The European-funded Horizon 2020 STARS project, which stands for Shared mobility opporTunities And challenges foR European citieS, is nearing completion after studying Europe’s car sharing scene for the past 2.5 years. Since October 2017, nine project partners that are experts in the field of car sharing and transport engineering, environmental psychology, and industrial economics, have been exploring the diffusion of car sharing across Europe, its connections with technological and social innovations, as well as its impact on other transport modes.
The car sharing models that work best in a given city may vary, depending upon the city’s tastes and demographics. “Understanding local peculiarities and shared mobility models, as well as the policies that can provide the highest benefits for citizens, is very important in order to promote more comfortable urban centres in terms of congestion and air quality, a fundamental topic of the public agenda nowadays”, explained Marco Diana, STARS Project Coordinator and Associate Professor at Politecnico di Torino (Italy).
Ten recommendations to help European policymakers
In addition to mapping the existing car sharing solutions and services in Europe, the STARS team pictured the typical profile of car sharing users and potential future users regarding their mobility styles and sociodemographic profiles. They also analysed and evaluated the direct and indirect industrial impacts of car sharing, showing how the European car industry can be an active player in the diffusion of car sharing solutions, while strengthening its competitiveness. Taking all project findings into account, the STARS partners produced a policy brief with the following ten recommendations for policymakers:
- Ensure an EU legal framework for car sharing
- Invest in performant public transport and safe walking and cycling infrastructures
- Adopt a mix of suitable car sharing models
- Rethink fiscal systems to create a mobility budget
- Invest in online and offline Mobility as a Service (MaaS)
- Include car sharing in more policy areas
- Integrate car sharing in parking management plans
- Tell citizens and stakeholders the benefits of car sharing
- Support car sharing as a sustainable solution to be integrated into Sutainable Mobility Plans (SUMPs)
- Be a car sharing user too!
A car sharing policy toolkit tested and approved
To complement the 10 recommendations and as a final objective of STARS, project partners delivered a car sharing policy toolkit. This document is especially designed for local, national and European mobility stakeholders and policymakers who would like to implement tailored car sharing services and solutions. It is an easy-to-use document that aims to be integrated into the SUMPs, with the overall objective of making European cities better and more affordable places to live.
The STARS toolkit was tested and validated through two key events: the Car Sharing Innovation Camp (Paris, 14-15 October 2019), and the STARS Final Event (Bremen, 13-14 February 2020). In Paris, city representatives of Milan, Carouge, Budapest, Bremen and Sofia presented their cases to small groups of participants in order to share innovation ideas and develop concrete solutions that meet their needs. In Bremen, four stakeholder groups (car fleet managers, city representatives, housing developers and public transport operators) discussed and validated how the STARS policy toolkit can be used by each group.
Although the STARS project is almost over, project findings and results will remain available online. Further questions can also be sent to the project coordinator:
STARS Project Coordinator & Associate Professor at Politecnico di Torino, Italy
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