70% of Lyonnais think there are too many cars in the city » PACA economic and political letter

According to a study conducted by Bolt, the first mobility platform in Europe, with the Symbial-Opinea firm, the majority of car drivers, i.e. 70%, believe that there are too many private cars in Lyon.

68% of respondents agree that the city should have more alternatives to the private car, such as shared mobility or more public transport. 1 in 2 also state that they would be encouraged to give up their car if better public transport services were offered (especially among the over 50s). However, building new public transport infrastructure means significant costs for cities and therefore the taxpayer. Micromobility and car sharing are mainly based on existing infrastructures and complement the public transport offer already offered by the metropolis. These two modes of transport also appear as alternative solutions, with 30% (and even 36% among 18-24-year-olds) of Lyonnais stating that they would be willing to give up their private car if there were more opportunities for micromobility. services and 15% more if cars are allowed.

Lyonnais’ relationship with the car

For a hundred years, cities have been designed to accommodate cars, with other modes of transportation and pedestrians taking a back seat. The study shows that 50% of households own more than one car (an average of 1.7 cars per household), while 29% of drivers in Lyon say they usually drive alone (see Figure 1). Speed ​​(54%), flexibility (39%) and practicality (35%) are the main reasons that make the people of Lyon to use their car. For 31% of respondents, the first reason they could not part with their car would be convenience. However, 70% of Lyonnais drivers think there are too many cars in the city. Many cars make it difficult for drivers to move around the city. Indeed, lack of parking spaces (67%) and traffic jams (61%) are the two main difficulties faced by the majority of drivers in Lyon. 38% of respondents also say that they spend more than 10 minutes looking for a parking space (see Figure 2). Knowing that the average time to find a parking space is 10 minutes and that 68% of Lyonnais use their car on average 6 days a week (see Figure 4), these people spend 1 hour a week, 4.25 hours, 2 1 days a year. I am looking for a parking space. The solution is to reduce the number of private cars, not to add additional parking spaces that clutter up public spaces, damaging the living space of residents. 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

Although one of the main advantages of a car is thought to be the ability to escape the city more easily, almost all trips (88%) are short trips to the city (51%) or the suburbs (37%). Long journeys (+ 100km) make up only 10% (only 5% among 25-49 year olds). Therefore, Lyonnais mainly use their cars for journeys that can be done by other means of transport. Continued efforts to promote alternative mobility solutions to the private car such as public transport, VTC, micromobility (scooters and bicycles) would encourage drivers to change their travel habits. Indeed, the study shows that Lyon would be willing to do without its own car if it had better public transport coverage (51%), greater availability of micromobility services (30%) and more affordable shared cars (14%).

Figure 3: the most common use of the car

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

Professional use is also important (68%).

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

You can also inquire about the interest of owning a car by looking at the average weekly usage period. Indeed, if 68% of the respondents say that they use their car almost every day (between 5 and 7 days a week, see Figure 4), however, we note that weekly usage is low. 78% report using their car less than 3.5 hours per week (2% of the week) and 59% even less than 2 hours per week (see Figure 5). Therefore, cars spend most of their time stationary (98% of the time), but when they are not in use, they continue to generate costs for their owners (parking, insurance, depreciation of the car, …). Car sharing provides a solution to its unnecessary costs, as users only pay when they actually need to use the car, which can mean significant savings.

figure 4: frequency of use

Figure 5: weekly driving time

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

The private car is an increasingly expensive mode of transport

In today’s inflationary environment, owning a car is getting more and more expensive. In addition to the purchase price of a new car, which continues to rise (+21% between 2019 and 2022), the daily costs associated with the use of a private car are increasingly worrying motorists in Lyon. Indeed, according to the study, more than 83% of Lyonnais mentioned that their car maintenance costs (repairs, overhauls, insurance, tires, washing, fluid changes, etc.) have increased. The price of fuel (57%) and parking (29%) are also the main obstacles to their use of the vehicle. Cost is also the main reason (51%) that might motivate Lyonnais to leave their car (see Figure 6).

Figure 6: Reasons for parting with your car

? Cost comes first for 1 in 2 people (51%).

? The age of the car is also an argument for leaving by means of transport (39%).

? Pollution is noted by the majority, mainly young people aged 18-24 (38%).

The average costs of owning a car are:

#1 Fuel

#2 Car insurance

#3 Parking

#4 Interview

Car sharing, the solution

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

This is not the first time we have publicly expressed 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 driving and other forms of transport to make up a greater proportion of journeys – whether short distances, scooters and bicycles. the best solution or car sharing or longer distances where car sharing is useful. The results of the survey show that Lyon is still far from these goals, but the number of trips to the city with our VTCs and shared cars is increasing in days, not months.“, says Mathieu Bernasconi, Bolt Drive regional director for Northern and Western Europe.

Bolt launched its Bolt Drive car-sharing service in Lyon in November. Cars can be rented through the Bolt app, which allows users to see the nearest cars on a map and reserve the ones they want. Lyon is the fourth city in Europe where Bolt Drive has been launched. Car sharing is part of Bolt’s services to help cities transition from private cars to sustainable alternatives. In Lyon, the platform already offers a VTC service that meets medium-distance travel needs. Bolt Drive now allows you to cover longer trips, whether it’s a simple trip to the mall, a trip out of town, or a multi-day getaway further afield.

The study is available here

Research methodology

This study was conducted with a panel of more than 400 people between the ages of 18 and 75 living in the Lyon metropolis and owning at least 1 car. It was carried out in the form of an online survey in November 2022.

About Bolt

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

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