The Influencers: Simon Kingham

Shared transport impact

Simon Kingham

The impact of shared transport on two different Christchurch communities could determine transport goals for New Zealand.

I’m leading a team of researchers studing two National Science Challenges – Ageing Well and Healthier Lives – to understand the impact of shared transport options into a lifestyle village and a community housing trust on those communities.

Current transport systems and accessibility are not sustainable due to inequity of accessibility, greenhouse gas emissions and congestion.

The study aims to answer the question: If people share vehicles, what impact does that have on them, their mobility and wellbeing?

When people share vehicles, they may make a slightly better decision, which produces good outcomes for climate emissions. They may decide to walk or take the bus.

Or, if they take the car, they may choose to do more on the journey. However, we don’t want those decisions to be at the expense of wellbeing.

Shared fleets of vehicles are often electric and used more often; meaning they are replaced earlier, tend to be safer and cleaner and result in people not worrying about on-road or maintenance costs – all leading to positive wellbeing.

Most of those living in the lifestyle village were fairly affluent and more active, they still felt inadequate transport limited their ability to do all the things they wanted, while cost posed the biggest barrier for those in the community trust.

The study has been running for over a year, with another 2.5 years to go.

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