Are the French ready to let go of their car? The answer is yes, but…

Symbol of social success and freedom, cars have invaded public space. They are now increasingly worn out in the city because they are too polluting and noisy. But are the French really ready to do without their cars?

For decades, cities around the world have been designed and built for cars rather than people. Urged to change their travel patterns, city dwellers nevertheless continue to maintain a dependency on their car. The reason: the unsuitability of the infrastructures for new forms of mobility. A survey* from IFOP takes stock.

The car, the 2nd most used means of transport in the city

While walking is the most used mode of transport in the city, the survey reveals that 72% of city dwellers use their personal car regularly, making it the second most used means of transport. The car is thus preferred over public transport (63%).

In the 5 large provincial cities studied, the car therefore remains queen. The prize goes to Bordeaux with 81% use (level equal to walking). According to the survey, this success of the car is primarily explained by the speed (51%) and convenience (49%) that the car offers. For Bolt, this “confirms the need to develop a more complete offer to be more in harmony with users’ daily life”.

Different habits depending on the city

Although the majority of users say they are satisfied with the transportation options currently available (84%), only 28% of them are very satisfied. Parisians come out on top with 89% satisfaction with the transport services offered by the city (37% are very satisfied). This is also reflected in the most used means of transport since Paris stands out as the only city where public transport (metro, bus, tram, etc.) is used more than the personal car. In fact, 84% of Parisians surveyed say they use public transport regularly, far ahead of the personal car (52%).

Cities must adapt their transport infrastructure

According to the survey 80% of residents find it important to set aside more space for soft mobility. It is in Lille (88%) and Strasbourg (86%) that residents are most in demand. For the respondents, this optimization of the offer must also respect the environment, as 78% consider this to be an important factor in their choice of transport. According to Bolt: “To meet these expectations, cities must ensure that they have the necessary infrastructure in place so that other forms of transport can take a significant part of the journey. This includes light vehicles (bicycles, e-bikes, scooters) and shared mobility options such as ride-hailing and car-sharing, which offer more affordable alternatives to almost all use of a private car. Another point raised by respondents: infrastructure maintenance. In fact, 91% of those questioned want the condition of the roads to be improved.

Growing demand for micromobility services

In the capital, 42% of respondents say they use the bicycle to get around and 26% the scooter. Strasbourg has the most cycling enthusiasts (54%), far ahead of Nancy (30%) and Lille (34%). Faced with its growing adoption, 21% of respondents would like to see more self-driving bikes in their city. Paris is the city where they are used the most (26% vs. 13% users on average in the cities in this study), making it the city with the smallest difference between the number of users of personal bicycles (35%) and the number of self-service bicycle users. Asked about the benefits of this form of transport, users describe it as ecological (44%), practical (36%), comfortable (28%) and cheaper to use (27%).

Finally, 18% of respondents would also like to see more self-service scooters in their city. Demand is particularly strong in Strasbourg (26%) and Nancy (23%). The use of this form of transport is mainly motivated by comfort (29%), speed (29%), the ecological aspect (28%), the fact that it avoids crowds (28%) and its convenience (27%).

* Method : study commissioned by Bolt, VTC and micromobility application and carried out in 6 major cities (Paris, Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Nancy).

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