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Planning for Shared Mobility
In recent years, economic, environmental, and social forces have quickly given rise to the “sharing economy,” a collective of entrepreneurs and consumers leveraging technology to share resources, save money, and generate capital. Homesharing services, such as Airbnb, and peer-to-peer carsharing services, such as Getaround, have become part of a sociodemographic trend that has pushed the sharing economy from the fringe and more to the mainstream. The role of shared mobility in the broader landscape of urban mobility has become a frequent topic of discussion. Major shared transportation modes—such as bikesharing, carsharing, ridesourcing, and alternative transit services—are changing how people travel and are having a transformative effect on mobility and local planning.
Public rights-of-ways play a synergistic role in shared mobility growth. Allocating parking and curb space for the inclusion of shared mobility—such as carsharing parking; space for bikesharing kiosks; and loading zones for ridesourcing/ TNCs, microtransit, and shuttles—is the most common way local governments provide access to public rights-of-way.
Cities can also implement a wide array of policies aimed at easing zoning regulations and parking minimums to promote the inclusion of shared mobility in new developments. Commonly referred to as incentive zoning for shared mobility, these policies can be categorized as (1) policies that enable reduced parking and (2) policies that allow increased density.
In addition to the amendment of local zoning and building codes, variances, and special-use permits, shared mobility can be incorporated as part of transportation demand management TDM) planning. Many TDM measures offer similar incentives to developers and property owners for the inclusion of shared mobility and other TDM measures in residential, commercial, and mixed use projects.
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