institute of the Environment. Since TSRC was founded, it has been a leading center in conducting timely research on real-world solutions for a more sustainable transportation future. In addition to performing research informed by a diverse array of perspectives, TSRC also engages in education and outreach to promote its core values of sustainability and equity, to ensure that we are able to meet the transportation needs of the present without compromising future generations.

TSRC conducts research on a wide array of transportation-related issues, addressing the needs of individuals as well as the public. Research efforts are primarily concentrated in six main areas: Advanced vehicles and fuels, Energy and infrastructure, Goods movement, Innovative mobility, Mobility for special populations, and Transportation and energy systems analysis.

TSRC uses a wide range of analysis and evaluation tools, including questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, automated data collection systems, and simulation models to collect data and perform analysis and interpretation of the data. The center then develops impartial findings and recommendations for key issues of interest to policymakers to aid in decision-making. TSRC has assisted in developing and implementing major California and federal regulations and initiatives regarding sustainable transportation. These include the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), the Low Emission Vehicle Program and Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate, the Pavley Law, Low Carbon Fuel Standards policies, California SB 375 (anti-sprawl legislation), and the federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.


“Shared mobility is broader than just car sharing or what we call ride-sourcing services that are on demand, like Uber and Lyft. It’s the shared use of a vehicle, bicycle, or other mode; and it’s a strategy that enables its users to gain access on a short-term basis to transportation modes that they need.”

“…what we found was that in a round-trip model similar to the Zipcar model, that’s quite popular around the world, that about 25% of the people surveyed said that they gave up a car. Another 25% postponed an auto purchase…We found that people who engaged in round-trip car sharing report saving anywhere from about $150 to about $435 per month.”

“One of the things we’re really interested in seeing is, can we start to scale these services to other parts of the population, to individuals from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds and also to the disabled population and elderly population.”


Infinite Earth Radio Ep. 018, “The Future of Transportation: Mobility as a Service,” with Steve Raney

University of California, Berkeley, Transportation Sustainability Research Center

Innovative Mobility Research


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