B.C.’s biggest city places seventh in study of 20 North American urban centres
After ranking fifth in the 2018 Shared Mobility City Index (SMCI) by transportation consultant Movmi Shared Transportation Services, Vancouver dropped two spots, to No. 7, in this year’s report.
The study, by Vancouver-based Movmi, aims to assess the scope of and expansion potential for shared mobility in 20 major North American cities.
Unsurprisingly, the absence of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft contributed to Vancouver’s fall down the list—Montreal is now the top Canadian city, one place ahead of Vancouver—but it wasn’t the only reason for the drop.
According to the report, B.C.’s largest city is falling behind other municipalities in building out a range of increasingly diverse shared mobility services such as scooters, pedal-assist bikes and micro-transit (smaller transit vehicles deployed on a demand-responsive basis). Vancouver tied with Houston and two other cities for the lowest score on a measure of the current range of shared mobility services.
The study also pointed out Vancouver’s lack of peer-to-peer car sharing services, which many American cities, including Portland and Chicago, now offer. Such services involve private owners making their vehicles available as part of a pool. Like Uber and other ride-hailing providers, they’re currently barred in Vancouver due to provincial regulation.
However, Vancouver showed well in “commuting patterns,” tying with Washington, D.C., for first place in the category, which measures how many people in the area choose walking, cycling and public transit over cars. The report also points out that Vancouver has the world’s largest Car2go membership base.
“Vancouverites can be rightly proud of their pioneering role as subscribers to car-sharing services. But shared mobility is increasingly about a whole ecosystem of diverse and integrated transportation modes and solutions,” Sandra Phillips, founder and CEO of Movmi, said in a release. “Ride-hailing isn’t the only thing we’re missing here, and we need to catch up with the many other North American cities that are speeding toward a wide range of new shared mobility options.”