Imperial College London, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Brompton Bike Hire have partnered to launch a mobility hub at Imperial’s South Kensington campus.
The launch is part of a four-month academic trial that will assess whether staff travel can be transformed by giving people more choices for sustainable and active transport.
The hub will feature two Enterprise Car Club vehicles, one electric and the second hydrogen powered, plus 25 Brompton folding bikes, including five electric bikes.
The hub is set to enable academic research to identify how commuting patterns and day-to-day travel can be changed from relying on owning the means of transport to using shared transport.
George O’Connor, Enterprise vice president of sales and business development Europe, said: “We recognise that people’s expectations about how they travel are changing and this project will provide valuable information on how people respond when given access to a range of shared assets.
“The data from the trial will not only help Imperial understand how their staff change their travel habits but also provide valuable information for Enterprise as we work with local and national governments and other organisations to develop innovative mobility hub and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) offerings which will make it easier for travellers to switch between shared forms of transport.”
Surveys will be carried out to identify changes in travel behaviour and attitudes towards the use of shared resources.
The research team aims to build on the study’s conclusion with further research into the future of urban mobility as part of Imperial’s Transition to Zero Pollution initiative.
Professor Mary Ryan, vice-dean for research in the faculty of engineering, said: "The future of urban transport towards net-zero carbon is a critical step in achieving climate goals and delivering a sustainable society.
“The holistic approach taken in this project is central to our Transition to Zero Pollution Strategy, addressing not just the technology enablers, but community uptake, individual behaviour and economic factors.”
Julian Scriven, managing director of Brompton Bike Hire, said understanding that multiple modes of transport need to work collaboratively is vital in the drive toward net-zero carbon.
She added: “Projects that look to introduce the concept of multi-modal hubs are helping build an understanding of how we can scale such initiatives in the future to deliver a true alternative to the single occupancy privately owned car.”