AUTOMOBILE: 70% of Lyonnais think there are too many cars in the city

Most motorists, 70%, believe that there are too many private cars in Lyon, according to a study carried out by Bolt, the first mobility platform in Europe, together with the company Symbial-Opinea.

68% of respondents agree that there should be more alternatives to the personal car in the city, such as shared mobility or more public transport. 1 in 2 people also stated that they would be encouraged to give up their car if there was a better offer of public transport services (especially the over 50s). However, the construction of new public transport infrastructure represents a significant cost for cities and therefore for the taxpayer. Micromobility and car-sharing are mainly based on existing infrastructures and complete the public transport offer already offered by the metropolis. These two means of transport also appear to be alternative solutions favored by Lyonnais with 30% (and even 36% of 18-24 year olds) to say they are ready to give up their personal car if there is more ability micromobility can be used. services and 15% if there is greater carpooling availability.

Lyonnais’ relationship with the car

For a hundred years, cities have been designed to accommodate cars, leaving other forms of transportation and pedestrians in the background. The study shows that 50% of households own more than one car (on average 1.7 cars per household), while 29% of drivers in Lyon say they usually drive alone (see Figure 1). The main reasons that lead the people of Lyon to use their car to get around are speed (54%), flexibility (39%) and practicality (35%). For 31% of respondents, convenience would be the number one reason why they can’t take their car apart. However, 70% of Lyonnais motorists think there are too many cars in town. Too many cars make it difficult for motorists to get around town. In fact, the lack of parking spaces (67%) and traffic jams (61%) are the two main difficulties experienced by the majority of drivers in Lyon. 38% of respondents also say they spend more than 10 minutes looking for parking (see Figure 2). Knowing that the average time to find a parking space is 10 minutes and that 68% of Lyonnais use their car 6 days a week on average (see Figure 4), these people spend 1 hour per week , 4.25 hours, 2 1 days a year looking for a parking space. The solution is not to add additional parking spaces, which are already scattered in public space at the expense of living space for residents, but rather to reduce the number of private cars. This will significantly reduce the time spent looking for a parking space.

figure 1: who uses the car?

figure 2: search time for a parking space

While one might think that one of the main advantages of the car is to escape the city more easily, Almost all trips (88%) are short trips in town (51%) or in the suburbs (37% ). Long journeys (+ 100km) represent only 10% (only 5% among 25-49 year olds). Therefore, Lyonnais mainly use their car for trips that can be made using other means of transport. Continued efforts to strengthen alternative personal vehicle mobility solutions such as public transport, VTC, micromobility (scooters and bicycles) will therefore encourage drivers to change their travel habits. In fact, the study shows that Lyonnais would be willing to do without their car if there was better public transport coverage (51%), more availability of micromobility services (30%) and more many shared cars at affordable prices (14%).

Figure 3: most common car use

Personal use comes first (73%), especially for running errands and shopping (57%).

Professional use is also important (68%).

Note: these 2 uses are common among 25-49 year olds.

Looking at the average weekly hours of use, one can also wonder about the interest of owning a car. In fact, if 68% of the respondents say they use their car almost every day (between 5 and 7 days a week, see Figure 4), however, we note that the weekly time of use is low . 78% declare that they use their car less than 3.5 hours per week (2% of the time of a week) and 59% even use it less than 2 hours per week (see figure 5). Therefore, cars spend most of their time stationary (98% of the time) but still continue to generate costs for their owners when they are not using them (parking, insurance, lowering of the value of the vehicle, …). Car sharing provides a solution to these unnecessary costs as users only pay when they actually need to use the car, which can then represent significant savings.

figure 4: frequency of use

figure 5: weekly driving time

On average, only 4 in 10 people drive more than 2 hours per week (49% for over 50s). Only a third of 18-24 year olds ride more than 2 hours a week (31%)

The personal car, an increasingly expensive form of transportation

In today’s inflationary environment, car ownership is increasingly expensive. In addition to the price of acquiring a new car that continues to rise (+21% between 2019 and 2022), the daily costs associated with the use of a personal car are increasingly worrying motorists in Lyon. In fact, according to a study, more than 83% of Lyonnais have noticed an increase in the costs of maintaining their car (repairs, overhaul, insurance, tires, washing, changing fluids, etc. ). The price of fuel (57%) and parking (29%) also represent the main barriers to using their car. Cost is also the main reason (51%) that can motivate Lyonnais to part with their car (see Figure 6).

figure 6: reasons for parting with your car

■ Expenses come first for 1 in 2 people (51%).

■ The age of the vehicle is also an argument for parting with one’s vehicle (39%).

■ Pollution was mentioned by the majority, mainly by 18-24 year olds (38%).

Common costs associated with car ownership are as follows:

#1 fuel

#2 Car insurance

#3 Parking

#4 Interview

Car sharing, a solution

The main advantage of a private car is that it is easily accessible and allows the driver to cover large and small distances quickly and independently. Car sharing therefore represents an interesting alternative that allows users to continue to benefit from the advantages of a private vehicle (comfort, speed, practicality, etc.) but only pay to use it when they need it. Bolt believes that a car-sharing car could replace some private cars. In fact, a car-sharing car covers 3 to 4 times the distance of a private car in a month. Reducing the number of cars on the streets will create green spaces, which will provide a better life experience for the people who live there. This means fewer accidents, less time spent in traffic, fewer emissions and cleaner air.

This is not the first time we have made clear our belief that cities should be built for people, not cars. For things to change, everyone needs to be willing to change their habits and the right infrastructure needs to be put in place to allow carpooling and other modes of transportation to represent a larger share of trips – even short distances , where the scooters and bicycles are. the best solution, or longer distances, where carpooling or car sharing is useful. The results of the survey show that Lyon is still far from these goals, but the number of trips in the city with our VTCs and shared cars is increasing not over months but over days .“, said Mathieu Bernasconi, Bolt Drive Regional Director for Northern and Western Europe.

Bolt launched the Bolt Drive car-sharing service last November in Lyon. Cars can be rented through the Bolt app, which allows users to find the nearest car on a map and reserve the one they want. Lyon is the fourth city in Europe where the Bolt Drive has been launched. Car sharing is part of Bolt’s range of services to help cities transition from private cars to sustainable alternatives. In Lyon, the platform already offers a VTC service meeting medium-distance travel needs. Bolt Drive now makes it possible to cover longer trips, whether it’s a simple trip to a shopping center, an out-of-town trip or even a few days’ vacation to a more remote location.

The study is available here

Methodology of the study

This study was conducted on a panel of more than 400 people aged 18 to 75, living in the metropolis of Lyon and owning at least 1 car. It was conducted in November 2022 in the form of an online survey.

About Bolt

Bolt is the first European super-app with over 100 million users in over 45 countries in Europe and Africa. The company seeks to accelerate the transition from passenger cars to shared mobility, providing better alternatives for every use case. Products offered by the company include:

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