Confused about what Smart Mobility options there are in London? We have done some research to gather the options for you.
The PassageWay mission is to raise awareness of smart, sustainable transport options in London, (via inclusion in our real-time smart mobility and digital wayfinding signs). We regularly research the marketplace for available smart mobility options in London, looking at both the public and commercial operators for the sector. We have compiled a list of what’s available and are making this available to everyone to access. If we’ve missed anyone out or you have any comments please let us know by sending us an email.
Smart, Sustainable Transport Resources For London
Transport for London – tfl.gov.uk
TFL is the worlds largest integrated transport network and runs the entirety of London’s public transport infrastructure, working with a variety of suppliers. Every day more than 31 million separate journey segments are made across the TFL network. They are a founding contributor to the Internation Association of Public Transport’s charter on Sustainable Development and are introducing a number of measures to help the Mayor achieve his target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60% in 2025 (from 1990 levels).
Commercial Smart Mobility Operators in London
Bike Share Schemes in London (including Dockless Bikes)
Mobike – https://mobike.com A Chinese bike share operator that has shrunk its operational area in London but is still (at the time of writing) operational. They pulled out of Manchester in Mid 2018. Users download the app to locate a nearby bike and then pay to ride (via the app). If you leave the bike outside of the operational area then you’re fined £20.
Lime https://www.li.me – Learning from the mistakes of Ofo and other bike-share operators, Lime is working with Local Councils to ensure a better reception from public bodies. As with the bike share operators, users are required to download an app to find, book and pay for the ebikes. You can expect a performance of around 15 MPH from the bikes. Lime are planning to have circa 1000 ebikes available across london.
RideShare and Carpooling Schemes In London
BlaBlaCar https://www.blablacar.co.uk/ – is unique because it allows users to essentially hitch a ride with a person who is “going their way” and is more akin to a carpool than anything else. It’s probably more about longer ‘one-off’ journeys than daily getting around town. You can visit their website to search and book available rides.
Via Van – https://www.viavan.com/ – ViaVan is a provider of on-demand shared transit services. Founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Mercedes Benz and Via. Users need to download the app to find, book and pay for a ride. ViaVan do not offer individual rides.
CityMapper SmartBus and Ride – https://citymapper.com – This smart bus service was launched by CityMapper initially on a fixed route around Waterloo and Blackfriars that uses bus stops. CityMapper have also developed Ride which is their ride-sharing service, which users book and pay for via the CityMapper app.
Liftshare – https://liftshare.com/uk – a rideshare marketplace with 600,000 members which is free to join. Rather than an app you use their website to find a ride and then message the driver to organise the ride. They have company schemes so that employees heading to the same destination can save money and travel more sustainably.
Faxi – https://faxi.co.uk A carpooling scheme which users use an app to find, book and pay for rides. Users create their own commuting carpooling community and then invite other employees to create a private network. Payment is via inbuilt digital wallets.
GoCarShare – https://gocarshare.com – A web-based marketplace for organising/offering rides. Mainly targeting younger travellers going to festivals, students heading back to college or sports fans visiting events.
Car Hire (Car Clubs) Services In London
ZipCar – https://www.zipcar.co.uk/ According to Zipcar, one of their cars represents 10 privately owned vehicles taken off the road in the London area over the past 12 months. With 1500 cars available in the UK that equates to circa 15000 cars taken off the roads, which is a positive step to sustainable transport. From an environmental standpoint, Zipcar cars typically produce 29% less CO2 than the national average car and car club members saved over 49,000 tons of CO2 last year.
Drivy – https://www.drivy.co.uk/ This service lets anyone rent out their car via the Drivy marketplace. Whilst not necessarily a better environmental choice (as the car you hire may be a high polluter), the service does help reduce car ownership and therefore offers some sustainability benefits. Users need to download the app to find, book and pay for the car of their choice.
Ubeeqo – https://www.ubeeqo.com/en-gb – Similar to Zipcar as this service is a joint venture with Europcar. Download the app, find, book and pay for your vehicle. The service is advertised as one that offers a true alternative to car ownership. As the cars are from a modern fleet there are some environmental benefits.
Enterprise Car Club – https://www.enterprisecarclub.co.uk – Similar to Ibeeqo and ZipCar with a fleet of their own vehicles that you can rent by the hour. As with the others, you need to download the app to find, locate and book.
ECar club – https://ecarclub.co.uk/ – Probably the most environmentally friendly car club as all the vehicles are electric. As with the other car clubs you need to download the app to find, book and pay for your car. They have a strategic relationship with Renault and Nissan.
Hiya Car – https://www.hiyacar.co.uk – Similar to Drivy in offering a marketplace that connects private car owners with people who need a vehicle. As with Drivy (and nearly all MAAS) you need to download the app to find, book and pay.
Cowheels Car Club – http://www.co-wheels.org.uk – Similar to Zipcar with a fleet of their own vehicles that you can hire by the hour. All their vehicles are low emission, electric or hybrid. They offer an alternative to car ownership.
Environment-Friendly Taxi Operators in London
Addison Lee – https://www.addisonlee.com Whilst Addison Lee is essentially a traditional taxi company, with over 4,800 cars in central London they have recently invested in 1200 new VW vehicles to create a ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) compliant fleet for London. With this news they are effectively helping to provide a sustainable, environmentally friendly service.
Green Tomato https://www.greentomatocars.com – London’s leading environment-friendly taxi firm with circa 600 taxis on the streets of London. They are on track to have the largest zero-emission fleet in London. They double offset their unavoidable emissions. You can book via their website and they have an app too.
Uber – Uber.com – Uber, like Addison Lee are making moves to get their fleet to be emission-free (or compliant with the ULEZ). Typically Uber drivers have Toyota Prius and by 2020 all UberX drivers will have an electrified vehicle.
The Smart Mobility Deadpool
These brave, entrepreneurial operators tried to bring their version of smart mobility to London but were ultimately unable to make their vision commercially viable. So long and thanks for all the fish.
Chariot – Ford paid circa $65 million to acquire Chariot and then shut it down 2 years later. It offered a microtransit service via an app that allowed users to book a seat in one of Chariots vans for a cheaper trip during rush hour. They also offered an enterprise service to business clients. They ceased in London in January 2019.
OFO – This Chinese bike share company had bikes littered around London and other cities. Users would locate a bike via an app and then book/pay. They developed a reputation for their bikes being vandalised. They pulled out of London in January 2019.
Urbo – An Irish bike share operator that has, like OFO, pulled out of London but is still operational in other jurisdictions (or was at the time of writing). Like other bike share operators users were required to download an app to find, book and pay.