SEStran has recently submitted its comments to the Scottish Expert Advisory Panel’s consultation on the Collaborative Economy. The collaborative economy is often described as the (peer to peer) sharing or provision of goods and services, assets and resources without the need for ownership. At its most engaging it has the potential to alleviate societal problems such as hyper-consumption, pollution, and poverty by lowering the cost of economic coordination within communities.
Some examples of this in the marketplace today include Uber, Airbnb, Deliveroo, Hassle, Kickstarter and Task Rabbit, there also examples in the public sector, Spice timebank has remodeled the person–to–person time bank to encourage volunteering in public services in exchange for time credits which can be redeemed from local partners who accept the ‘Spice Network Credits’ – such as a local theatre or babysitting service.
In its response, SEStran highlighted that the Collaborative Economy can have a positive impact in enabling communities to break some of the barriers to mobility and employment. Shared transport services and accessibility can be a preventative measure against low skilled or economically areas across the Region becoming further excluded. Working towards a Collaborative Economy in this way fits with the core vision of SEStran; the development of a transportation system that provides everyone living in the region with improved access to healthcare, education, public services and employment opportunities.
In recent years, SEStran has been directly involved in several projects which seek to mainstream the benefits of the collaborative economy and achieve the targets set by the Regional Transport Strategy. “By 2022, to reduce the percentage of people commuting to Edinburgh by single occupant car from each local authority area in South East Scotland by 10% compared to a 2001 base. For Edinburgh residents working out with the City Council area, to reduce their reliance on the single occupant car for commuting by 10% also over the same period.”
SEStran has delivered several projects in this area most notably TripshareSEStran, the South East of Scotland’s Car Share Portal, which has already played a role in reducing the number of single occupancy vehicle trips on Scotland’s road network through sharing resources. There are currently over 8,600 members of TripshareSEStran and they are projected to save £381,900 for themselves, 754.00 tonnes of CO2 for the environment and 3,839,952 miles on our road network in 2017!
SEStran also stated in its response that there is a clear and expanding role for Regional Transport agencies in terms of public service collaboration. SEStran believe that to ensure the delivery of a functional and accessible labor market, we must enable all to access training opportunities. This will help to provide skilled workers for enterprises and efficiently deliver products and services to new and existing markets. To do this, we must work towards an efficient transport network for inclusive growth and understand that collaboration can deliver positive outcomes.