Rural zones ready to assail the automotive reign?

If mobility were a kingdom, it would live under the iron fist of an unshakeable sovereign: the automobile. Despite all the efforts of low-impact competitors (in particular, bicycles) and public transport, cars are still used for 80% of journeys travelled. In rural areas, they wield nearly absolute power, with only 22% of the population reporting that they have a choice between multiple modes of transport (compared to 89% in Paris proper).

Whether due to low density, unappealing markets, varying levels of demand or lack of manpower, the rural world is not in vogue and struggles to attract the abundant offer currently being deployed in cities. Fortunately, solutions are taking shape. Teeming with political will, civic spirit, and technological advances, peri-urban areas are abuzz!

All the figures in this introduction can be found in the very complete infographic developed by Qu’est ce qu’on fait ?!, produced in partnership with ADEME.

The miracles of sharing

In the face of low-density, shared mobilities offer effective solutions for rural settings. Still today, they are often deployed “piecemeal”, relying on the goodwill of citizens. Adaptive lines and transport-on-demand (TOD) are also trying to make a place for themselves. On top of this comes growing political determination and the deployment of specialised platforms… All with a single aim: to encourage carpooling, which today accounts for only 3% of home-to-work journeys.

Une association pour aider à la mobilité rurale (Le Monde)

Le défi du covoiturage en milieu rural (Les Echos)

Hyundai launches the first 100% electric rural carsharing in Spain (Hyundai)

Transports : VanO, un nouveau service de VTC collectifs (Les Echos)


Electric and autonomous: technologies serving rurality?

While the most urgent solutions pertain above all to uses and practices, technology has not been forgotten. Drone transport is more realistic in the countryside than in the city.As the related infrastructure develops, self-driving and electric vehicles will be able to gain pace. The former help make up for the lack of manpower and guarantee the most fragile populations access to services. Electric fleets also open up prospects for more sustainable mobility.

Electric motorbike gives women in rural Zimbabwe a path out of poverty (Reuters)

The city, the countryside, or both? (Accenture)

In addition to urban air mobility, why not rural air mobility? (Techcrunch)

Les infrastructures routières, terrain d’expérimentation pour le déploiement du véhicule autonome (Leonard)

MaaS que nada: a matter of services

While rural areas continue to be on the losing end of new forms of mobility, a MaaS (Mobility as a service) offer is nevertheless developing, making it possible to interconnect the existing networks and optimise travel for rural dwellers. The smartphone now acts as a gateway to a mobility offer that remains heavily subsidised: “To date, there is no economic model in rural areas, where initiatives should essentially be driven by the public sector”, explains Laurent Chevereau, Director of Research at Cerema.

The SMARTA Project

La fin de la voiture individuelle a-t-elle sonné en ville comme à la campagne ? (Usbek & Rica)

MaaS in rural areas – case Finland (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)

Rural and low-impact?

The tractor is the emblem of the rural world, and cars and vans are essential partners to life in the countryside. Against this backdrop, low-impact mobility (even walking) does not get much of a say. Nonetheless, more and more voices are being raised to open up the discussion on the place of the bicycle in rural and peri-urban areas. The New Deal for the Greater Paris Expressways is a good illustration of this new focus, which consists of carving out more room for active mobility.

New Deal : les routes du futur du Grand Paris

Le vélo peut-il se développer hors des grandes villes ? (Enlarge Your Paris)

Note pour le développement des modes actifs en zones peu denses (CEREMA)

Vélo en territoire rural : levier de mobilité quotidienne ? (Vélo & Territoires)

S’cool Bus

What do we do?

The VINCI Group created Leonard to tackle the challenges posed by the transformation of regions and lifestyles. Our goal is to unite a community of key stakeholders in order to build the city of the future together.