A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) finds that, taken together with public transport, walking and cycling for short city journeys provide the greatest benefits for both human health and the environment in urban areas.
The introduction and rapid uptake of app-based vehicle sharing schemes can also have benefits. However, the report points to studies which show that their impact on the environment is not always positive. E-scooter sharing schemes especially appear to attract users that would have otherwise walked or used public transport.
While the use of shared e-scooters generates few direct environmental impacts, their green credentials can be questioned by the substantial negative impacts associated to their materials, their manufacturing and their frequent collection for recharging purposes.
Similarly, studies show that ride-hailing apps such as Uber or Lyft do little to reduce emissions or congestion and actually draw people away from public transport.
The transport and environment report ‘The first and last mile — the key to sustainable urban transport https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/the-first-and-last-mile/’ assesses how green and sustainable ‘first and last mile’ transport options such as bicycles, scooters or other means of short-distance travel can transform mobility systems in cities.
The report also assesses how innovative urban freight and inner city delivery services, including the use of delivery drones, can make urban freight transport more sustainable.