The challenge is not small… And the challenge is no less ! With its Foundation of mobility, the government wants to ensure France a doctrine ambitious in terms of transport, and it must necessarily pass through bold innovations.
The problem of the last mile
The model that had prevailed until now has effectively become obsolete with the advent of digital. It was marked by a cleavage in the agglomerations between the intra-muros, well served by public transport, and the periphery condemned to an intermodal cars transport.
This model is no longer viable. If the public transportation (metro, bus, tram) allow the draining of large flows of passengers (several million per day in Paris), he is plagued by two major drawbacks. First, it is very expensive… Not only in investment but also in maintenance. The second disadvantage is that it does not solve completely the problem said the last mile, particularly to the peripheries. And the capillarity of the bus is not enough to satisfy mobility needs by substituting himself totally to the individual vehicle.
But the world is changing and the government must deal with many pressures. First, there is considerable population pressure. The medium-sized cities account for an increasingly important of the French population. However, these are less well endowed with transport infrastructure and the car is still essential.
The other pressure is social, since many studies consider that the deprivation of mobility is today a factor of discrimination and social exclusion. And the conclusion is just alarming… according To different studies, it is estimated that nearly 7 million of French are deprived of mobility, of which 20% of the assets. Half of the unemployed refuse a job because of a restricted mobility.
Four times more people with bus
Despite this, the model of the car can no longer be the alpha and the omega of the mobility of the French, as was the case up to now, given its impact on the environment but also of the saturation overland. Christophe Najdovsky, deputy Anne Hidalgo at the city of Paris in charge of transport, believes that, on a taxiway, 1,000 people circulating in a car, while on the same space, that is nearly four times more people could be transported with buses.
Finally, the last push is very economical, as it is agreed, since the invention of the steam locomotive, that mobility is a competitive factor and a major threat to a country. The concept of accessibility to mobility is now today a new issue of competitiveness.
The new mobility scrambling habits and business established
Out of the status quo is, therefore, urgent. But it is once this is done (and accepted by all) that the problems begin. Because the new mobilities challenge the habits but also the business established. Ouch ! Thus, car-sharing is a direct threat to the car manufacturers, while taxis live evil the arrival of the VTC, and even one of the cars in self-service. The most spectacular example remains Uber, which sows disorder and the controversy in all the cities where he settled.
The system of cars of self-service, to him, must prevail in a universe urban highly constrained where it is necessary to find of the reserved parking spaces, and that the fleet is exclusively electric, such as Autolib in Paris, the invoice in civil engineering is salty. Moreover, the Bolloré group, which does not detail the accounts of Autolib, would still be a loss on this activity, according to rumours in the press.
A model subjected to the hazard regulatory
In addition, these projects will require agreements with the local authorities, who often allow them to access and lock markets. Of licenses that can be as profitable as random… JCDecaux has made the bitter experience in Paris with its Velib which he has recently lost the license after ten years of exercise, while Uber is awaiting a legal action against the withdrawal of its licence to operate in London.
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In addition, the regulatory constraint not only hinders the consolidation of models on the long term, but also to the international. The regulations are constantly changing, and are different depending on the country, or even cities. The throbbing war between taxis and VTC has resulted in countless laws and regulations on the operation of the VTC, but also to the spraying of model Heetch by a court.
Carpooling from home to work, the real antidote
The problematic infrastructural and hazard regulatory are a true challenge for the new mobility. Fortunately, the startups have imagination and use of the digital offers creative to work around these pitfalls. Car-sharing, joint ownership of car, carpooling… The offers are plethora of them, and the actors just as much. But that is not enough because, once the equation infrastructure and regulation has been resolved, it is then necessary to convince the consumer, and the behavior changes are complex. Thus, no one has yet managed to constitute an offer of car pooling from home to work which is compelling. However, the journey to work is still done by car for 60% of French and 43% of them have no other choice. Impossible, in these conditions, to significantly reduce the place of cars in society.
The challenge is to reduce the impact of this dependence on the car by reducing the”autosolisme” (the ride alone in the car). “The average occupancy rate of the vehicles is 1.2 person per car. If one takes this rate to 1.7 person, you will have virtually solved the problems of traffic congestion,” explains Christophe Najdovsky, of the City of Paris. But, the good news for car manufacturers, this logic returns to dedicate the utility of the automobile, certainly in a new role.
The Foundation of the mobility are not the first attempt of the public authorities. The previous government had adopted, in the law of energy transition, the obligation for companies to implement a mobility plan. It includes incentives to promote carpooling and transit, but also to facilitate opportunities for working from home, or even bring employees from their place of work.
Create an ecosystem
The current government wants to go even further with this foundation. It is to make an inventory of the economic and social infrastructure, as well as brakes of the regulatory bringing together all the protagonists of this activity. The purpose of this major consultation is to build an ecosystem that is intermodal, that is to say, a combination of mobility solutions that will meet the needs of each individual.
The government hopes to institutionalize a legal framework where the municipalities were often left to themselves. The emergency is to shut off the fire that may turn an irreconcilable cleavage, especially in Paris, where the decisions of the restriction of automobile traffic are systematically the object of violent controversy. The underlying issue of the government will be whether it will be able to put into music a project of ecosystem multi-modal, which integrates the car, not to crystallize the debate around a clash very politicized.