Despite their suitability and great potential for freight mobility in urban areas, cargo bikes are still a niche product and not common among private and commercial users. Barriers preventing use are lacking awareness of advantages and user cases of cargo bikes, high purchasing costs, lacking availability and experience as well as missing cargo bike parking facilities that are secure and located close to the destination.
LARA Share intends to address these barriers and integrate the cargo bike firmly into the urban landscape by:
- Improving the availability of cargo bikes for occasional use. Individuals without their own cargo bike get access. Especially for businesses and individuals with occasional transport requirements cargo bikes may become an alternative to motorised traffic.
- Increasing the offer of suitable parking facilities for businesses with transport activities that intend to purchase or already own a cargo bike.
The availability of cargo bikes will be significantly increased by providing users with accessible parking facilities. This also involves clarification if (vacant) spaces and rooms are suitable for cargo bike parking, if accessibility of vehicles and parking spaces is assured and what solutions for insurance law issues are needed, etc.
Existing cargo bike sharing platforms exhibit a number of weaknesses (spatially and organisationally restricted access: booking with longer waiting times, personal handing over of keys, and monthly changes in rental locations). Therefore, the aim is to create a Peer-to-Peer Online Sharing Platform. Such a hub between providers and users - in analogy to successful platforms known from the housing, working or storage sector - makes sharing of bicycles and parking spaces simple and quick to apply. Qualitative and quantitative empirical social research methods will be utilised to determine motives and needs of users (cargo bike users, cargo bike providers, parking space providers and parking space users) to ideally adapt solutions to user needs in a pilot study and field test. A business and financial plan will facilitate the profitability of the platform.
The Unique Selling Point of LARA Share is to ensure the establishment of an overarching initiative that brings together cargo bike owners and potential users. As a side benefit the rate of vacant premises in Vienna is addressed. This correlation between eco-friendly freight mobility with cargo bikes, providing them to various user groups as well as the revitalisation and economic improvement of vacant premises is novel. In summary, LARA Share aims to achieve the following results: obtain an overview of relevant framework conditions and know-how about user needs as a basis to develop the Peer-to-Peer Online Sharing-Platform and a viable business model for LARA Share