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23 May 2018

Zipcar founder: ‘Car-dominant city has reached its zenith’

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase has called on urban authorities to embrace multimodal transport in a bid to improve mobility.

“The value of a car-dominant city has reached its zenith,” she says in an interview with ITS International. “The city regulatory and physical infrastructure has been built on a personal car-dominant infrastructure. We have spent the last 100 years making car travel in cities the most convenient and cheapest way to the exclusion of everything else.”

That creates problems, she continues. “Today, mayors and cities are signalling by price that they are indifferent as to whether you take your zero emissions and small footprint bike or a 25 year-old car that pollutes heavily or indeed a shared taxi or public transit. Currently the city is signalling that ‘all those things are the same to us’.”

Chase, who also spoke at ITS International’s MaaS Market Atlanta conference, is keen to avoid demonising the car as a travel mode - but is not convinced that developments such as automated vehicles will ease congestion.

She is one of the influencers behind the recently-published Shared Mobility Principles developed by a group of NGOs and adopted by a range of public bodies and mobility players.

The principles call for fair pricing of different mobility options. “The point of doing road congestion pricing and kerb access pricing is so we can start getting at fair user fees across all modes,” she insists. “Personal cars are not paying a fair share and because of that we have been responding to the wrong price signals which is why we don't have enough walking, biking or shared transport modes.”

  • For full interview and MaaS Market Atlanta report, see ITS International May/June issue, out soon

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Do these people live on the same planet as me? Any form of 'fair pricing' depends on your income! "Personal cars are not paying a fair share". so who is paying for the roads? Cyclists and walkers? How do these people think goods get into the shops, offices etc and how basic infrastructure is maintained, or new buildings are built? "We do not have enough walking & cycling", does that include wheelchair users, the old, those with mobility problems, or are they to be excluded from this 'brave new world'? Terry Hudson24/05/2018 17:43:13