Milan has launched the world’s first free-floating and integrated ride-sharing system, allowing residents and visitors access to electric cars, bikes, and scooters anytime, anywhere.
Started in 2013 and now operating with more than 2,000 cars, 150 scooters, and 4,600 bikes, Milan’s “All you can share” mobility system is convincing the city, and the world, that private car ownership is a thing of the past. While the bikes – 1,000 of which are electric – can be picked up and dropped off at fixed stations, the scooters and cars – half of which will be electric by the end of 2015 – are available throughout the city without set locations. They are part of an integrated and easy-to-operate system that users manage via a dedicated smartphone app. Riders just log on, find an available ride near their current location, and hit the road.
The scale of this project is critical to its success. Without a critical mass of vehicles and bicycles to choose from, such a program could not work. The city’s bike-share system boasts 39,000 yearly subscribers, while the car-share system has nearly 300,000. The electric scooter system just launched this year, but anticipates similar success.
Milan has long been known as a car-loving city, with more than one vehicle for every two people – one of the highest rates in Europe. The project is changing this reputation by providing viable alternatives to private car ownership, and making it easier than ever for residents and visitors to make more sustainable transportation choices.
Economic As operators pay the city to operate their ride share programs, the $2.2 million in revenue can be used to improve public services.
Environmental Vehicles used in the sharing program are either electric, hybrid, natural gas-fueled, or meet other European emissions standards.
Social Eight to 15 cars are removed from the streets for each available car-sharing vehicle, allowing Milan to cater to its citizens, and not their cars.