Sharing Economy: How it’s really influencing mobility
The idea of a sharing economy has gained major popularity, not only in the transportation industry, but in general. It’s not just a buzzword that’s thrown around, but a concept that adds value to the world we live in.
What is a sharing economy?
A sharing economy is the ability for networked cities to share resources, goods and services, and even experiences. Encouraging connectivity in all aspects of smart technology, justice, sustainability to solidarity is beneficial to the changing nature of sharing. As cities strive to become the next ‘smart city’, sharing goods and services can push them in that direction. Let’s break it down.
7:30AM: You need to catch a ride to the airport before your work trip to Chicago. You open your Uber mobile app and punch in your destination. Your ride will be at your apartment in 5 minutes. Done.
9:15AM: You’re at the airport and realize you don’t have a hotel for the night. You log onto Airbnb, find an apartment that’s available for the night, and book it. Done.
Simple, right? Being able to book an apartment via Airbnb illustrates the idea of a sharing economy. You’re able to quickly ‘rent’ someone else’s apartment for the night with your mobile device, rather than having to deal with booking a hotel.
Benefits of a sharing economy
The sharing economy now makes up 17 billion-dollar companies, employs 60,000, and consists of $15 billion in funding. It’s making some pretty incredible waves, to say the least. Whether you’re booking trips off the home-sharing app, Airbnb, getting around town with Uber, renting work space at WeWork or buying books off of Chegg – you’ve been a part of the billion-dollar industry. While many of these companies are relatively new to the sharing scene, they typically become “billion-dollar companies in less than four years”. In the media, “sharing economy” has been up for debate. For one, many cities are debating whether the sharing-centric industry is providing more wage-earning jobs to more people or if it’s displacing more secure full time jobs and replacing them with part time gigs. Whatever your views might be, the changes are most definitely influencing the transportation industry.
For transportation, these companies are playing a key part in the future of mobility. Passport is making major headway. Take transit. With Passport’s mobile transit app, users can plan, track, pay, and manage their transit route all in one single app. Riders are now taking advantage of public transportation and simultaneously influencing the sharing economy. Today, cities and agencies alike are also reaping the benefits of a sharing economy, specifically mass transit.
As more and more people congregate to cities, it’s important that municipalities realign their efforts to focus on sustainability and efficiency. A sharing economy not only represents those traits perfectly, but helps push cities to being honored as a smart city.