Imperial College London has joined forces with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Brompton Bike Hire to launch a mobility hub at Imperial’s South Kensington campus as 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.
Staff who register for the trial will receive free membership of the Enterprise Car Club and both cars and bikes will be booked through Enterprise’s Car Club app. Access to the cars and bikes will be free for the duration of the pilot.
The college said the hub will enable academic research to see how commuting patterns and day-to-day travel can be changed from relying on owning the means of transport to using shared 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.
Professor Mary Ryan, Vice-Dean for Research in the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College said: “We are excited to be working in partnership with Enterprise and Brompton on this research programme. 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. “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 offerings which will make it easier for travellers to switch between shared forms of transport,” said George O’Connor, Enterprise Vice President of Sales and Business Development Europe.”
Julian Scriven, Managing Director of Brompton Bike Hire said: “Pkrojects 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,” added
Surveys will be carried out to identify changes in travel behaviour and attitudes towards the use of shared resources. The research team says it aims to build on the study’s conclusion with further research into the future of urban mobility. This work is part of Imperial’s Transition to Zero Pollution initiative, a major strategic programme drawing together Imperial experts and partners to address the key global challenge of creating a sustainable future.