Replacing car, buses and taxis with shared mobility services can reduce pollution and improve traffic conditions, an International Transport Forum (ITF) study has found.

The study was conducted in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, and replaced certain car or taxi journeys and bus routes with 6-seater shared taxis providing door-to-door or “street corner-to-street corner” pickups.

“First-” and “last-mile” connections, where shared services provide a bridge between public transit stops and the origin or destination, resulted in an increase in metro ridership between 15% and 23%.

Furthermore, the simulation found that if shared mobility was adopted widely, all of today’s car journeys in Helsinki could be provided with only 4% of the current number of private vehicles in the city.

As a result, CO2 emissions from cars could potentially fall by 34%, while congestion could be reduced by 37%.

A parallel survey found that 63% of respondents would use shared mobility for all of their trips. Those already relying on public transit were more willing to use such services than car users, as were those aged over 55.

The study replicated the results of a similar ITF simulation in the city of Lisbon. The authors, however, noted that Helsinki is better serviced by public transport and less reliant on cars than Lisbon is, so “there [was] less room for improvement to start with”.

The study will be used by the Helsinki region in its planning process, in order to drastically cut emissions by 2030.