Skip to main content
Low carbon travel

Shared travel options

Benefits

  • be more active
  • reduce travel costs
  • save time

Shared transport options, such as using public transport, car sharing or bike hire schemes offer a low carbon method of travel.

The primary benefit of shared transport is its variety – there is bound to be a suitable option for you. Shared transport includes:

  • bike share schemes
  • public transport
  • car clubs
  • lift sharing

What are bike share schemes?

Bike share schemes are publicly available bikes that can be hired by the hour or by the day. Schemes are either docked (bikes must be left and collected from specific docking areas) or dockless (bikes can be left and collected from anywhere within a specific radius).

The benefits of bike share schemes are:

  • zero emission journeys
  • helps you travel actively – improving health, fitness and wellbeing
  • cheaper than the car – you only pay for the journeys you take
  • enables you to try out cycling without the commitment of buying a bike
  • access to a bike without the need for storage

From Dundee to Exeter, bike share schemes are popping up throughout our cities. To find out where your nearest bike share is, check out CoMoUK’s Bike Share Map.

There may also be smaller, community-led bike share schemes in your area. See our case study of Shetland’s Community Bike Project.

Public transport

Did you know that replacing car journeys with public transport can reduce your CO2 emissions by 42% if using the bus and 73% if using the train?

Public transport services offer local travel options across buses, coaches, metro, rail and ferries along commonly travelled routes. Public transport presents a number of benefits:

  • potential cost savings – you only pay for the journeys you take
  • helps you be more active from walking between stop and destination
  • reduces congestion and improves local air quality
  • better use of your time, allowing you to check your messages, read your book or catch up with friends and family while you travel
  • it’s more social – being around others is good for our overall wellbeing and public transport helps create a sense of community

Replacing suitable car journeys with public transport can help you realise all these benefits and reduce your carbon footprint while you travel. Check out Traveline to see up-to-date public transport services in your area.

Car clubs

Car clubs offer instant access to cars in and around your local area without the need for you to own a car yourself. By signing up for an annual membership you only need to pay as you drive. Car clubs can be a cheaper alternative to a second car, and are also suitable for those who do not frequently drive, yet still want access to a car when needed.

Club cars are, on average, newer than the average UK car. This means:

  • 43% less CO2 emitted from the tailpipe
  • more comfortable drive
  • safer to drive
  • electric vehicle choices available

The benefits of car clubs include:

  • helping you be more active, as you walk from destination to the club car
  • they are convenient and simple to use – book, turn up, drive and return
  • potentially cheaper than a private car, with no maintenance costs, no road tax and no insurance. You only pay as you drive

If you have a car that is only needed for the occasional journey, consider replacing your vehicle with a car club membership. To see car club options near you, check out CoMoUK’s Map.

Car clubs can also support specific organisations or communities. See how car clubs have benefitted housing associations in Midlothian and Fife.

Lift sharing

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, lift sharing is not recommended. You should only travel with members of your own, or extended, household.

Lift sharing, also known as car sharing, carpooling or ride sharing, is where regular common journeys are shared between two or more people in one vehicle. Sharing your car journeys with friends, colleagues and neighbours can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

The benefits include:

  • save money on fuel by splitting the costs of journeys between you and your passengers
  • reduce congestion and improve local air quality by reducing the number of cars on the road
  • reduce carbon emissions by reducing the number of cars on the road
  • improve your wellbeing by being more social – sitting in traffic alone can increase stress levels; having people to talk to or share the driving can improve your overall health

Try reaching out to colleagues and neighbours to see if anyone drives a similar route to you and start from there. To make this easier, there are dedicated websites for helping you lift share, from closed, secure groups to open, public sites. Check out CoMoUK’s website to find a lift share site to help you.

Plan your routes and go multi-modal

Moving to shared transport does not have to mean giving up your current way of travelling. The flexibility of shared transport options allows you to travel using multiple modes including walking, cycling and using your car. Here are some examples of how public transport can be used alongside other modes of travel:

Stride and ride

Shared transport can help you walk more and be more active. Don’t be alarmed if there is no public transport service that can take you door-to-door, take this time to get some steps in and improve your health. If it’s a nice day, why not get off a stop or two earlier to make the most of the fresh air.

Did you know? A brisk walk is classed as moderate intensity activity. The UK’s chief medical officer recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week to help reduce your chance of a number of health conditions.

Cycle and rail

Not everyone has a metro or train station on their doorstep. Most city bike share schemes have docking stations at or near train stations, allowing you to cycle there without needing to take a bike on the train. Plus, when you return, there should be a bike waiting for you at the station to get you home. Most trains have bike storage areas to allow you to take your own bike with you or leave it safely at the station.

Park and ride

Save yourself from driving into the city centre and avoid congestion by making the most of park and ride options in your area. Leave your car in a designated car park and catch the bus or train to your city destination. This can not only save you time, but could potentially save you money on congestion charges and city parking rates.

Useful links

  • Traveline can help you plan your journey anywhere in the UK

    Plan now
  • Bike Share has produced a map of all public access bike sharing schemes in the UK and Ireland displaying the operators and the approximate quantity of bikes

    Search now
  • Search the map to find car clubs operating near you

    Search now

Last updated: 12 July 2021