Inderscience Publishers

A community–based toolkit for designing ride–sharing services: the case of a virtual network of ride access points in Germany

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Transport by private car has been challenged due to its high environmental impacts. Ride sharing (i.e. people with the same routes sharing a car) contributes to sustainable mobility by increasing the capacity use of cars. Still, when arranging 'Ride Access Points' (RAPs), intense communication and coordination between drivers and riders is necessary and thus transaction costs arise. Based on the fact that information and communication technologies can reduce transaction costs and that local geographical knowledge is distributed across distant individuals, we focus on community–based toolkits for user innovation and design to improve ride access. A case study at the German ride sharing service provider Momax GmbH shows how a toolkit has been used for crowdsourcing a virtual mobility network consisting of RAPs. Based on this example from the service industry, we argue that real–time translation of user content into service production is crucial for increasing the intrinsic motivation of lead users.

Keywords: sustainable mobility, open innovation, community–based toolkits, user toolkits, sustainability, sustainable innovation, product–service systems, collective intelligence, crowdsourcing, online communities, lead users, co–creation, Germany, car sharing, ride sharing, virtual communities, web based communities, ride access points, transaction costs

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