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Nowadays, we must recognize that mobility has become a human right and that it is crucial for people with urban lifestyles. However, there is still much to be done to turn cities into accessible places in which people can move freely and effectively. In these big cities, one of the most popular ways to get around is the private car, but what happens when this valuable resource is not fully used?
It is not surprising that the results of several analyses indicate that, in some countries, cars spend more than 90 percent of their useful life parked. With the costs involved in keeping it in good condition, we can conclude that the cost-benefit tends to be unbalanced.
This conclusion has been reached by more and more people who are currently betting on innovative projects that reward and promote the efficiency of alternative or shared mobility to maximize the use of resources, either through walking, cycling, public transport or with the support of technological platforms, which not only allows us to save money on maintenance and service but also has a positive impact on well-known issues in these cities, such as vehicular congestion and air pollution, among many other benefits.
From this perspective, at DiDi, we recently carried out a study with data derived from Mexico to find out how convenient it is to acquire a car instead of choosing to use the shared mobility that the platforms facilitate, taking into account the costs of each one, the experience and comfort as a user, in addition to the support for better mobility in large cities. The study concluded that, if users travel an average of less than 32km per day, it is better for them to use mobility apps than to acquire a car.
At this point, I would like to highlight the relevance of the good combination of mobility platforms with public transport, since by using both options as a complement, the user does not have to assume the cost of a car trip to the final destination. For reference, a study recently developed by the company, showed that 8 percent of DiDi trips in Mexico City start or end at a station of the Metro or Metrobús Collective Transportation System.
This gives us a much broader perspective of the mobility landscape in large cities, considering the distances we travel on a daily basis. As an example, according to the INEGI Survey of Origin-Destination in Households of the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico, the average distance traveled to reach work locations in Mexico City is almost 25km; if this is your case, we can conclude that the most convenient thing for you is to use apps to move around the city.
To exemplify this point, if you live in Mixcoac and you usually go to Polanco to work, you will be traveling an average of 20km round trip, so mobility apps like DiDi ensure you are more efficiently using resources. On the other hand, if you live in Ciudad Satélite, in the State of Mexico, and your office is in Santa Fe, you would have to travel an average of 50km daily, so having a car is the strongest option.
Broadly speaking, the collaborative service that connects passengers with drivers like DiDi is emerging as an option that allows you to make the most of the cars that circulate daily in the city. This without taking into account the great economic benefits that the owner of a car can enjoy through these platforms, since they allow you, for example, to take the investment that a car implies and turn it into a profitable and scalable business, even without the need to drive your own car.
The benefits are more than evident. By implementing some of these management strategies, immediate results would be achieved: saving of resources year after year, contributing to the reduction of vehicular congestion and supporting the reduction of air pollution and energy consumption. In the era of the sharing economy, we know that the world rewards efficiency. Therefore, it is imperative to make use of all the tools that allow the efficient use of resources. The mobility industry in cities is no stranger to this reality.