Improving accessibility and inclusivity in the city

Private solution providers are first drawn to city areas with promising business cases. These areas are often characterised by high density, adequate target groups, little regulation and low entry costs. This means that only particular areas are targeted by providers, leaving less attractive areas and neighbourhoods neglected. However, these less attractive areas might be of particular interest to the public authorities in order to improve accessibility and inclusivity for all its citizens.

How can public authorities convince mobility providers to offer their services in less attractive areas?

Angelo Meuleman is the Innovation and Policy Director at Taxistop, a Belgian non-profit car-sharing and carpooling operator.

"A viable business case is particularly challenging for mobility providers to offer their solutions in areas that provide low business case potential.

Ways to solve this:

  • Make it a condition for providers that want to operate in the most attractive parts of the cities that they also have to offer their services in the less attractive parts.

  • Some smaller cities work with a minimum guaranteed revenue: if the operator does not get the min revenue, the city pays the difference. That gives the city an incentive to promote the service and use it themselves in order to avoid the cost."


Colin MurphyShared-Use Mobility Centre

Since there are some parking lots that are very attractive, one could make a deal with shared car operators. In order for them to access the most valuable parking areas in the city, they also have to provide their services in the less attractive areas. This would work along those lines of carbon credit.

Angelo MeulemanTaxi Stop

Brussels has a very smart car-sharing policy. If operators wants to put a car in a commercially attractive place, then they also have to place a car in a tough area of the city.

Yes, that kind of trade-off is important. Otherwise all the services end up in the wealthy/dense/well-connected areas.

The Brussels framework also makes it clear for the operators: There are 19 municipalities: operators don't want to negotiate 19 times so a clear framework is essential.