Connectivity could be the key to reduce the congestion in urban areas

Introduction

While the traffic congestion is intensifying worldwide, cities are trying to find ways to reduce it and lower its negative impacts. Shared mobility solutions can contribute to reverse this trend. Unfortunately, they are not yet well known by the public and their implementation in the mobility offer must be improved. A technology such as IoT, is an opportunity to increase the connectivity of the solutions and the awareness of the populations.

By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world population will live in cities. An efficient network will be necessary to manage the flows of the populations and to avoid an increase of the traffic jams and their negative effects. To do so, using shared mobility solutions is a relevant option but some improvements are still needed. To promote these systems, regional governments and companies can be leaders and ready to adopt innovative solutions.

Congestion in urban areas : an environmental and economic plague

The traffic jams cause a substantial loss of time and a degradation of air quality. They increase the stress of populations and demonstrate how inefficient their commuting can be. A study [1] led by CEBR for INRIX in 2015 showed the cost of heavy traffic in Paris was twelve billion dollars in 2013 and could reach more than eighteen billion in 2030. This trend is valid for every big city in France and for cities in the other countries studied: Germany, United-Kingdom and the United States.
Several factors can explain this trend and this increase. The concentration of economic activities within cities is the main factor. The populations will therefore gather around those specific locations, where the job opportunities are plentiful. Then the limits of the current infrastructures, which struggle to assimilate this influx of commuters and users, are a recurrent issue especially in emerging countries. This aspect depends on local policies and the development of new infrastructures.

Paris wants its bicycle-sharing system to be a reference

Paris has a lower congestion index compared to Los Angeles and it is thanks to its efficient subway network and bike-sharing system. In 2016, the Velib system had more than 300 000 annual members and almost 2,5% of Parisians commuted by bike. This large amount of people commuting by these means of transport helps tremendously to improve the congestion situation.