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Urban Mobility

Why Do We Keep Using Individual Cars?

By Editorial Team on October 26, 2017

Recently, 12 major cities pledge to adopt all-electric buses by 2025. The pledge is one of a series of commitments outlined in the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration, signed at the Together4Climate conference in Paris. Cities like London or Paris are taking bold actions to encourage citizens to walk, cycle and use public and shared transportation. Nevertheless, a large of majority of people is still dependent on their car.

How People Move from A to B?

Are you keen on giving up you car? To that question, only 1% of the people interview by Kantar TNS answered yes. Car is associated with freedom, pleasure and independence. For some people the car is like an extension of themselves which creates a strong emotional bond between the driver and the car. This strong emotional bond combined with the difficult access to other transport modes constitute a serious barrier. So how should cities help citizens find a balance between the emotional and functional side of transportation?

Public Actions: Removing Car from the Streets

To reduce air pollution, some cities like London, Singapore or Stockholm implemented a congestion charge which is a fee charged on most motor vehicles to reduce traffic flow in the city center. Although static charges do not reflect reality that is why the city of Singapore tracks congestion in real time to adapt its charge pricing. The pricing of the fee also depends on how much polluting the car is and the number of passengers. It is not about restraining people from using their car but rather make them aware of the current traffic and decide whether it would be wiser to hop on a train.

Offering Attractive Alternatives

It seems like drivers are aware and concern about pollution and its effect on the environment but they do not seem to feel responsible for that. According to them, car manufactures and mobility services providers followed by public institutions should operate the change. Indeed, people are not yet ready to pay extra in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Therefore, public institutions together with car manufacturers need to offer attractive transport alternatives to change individual behaviors. Last month, we invited Kantar TNS and the Institut Montaigne to discuss the topic in details:

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