Carsharing Vs Taxi, Vs Private car Vs Ridesharing or Carpooling.
Which will be the cars of the future?
We are living in a war, where the property and the more or less efficient use of the vehicles we use to move around the city is at stake.
There is a struggle of cross-interests between users in need of transport, and different service providers (such as public transport, or rental of vehicles with or without a driver), or suppliers of mobility-related products (like cars, insurance or fuel sellers).
Regarding this war, these days we can see on TV a car advertisement, where some young people buy a new one, but they leave it parked to go downtown by bus.
That‘s a car manufacturer sending its customers the message: “Buy me a car that you can’t use.”
It is shocking at a time when:
- Young people are getting their driving license older, and many prefer to get a good mobile phone or computer instead of a car. Because millennial already know that it is not necessary to physically own the car (which carries some complications they don’t want), but they only need access to a way to move from one place to another, in a timely, easy and economical way.
However, the announcement seems to try to reverse this trend, showing us two young people happy to have a new car.
- We live in the age of “carphobia”. The urban authorities, the press and the progressive people agree to blame the car for all the evils, and to tell us that we must restrict traffic and parking in the city center.
However, the announcement seems to try to decouple the ownership and use of the car. To have a car of your own (that’s cool) it’s not the same as to use it daily (which is problematic).
And we can only agree.
If you give yourself a whim, you buy the car of your choice, and you have it stored in the garage, to take a ride to the beach one of those days, there is nothing wrong with it. Same as if you can afford to collect them, and you own several cars! You don’t harm anyone with it.
What creates problems, is not having a car, but too many people having to move theirs every day.
It happens that cities grow nonstop. You can no longer get to work by walking, and it is increasingly difficult to take less than an hour on public transport. More and more people are going by car and it is difficult to park them all in the center, in the industrial estates or in the business centers where the workplaces are.
In addition we are subject to schedules that make most of us to move at the same time, and at peak hour we get traffic jams, which make us lose time each day (three or four times more than normal), and that cause the car to consume too much fuel and to over pollute the air (an 80% more).
Opportunists appear to add fuel to the fire.
New Silicon Valley technology companies, backed by multi-million dollar venture capital investment funds, are planning a good fishing in troubled waters.
They take advantage of the situation to send us their message: “Having your own car is awful. Do not have your own car, rather use one of mine.” Some say: “rent it by hour” and others say “let yourself be carried by one of my drivers, who (since I don’t have them on the payroll and I set the company headquarters in Delaware, where I barely pay taxes) it’s a little less expensive for you than to ride in a regular taxi”
Let no one be fooled:
Carsharing is not the solution.
This may be useful for someone who only has to move sporadically; but most workers can’t afford paying to those companies every day.
Those platforms (which call themselves “carsharing”, although they are pure business and do not have any collaborative economy) are advertised as being very “cool” because they “share a car”, and even predict that in the future there will be no private cars, but only fleets of their rental cars and their taxis; And even that they will all be robotized and will be self driven (this is what they hope, to save paying a salary to the driver).
But the truth is that citizens continue to suffer from the high cost of transport (which is the third largest item of family budgets, after housing and food), and we continue to have traffic, parking and pollution problems in cities.
With all this mess, opinions are divided:
Who is to be blamed? Car or driver?
If we know that driving your own car is five times more expensive than on public transport, and it congests and pollutes more the city, Why do we keep doing it?
Because for many, going by public transport (which is a more economical and sustainable solution) would mean losing each day more than an hour outward and another one to return.
Faced with this situation, when it takes half the time by car, many of us feel that “we have no choice but to go by car”. And that’s when we become slaves to use the car every day to go to work, or to study.
And the worst thing is that each one goes driving his own car.
Instead of seeking to apportion blame, it will be better to study the case in depth, to find wiser and more creative solutions (something better than going for the easy: banning the car and fine the driver, or doing science fiction with self driving or flying cars).
The data from Madrid are overwhelming, and give us good clues:
- 83% of the vehicles that circulate are private cars.
- Of every five cars, four carry the driver alone.
Every day more than four million free seats are being wasted in Madrid (this is more seats than people traveling by metro and bus together), and most of them go almost empty during rush hour, just when more transportation problems there are.
This is very inefficient. And, every time assets are wasted, someone bears the brunt of it. Unfortunately, it is usually the weakest.
Here is a clear opportunity for improvement.
It does not make sense that, precisely when there are not enough means to transport people, is when more vacancies are wasted in cars.
And besides, anyone who has looked around while stuck in a jam on the radial or ring roads, knows that there are thousands of people going in the same direction, one behind the other, but each in his own car.
The best solution is ridesharing or carpooling.
Why can’t several people go to work together in each car, in the style of what BlablaCar does on interurban trips?
In addition to saving costs, we would remove cars from traffic and would greatly alleviate problems in the city (traffic jams, pollution, parking), which we end up suffering ourselves.
If we take care of what is in the interest of society and citizens, the key to solving our problems is not to share the cars (the “carsharing”), but to share the trips (the “ridesharing” or “carpooling” ).
With the carsharing platforms, it’s doesn’t matter if first you get a “taxi” and then I take it, or if you rent a car first and then I rent it. Each car keeps carrying only one traveler, and it doesn’t solve any problem.
The wonders of “car sharing” that those platforms want to sell, are not such a solution, because they do not actually remove cars from traffic.
In fact, the opposite is true today:
Manufacturers are delighted with the sales to equip these new fleets of more cars that are put into circulation (like Daimler with the Car2Go).
However, there will never be enough taxis or rental cars to take us all at rush hour. For one simple reason: because if there were, they would be idle for the rest of the day, and these companies do not invest or get into business to lose money.
The wise thing is not to put in circulation new cars, but to use well those cars we already have.
Instead of running more taxis, or new fleets of rental cars, let us take advantage of the huge number of free seats that our private cars carry, for the benefit of the citizens themselves!
To improve quality of life, taking advantage of sharing car trips, you only need a smartphone app that points you to other people willing to share expenses and following a route similar to yours.
Collaborating, we will achieve it.
Join DedoCar, the community of urban hitchhikers who use a carpooling app to save and avoid problems!
The DedoCar app will tell you on the go with who you can share your journey by car to go to work, to study, to return home, or any other route in the city.
You choose what is most convenient to you.
You can go as a passenger who enjoys the comfort and speed of a car with a driver, at a bus price; Or (if you like to drive your own car) you can be the driver who shares your free seats and recovers up to three quarters of your expenses.
The more people we go together in each car, the more we save, and the better quality of life for everyone we get.