PSFK chats with Andre Haddad, founder of Relayrides, about how shared transport is impacting urban development.
As part of our series looking at the future of cities, PSFK reached out to experts to get their take on key trends we’ve identified that are currently shaping urban development. We recently caught up with Andre Haddad, CEO of Relayrides, a car marketplace that aspires to offer a more affordable, more convenient and more unique alternative to traditional car rental and car sharing. Their long term vision is to enable people around the world to prefer access over ownership of cars. We chatted with him about how shared transport is enabling drivers and passengers to easily connect and travel together, and how shared cars might be the primary type of transportation in the future.
What sort of impact does shared transport have on urban environments?
There are 3 levels of impact
1. Economic impact: Renting your car on RelayRides enables car owners to cover the cost of owning a car. An average RelayRides owner makes around $250 a month renting their vehicle 7-8 days a month. This typically covers either the car payment if you have one, or the cost of maintaining you car (parking, registration, insurance, gas, taxes). Given that real household incomes have been flat for the last 20 years, sharing your car makes so much economic sense. We are also helping renters save money by offering more affordable rental options. RelayRides daily rentals are 20-40% cheaper than traditional car sharing or traditional car rental.
2. Social impact: we are enabling more and more people to live without a car or a second car; we are also enabling more like minded people to connect and helping neighbors make new friends
3. Environmental impact: we are helping cities reduce congestion and carbon emissions and helping car manufacturers figure out how to make cars more easily and safely shareable. Our partnership with GM’s Onstar is paving the way on that front. You can now rent your neighbor’s Chevy and access that car with your mobile phone.
What does your vision of shared transport look like implemented on a large scale?
We believe there is a fundamental shift in the way people view cars. Cars used to be one of the most coveted items, a symbol of freedom, a means to connect and socialize. Owning one used to be the aspiration of everyone. Today, we see an increasing number of people attach the same desires to smartphones, socialize virtually (social networks, text) and consider cars as a utility that is better accessed than owned. In a world where the economics of car ownership, especially in big cities, no longer makes sense, our vision is that shared cars will be the primary type of transportation of the future.
What three things would you include in your perfect city?
- Dense network of free electric charging stations to allow electric cars to flourish more rapidly
- Reserved, free parking for electric and shared cars
- More pedestrian only neighborhoods and reserved lanes for bicycles
Over the next 6 months, PSFK will be covering urban trends that are changing the cities we live in at psfk.com/my-ideal-city. Contribute your ideas to the future of a city at the MyIdealCity site.