Car Sharing in Moscow: Saving time & costs of parking, easing conjestions
If you live in a big city and need to get around, you might already have tried car sharing - where you hire a car via an online app for just one short journey at a time. Developers say it can be cheaper than owning a car. Moscow has become one of the fastest growing markets for shared cars, where our Lucy Taylor met one user and went for a drive.
In 2019, it's the most congested city in the world. Moscow has already hiked parking fees and cut spaces to tempt people out of their cars. But that may also have had an unexpected effect.
"Let's book a car. There is one car available right near me."
Tens of thousands of people a day are using car sharing instead.
"And now I booked the car, and they gave me like 5 minutes to go there, and to take it."
Leo drives a shared car almost every day. It costs a few dollars an hour. And when he arrives, he leaves it for the next driver, meaning no parking costs. He says it's actually more convenient than having his own car.
LEO SHAGABUTDINOV CAR-SHARING USER "Actually, I could buy a car! But I don't see the point. Because most of the trips I do with car sharing, but sometimes I use a taxi. And sometimes, I go one way by car sharing and the other way by subway, or vice versa. So car sharing gives a lot of freedom."
There are downsides: he says it can be difficult to find a car at peak times. But the number of shared vehicles here is growing.
LUCY TAYLOR MOSCOW "Moscow's authorities say there are now 17,000 shared cars in the city. And because lots of people use the same ones, each shared vehicle replaces seven private cars on the streets."
By next year, they say there will be more shared cars here than anywhere else.
MUKHIT SEIDAKHMETOV DELIMOBIL CAR-SHARING COMPANY "Generally, the Russian car sharing market is world leading. In Moscow alone, the car sharing market grows multi-fold, two or three times annually. This makes Moscow a unique city in the world."
There are still vastly more private cars than shared ones in Moscow. But developers believe there's a growing market of drivers who will help them to overtake. Lucy Taylor, CGTN, Moscow.