Back to top

Short-distance carpooling: can it help a green mobility transition?

Ongoing research
Begin: May 2022
End: May 2023

One of the levers to curb carbon emissions, identified by public authorities and pursued by companies in the mobility sector, is to increase the occupancy rate of vehicles. In 2018, the Mobility Orientation Law set the goal of reaching "3 million daily carpoolers within 5 years." To this end, it allowed local authorities to subsidize daily carpooling trips. By offering a lighter, more flexible and less expensive solution than public transport, short-distance carpooling is an ideal strategy to make travel more sustainable, at a low cost. Several technical solutions and economic models coexist, and are more or less dependent on public support. What is their pertinence and what is the potential for short-distance carpooling? Are public policies and public funding adapted to this potential?

Research participants


Contact : Matthieu Bloch


This study will initially aim to assess, on the basis of the available data, the kinds of daily trips that could be performed by carpooling (motives, distances, territories, passenger profiles, etc.). The goal will also be to identify areas of uncertainty and data points that currently represent hypotheticals for public and private actors. This analysis will allow us to estimate the development potential of short-distance carpooling.

In the second step, the purpose will be to analyze the public efforts to promote and establish the conditions to make daily carpooling possible, in light of its potential (known, supposed or uncertain).


First step: What do we know about the pertinence and the potential for short-distance carpooling?

  • Identifying the data sources about the practices and potential for short-distance carpooling: doctoral theses, ADEME and CEREMA studies, market studies, potential studies and diagnoses carried out as part of employer travel plans (Plans de Déplacements Employeurs), foresight work (CGEDD, think tanks, etc.) and interviews with the authors of these studies
  • Analyzing case studies (initiatives by local authorities, carpooling start-ups, etc.) and interviews with public and private actors

Step Two: Are public policies and public funding adapted to this potential?

  • Analyzing the investments and costs for the State and local authorities (direct and indirect)
  • Assessing these costs in light of the potential identified in Part I and in comparison with other mobility services, in particular public transport

Step Three: What are the recommendations?

  • In view of the results obtained in parts one and two, a work group of experts in public mobility policies will make recommendations and proposals.


ADEME (2017), Développement du covoiturage régulier de courte et moyenne distance – Guide méthodologique [Development of regular short- and medium-distance carpooling – Methodological guide], 2017 edition

ADEME (2015), Leviers d’actions pour favoriser le covoiturage de courte distance, évaluation de l’impact sur les polluants atmosphériques et le CO2 – Leviers d’actions, benchmark et exploitation de l’enquête nationale Transports et déplacements (ENTD) [Levers of action to promote short-distance carpooling, assessing the impact on air pollutants and CO2 – Levers of action, benchmark and exploitation of the National Transport and Travel Survey (ENTD)] – Study carried out by INDIGGO and EnvirOconsult. 233 pages.

ADEME (2010), Caractérisation de services et usages du covoiturage en France : Quels impacts sur l’environnement, quelles perspectives d’amélioration ? Rapport final [Characterization of services and uses of carpooling in France: What are the environmental impacts, what are the prospects for improvement? Final Report], November.

Assises de la mobilité (2017), Synthèse de l’atelier covoiturage courte-distance [Mobility Conference (2017), Summary of the short-distance carpooling workshop]

CEREMA, (2013), Le covoiturage : des pistes pour favoriser son développement, rapport final [Carpooling: ways to promote its development, final report], 92 pages

CEREMA (2018), Le covoiturage courte et moyenne distance : retours d’expériences, freins et leviers [Short and medium distance carpooling: feedback, obstacles and levers]

General Commission for Sustainable Development (2014), Le covoiturage pour les déplacements domicile-travail : quel potentiel ? [Carpooling for commuting: what potential?] – General Commission for Sustainable Development

Delaunay, T. (2018), L’intégration du covoiturage dans le système de mobilité francilien : hybrider le transport collectif et individuel pour asseoir l’hégémonie de l’automobile ? [Integrating carpooling into the mobility system of Île-de-France: hybridizing public and individual transport to establish the hegemony of the automobile?] Doctoral thesis, University of Paris-Est

Delaunay T., Lesteven G., Ray J.B (2017), Qui sera le « Blablacar du quotidien » ?, [Who will be the "Blablacar of everyday life"?], Metropolitiques

Le Goff A, Covoiturage-autosolisme-transports collectifs : quelles préférences, dans quel contexte ? [Carpooling-autosolism-public transport: what preferences, in what context?], Study of declared preferences carried out by LAET for Ecov

Poirel M., (2021) “Analyse d’une expérimentation de service public de covoiturage courte distance au prisme du concept de dispositif” [Analysis of a short-distance carpooling public service experiment through the prism of the device concept]

Morsanglière H., (1979), Les transports semi-collectifs et la desserte des zones urbaines périphériques [Semi-public transport and the service of peripheral urban areas], Doctoral thesis in transport economics

Vincent, S. (2008). Les altermobilités : analyse sociologique d’usages de déplacements alternatifs à la voiture individuelle. Des pratiques en émergence ? [Altermobilities: sociological analysis of alternative travel practices to the individual car. Emerging practices?], Doctoral thesis, University of Paris


For the Mobile Lives Forum, mobility is understood as the process of how individuals travel across distances in order to deploy through time and space the activities that make up their lifestyles. These travel practices are embedded in socio-technical systems, produced by transport and communication industries and techniques, and by normative discourses on these practices, with considerable social, environmental and spatial impacts.

En savoir plus x


Altermobilities represent all the alternative behaviours to an exclusive use of the private car for travel. They also imply a certain right to be slower, and pre-suppose that geographical and social spaces will be organised in ways that take into account a more limited use of cars.

En savoir plus x

To cite this publication :

Mobile Lives Forum et La Fabrique Écologique (14 June 2022), « Short-distance carpooling: can it help a green mobility transition?  », Préparer la transition mobilitaire. Consulté le 04 June 2023, URL:

Licence Creative Commons
Projects by Forum Vies Mobiles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 France License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at contact.

Other publications

What does it mean to be less mobile? Insights from the COVID-19 lockdown

What does it mean to be less mobile? Insights from the COVID-19 lockdown

Anna Nikolaeva, Lin Ying-Tzu, Samuel Nello-Deakin, Rubin Ori, Kim Carlotta von Schönfeld

Cycling and walking: literature review – Bibliography

Cycling and walking: literature review – Bibliography

Renate Albrecher, Sonia Curnier, Vincent Kaufmann

Theme 8: Urban rhythms and the mobility of pedestrians and cyclists

Theme 8: Urban rhythms and the mobility of pedestrians and cyclists

Renate Albrecher, Sonia Curnier, Vincent Kaufmann