Competing for Mobility with the Private Automobile

Under-appreciated and neglected urban transport policy opportunities (and reframing competition in urban transport) (34 slides, 2009)

Also discussed here: Should we (can we?) make our cars dispensible? (Reinventing Urban Transport, Sep. 4, 2008)

And here: “Metered Access” to Cars – could this become the norm? (Reinventing Urban Transport, Apr. 29, 2008)

And here: Let’s give cars more competition! New options for urban mobility (World Streets, July 26, 2010)

Today’s post looks at the alternatives to driving one’s own car in a city which offer many of the same advantages and lack some of the disadvantages. Car sharing is much cheaper. Choosing commuting by rail lessens the need for more than one car per household, especially in the parts of the city along the rail lines (as shown oin thois slide of Melbourne’s car ownership and rail network)

Key Quotes:

Neglected issues:

  • “Public transport integration and comprehensiveness;
  • Short trips between 1 and 4 km;
  • Taxis and car-sharing;
  • Car ownership cost structures;
  • Parking policy”


  • “Urban transport policy for liveable cities can and should dare to compete successfully with car ownership.
  • Seeing the car-owning lifestyle as our primary competition expands and enriches our policy horizons.
  • Imagining excellent mobility without owning a car prompts a more critical look at car ownership arrangements”
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