Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, last week launched the Vilnius Shared Mobility Hub, a so-called ‘mobility cluster’ aimed at reducing the number of cars in the city by boosting car sharing and alternative transport services.

The eastern European city has promoted car sharing for the past ten years and boasts around 1.5 million shared car trips each year, among the highest of any city in Europe. Around 20% of local residents have used a car sharing service, with the city boasting one of the largest car sharing densities in the region – 800 vehicles per million residents. 

Gediminas Avenue, the main street of Vilnius’s tourist district. (Photo by Boris Stroujko via Shutterstock)

With car sharing having helped Vilnius to reduce its CO2 emissions by 2,200 tonnes in 2020, the new mobility cluster is expected to bolster the city’s decarbonisation agenda. Go Vilnius, the city’s tourism and business development agency, estimates that one shared car has the same carbon footprint as 12 personal vehicles. As an added benefit, car sharing also frees up parking spaces as personal cars are estimated to be parked 95% of the time.

Vilnius Shared Mobility Hub is a collaboration between Go Vilnius; Vilnius City Municipality; CityBee, the pioneer of shared mobility services in Lithuania; SPARK, the first fully electric car sharing company in the country; Bolt, an international mobility company; Skok, an electric scooter sharing platform; and ‘Susisiekimo paslaugos’, a municipal enterprise organising public transportation in the city. 

By 2030, Vilnius’s sustainable mobility plan aims to boost shared travel to more than 2% of all trips, decrease the use of personal vehicles by 30%, and promote public transportation as well as alternative travel such as shared cars, electric scooters and bicycles.