Xavier Tackoen: ‘shared mobility isn’t taking off’
Managing Director at Espaces-Mobilité, Xavier Tackoen, wonders why shared mobility isn’t taking off, especially for cars. He points out that shared mobility is still a niche in spite of being seen as the Holy Grail that would save urban mobility. He points the finger to placement, information, and the lack of help from public authorities.
“At the beginning of 2010, we all believed that shared mobility would be game-changing. But for three years now, all have been dropped. Shared mobility is still a niche market. Even though we are talking a lot about it, its impact is still very small,” declares Xavier Tackoen.
While the Managing Director at Espaces-Mobilité uses Belgian examples to convey his thoughts, Brussels isn’t the only city where he points a finger at. The issue is a global one. In a somewhat messy climate made up of numerous failures and announcement effects, he notes that only Cambio managed to keep its head above the water.
“The company had the intelligence to position itself as a complement to public transport. Cambio allows you to go where public transport is not. Unlike DriveNow, for example, which was active in the area where public transport was most efficient,” explains Mr. Tackoen.
Public incentive needed
“Authorities have had the wrong reflex to believe that mobility was going to sort itself out. When operators arrived, the reaction was to rejoice and let them get on with it. Now, operators are losing money and leaving unprofitable cities.”
“But the question that arises is whether mobility actors are expected to aim for profitability. And, therefore, if the public authorities should not financially help them to create an attractive offer,” explains the Managing Director.
There is also an issue with information. The expert regrets the lack of information on hindrances felt by the public. “When a private car owner is asked about the cost of a car, the answer often hovers around €100, but the real average cost is €550 per month. Monthly shared mobility cost is much lower, but few are those who know,” ends the expert.