Shared mobility : the future of public transport

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Theses / Dissertations
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Master of Science
University of Canterbury
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Mukherjee, Wrik

In Christchurch, public transportation (PT) has not eased pressure off private car ownership. With Christchurch’s population set to increase in the near future, the transport system needs to adapt to be able to support the mobility of the local population.

My research considers how shared mobility can support PT in Christchurch. I interviewed policymakers to understand what factors are affecting low PT usage. I interviewed shared mobility operators to understand their perceptions about shared mobility. Finally, I ran an online survey for the Christchurch community to understand how they use transport and shared mobility in Christchurch.

I found various factors contributing to low PT usage in Christchurch which included lack of accessibility, inadequate frequency of service, poor availability of service, inconvenience of use, long transport times, a poor perception of PT, the issues posed by Christchurch’s medium to low population density, the cost of PT, a culture of car dependency and the cost-ineffectiveness of providing PT in some areas. Shared mobility showed potential to support PT in that it can be more environmentally friendly, help reduce congestion and be more economical. However, there are many barriers to its success in Christchurch. The survey highlighted that the key barriers are a lack of information about shared mobility, safety and privacy concerns about its usage, a reluctance on the part of potential customers to use credit cards for bookings, and unavailability in the locality. These factors make the future of shared mobility in Christchurch uncertain. Future research has to explore how shared mobility can address the deficits in the current PT system and the possibility of integrating access to PT and shared mobility through on-demand app-based systems.

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