Cargo Hitching as a tool to transform the urban mobility system. Integrating passengers and goods transportation towards a more sustainable, desirable and efficient mobility
Mobility in cities is facing growing challenges. Urbanization trends, growing complexity of stakeholders scene, e-commerce and increasing fragmentation of freight transport all have negative impacts on congestion, safety, environment and quality of life in general. Authorities have developed uncoordinated policies and regulations in an effort to tackle such issues, often resulting in minor or even counter-productive effects only. The Green Paper on Urban Mobility, issued in 2007 by the European Commission, first explicitly mentioned the integration between passengers and freight mobility as a solution for increasing attractiveness and efficiency of the overall mobility system in urban areas, starting a new research branch. This paper presents passengers and freight transport challenges and regulation attempts and further discusses Cargo Hitching , that is the combination of people and cargo flows (cargo that hitches a ride on a vehicle transporting persons or persons hitching a ride on a vehicle transporting cargo), as an approach to promote sustainable, efficient and socially desirable passengers and goods mobility in both dense cities and shrinking peri-urban and rural areas. The potential and some limitations of Cargo Hitching will be discussed and results of a modeled application in Venice (Italy), case-study city in the Novelog project, will be presented. The focus will specifically be put on achievable operational, socioeconomic and environmental benefits and on the need of a fully renewal of governance and of the normative approach, key to the management of the mobility system as a whole in compliance with sustainability and efficiency objectives imposed on the one hand by market requests and on the other by the growing sensitivity of the various authorities and stakeholders.
shared mobility, public transport, urban logistics, sustainable mobility