Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to Shared Mobility and Enabling Technologies
This Recommended Practice provides a taxonomy and definitions for terms related to shared mobility and enabling technologies. Included are functional definitions for shared modes (e.g., carsharing, bikesharing, ridesourcing, etc.). Public transit services and other incumbent services—such as car rentals, shuttles, taxis, paratransit, ridesharing (carpooling/vanpooling), and pedicabs—are also included in the ecosystem of shared mobility services. This Recommended Practice also provides a taxonomy of related terms and definitions (e.g., station-based roundtrip, free-floating one-way, etc.). This Recommended Practice does not provide specifications or otherwise impose requirements on shared mobility.
Standardizing definitions of shared mobility and supporting terms serves several purposes:
It will help reduce traveler uncertainty regarding shared mobility services, confusion about terminology used by the media, and discrepancies in terminology used internationally that contribute to public confusion and misperceptions.
It will allow public agencies to clarify policies related to shared mobility, such as insurance, taxation, rights-of-way, parking, and zoning.
It will help unify public and private sector definitions and aid in the development of services, as well as the formation of public-private partnerships.
This document has been developed according to the following guiding principles. It should:
Be descriptive and informative rather than normative;
Provide functional definitions;
Be consistent with current industry practice;
Be consistent with existing literature to the extent practicable;
Be useful across disciplines including: engineering, planning, law, and journalism;
Be clear and cogent and, as such, it should avoid or define ambiguous terms;
Address inconsistencies in overlapping work and competing definitions in the field of shared mobility to achieve standardization; and
Not provide any competitive advantage for any particular shared mode or service provider.