Going to work, to the doctor, to shop, to see family… All these daily trips are not always accessible to everyone. In fact, despite the existence of countless mobility solutions, more than a quarter of French people1 say that “they sometimes have to give up some of their trips due to a lack of solutions or bad transport conditions”. This disparity is particularly pronounced in suburban and rural areas. Focus on this mobility gap in France, which has now become a crucial issue for local authorities, AOMs, startups and companies.
More than a daily obstacle…
A major issue for nearly three in five French people2, mobility today represents more than a simple hindrance, but a real factor of exclusion. This is what a study conducted by the research and consulting firm ELABE3 shows. Indeed, more than 4 in 10 French people… Almost 1 in 2 French people declare that they have already given up or postponed (due to lack of mobility) a leisure or cultural activity. But it doesn’t stop there. “36% to do administrative procedures, 30% to go to a medical appointment, 29% to practice a physical activity or sport, and 26% to do food shopping”. A figure that may seem absurd, but this is the sad reality.
A reality that is also reflected in employment. Indeed, this same consultancy highlighted the fact that mobility is now a barrier to professional integration. According to a previous study 4, “nearly one French person in five (19%) says they have already given up on going to a job interview or to a job search assistance structure”. Or even refused a job for 23% of French people. According to the second barometer “Unemployment and its impacts” of SNC (Solidarités Nouvelles face au Chômage), the geographical area would even be today the first reason for refusing a job offer for 42% of job seekers. This is ahead of salary (35%) and working conditions/time (33%).5
An offer not always accessible by territory…
Public transport, trains, bicycles, scooters, VTC, carpooling, carsharing,… Many alternatives are available today. But far from being transposable in rural or even suburban areas? Indeed, in cities and large metropolises, 75% of the inhabitants believe they have a choice. A figure that drops considerably for people living in the suburbs 6. Despite the diversification of the offer, in 2019 scooters covered only 1% of the French national territory and 15% of agglomerations had self-service bicycles. The same is true for public transportation.
With 73% of the French population served by urban public transport, only 28% of the metropolitan area is now covered 7. Public transport is not always accessible on foot or by bicycle… In fact, 1/3 of French people say they cannot access it by bicycle and 27% by foot 6. The last figure that explodes in rural areas, rising to 64%. Against only 12% in the city. This means that 80% of trips in rural areas are made by car 8. Fortunately, new solutions and offers are emerging to provide inclusive and more sustainable mobility.
More and more solutions are being developed to help people, alone or accompanied, who have difficulty getting around. Alternatives that offer lower-cost means of transportation. This is notably the case in the Monts du Lyonnais, providing its residents with cab rides for only 2 €.9 A service piloted by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region as part of the PEnD-Aura+ project. An initiation promoting “energy-saving travel solutions for everyone and every territory”. Federating more than 18 partners, PEnD-Aura+ has now helped 4000 people10.
Rural carpooling services
Ecov, Mobicoop, Atchoum,… The common point between these three services is to promote shared mobility adapted to its sparsely populated rural areas. The aim is to link this shared offer with public transport, park-and-ride facilities, trains, etc. Complementary to each other, today these carpooling services aim to provide a new multimodal offer. This is notably the case of Ecov. A carpooling service whose ambition is to make it “the backbone of a new mobility system“11. And this via Multimodal Information Systems, offering users to discover “the different possible combinations: streetcar / bus / bicycle / walking…” Or “buy a ticket via the local transport network’s ticketing system.”
Alternatives that could be directly connected to local mobility platforms. Such as Wimoov, which is currently deployed in more than nine regions. These 25 platforms meet the mobility needs of nearly 11,000 job seekers. Or connect to MaaS (Mobility as a service) applications. These are exploding platforms that allow users to plan intermodal trips and book any mode of transportation directly.
8 https://www.statistiques.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/comment-les-francais-se-deplacent-ils-en-2019-resultats-de-lenquete-mobilite-des personnes#:~:text=Cela%20repr%C3%A9sente%20en%20moyenne%203,de%20plus%20qu%27en%202008.&text=Un%20d%C3%A9placement%20moyen%20dure%20d%C3%A9sormais,tous%20les%20modes%20de%20transport