A wide array of nonprofits and sharing-economy companies have signed on to the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities agreement, which aims for a sustainable, collaborative approach to urban transit. The endeavor was spearheaded by the cofounder of Zipcar, who has since found a footprint in the nonprofit world.
Living in a world where you can get a car sent in your direction at the press of a button creates a lot of larger ethical questions that will eventually need to be addressed.
A recently announced endeavor launched by a group of nonprofits and major sharing-economy firms could pave the way for getting that conversation going. The Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, a pledge signed by Uber and Lyft among other technology companies, puts to digital paper 10 principles that encourage open accessibility, collaboration with local stakeholders, fair pricing, and environmental efficiency. It also addresses using resources like autonomous vehicles in a way that reduces their use by individual consumers.
The initiative was launched with the support of the World Resources Institute, an environmental sustainability nonprofit whose board director, Robin Chase, has ties to both sides of this issue. She cofounded Zipcar, a car rental service that’s considered one of the first sharing-economy companies focused on transport issues. (Zipcar is, of course, a signatory.)
Chase helped initiate the collaboration between the nonprofits—which also include the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, the National Resources Defense Council, and Transportation for America, among other groups—and the mobility companies.
In a news release, she said the principles are intended to encourage the private and public sector to work together on transit and environmental solutions.
“Our goal is to align cities, the private sector and civil society around a shared vision to ensure we harness the good and avoid the bad of new business models and technologies,” Chase said in the release. “These companies represent some of the biggest players and we are thrilled to see we share common goals, like a commitment to zero-emission vehicles and efficient use of urban roads.”
Other companies taking part in the endeavor include the Chinese mobility firm Didi Chuxing, the public transit apps Citymapper and Transit, and the bike-sharing companies LimeBike and Mobike. Additionally, many signatories, like Mexico’s Jety and France’s Cityway, have presences outside of North America.