The Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, developed by WRI and partners and adopted by more than 140 governments and their advisors, companies and NGOs, aim to help guide the use of shared, electric and autonomous vehicles to reap social, environmental and economic benefits.

The Challenge

Electric, shared and autonomous vehicles are part of the emerging three-fold revolution in urban transportation. But they won’t necessarily make cities more sustainable, inclusive, prosperous or resilient. Unmanaged growth of new mobility services—from ride-hailing to bike-sharing and self-driving vehicles—can result in increased traffic congestion, air pollution, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, traffic injuries and social inequality. The policies put in place in the next few years in response to these innovations will have a lasting impact on the way cities and mobility develop in the future.

WRI’s Role

Research by WRI and others suggested a need for a broad dialogue to help foster policies and regulations on electric, shared and autonomous vehicles that bring social, environmental, and economic benefits. With leadership from WRI board member and Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase, WRI worked with transport experts from eight partner NGOs—C40Cities, ICLEI, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Shared-Use Mobility Center, SLoCaT and Transportation for America—and local governments to draft a set of shared principles on new mobility. The principles emphasize the need for safe, efficient and pollution-free movement of people and goods. WRI’s contributions emphasized the need for people-centered and integrated mobility approaches, drawing on years of research and experience working with cities; and using its networks to raise awareness of the Principles and the issues that gave rise to them.

The Outcome

The principles have so far been adopted by more than 90 mobility service providers (including Lyft and Uber) and 50 governments and their advisors, after being launched at the EcoMobility World Festival in late 2017 by WRI and partners. The broad involvement of NGOs and service providers of all sizes, as well as regional and local governments, demonstrates a growing interest on advancing adequate policies to help shape the three revolutions. Adoption of the principles is informing debates and action on issues such as electrification of vehicle fleets; the safety of autonomous vehicles; and fairness in pricing, road use, congestion and use of curb space.