MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
Read the mos.ru article on how the concept of shared consumption attracts Muscovites.
In recent years, the sharing economy, or sharing economy (from the English share – “to divide, divide”), has experienced a boom all over the world, including in Moscow. Many people, especially the younger generation, come to the idea that it is often more profitable not to own some thing, but to use it temporarily. A lot of businesses have grown in the sharing economy, for example, per-minute rentals of cars, bicycles and scooters, or spaces for collaboration – coworking spaces. What is attractive about the sharing economy for a resident of a metropolis and what pluses and minuses it has – we will tell in the continuation of the series of publications “Moscow Economy in Simple Language”.
A bit of history
The concept of sharing economy is not the know-how of the 21st century, since the idea of saving money and borrowing things originated in the last century. In the USSR, they were familiar with it, in many respects this was due to economic factors, for example, a shortage of goods. So, people went to their neighbors to watch TV or make phone calls. And residents of resort towns rented their apartments or rooms to vacationers during the high season – just like millions of people around the world do today, but with the help of the Internet. And of course, rental was popular: furniture, evening and wedding dresses, and even washing machines, refrigerators and agricultural equipment.
Officially, they started talking about the sharing economy as a promising direction for urban development in 2010. Economists Rachel Botsman and Roux Rogers, in their book What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, talked about the benefits of leveraging goods rather than owning them. In parallel, Rachel Botsman at a conference in the United States presented a new economic model that will shape completely different financial and social relations between people.
About the pros and cons
In the modern world, the idea of a sharing economy penetrates into many spheres of life: transport, real estate, tourism, food. And with the development of IT technologies, it has become even easier to find and share a car or apartment even in another country. Dozens of services and platforms, online communication and remote financial and intellectual operations – this is the sharing economy in megacities. But what does the concept give to ordinary city dwellers and businesses?
This is how experts explain the interest in joint consumption. First, it is financially beneficial in many situations. For example, if a car is needed for several hours and only on certain days, you can not purchase it and save money on maintenance, insurance, technical inspection, parking and taxes.
Another important aspect is the flexibility and convenience of the system. The sharing economy allows you to work from anywhere in the world without being tied to a place, date, or time. Moreover, many people are attracted by the possibility of using rare or very expensive goods and services. For example, car sharing allows you to try cars of different classes, sports or vintage cars.
In many ways, the idea of a sharing economy is associated with conscious consumption: short-term ownership does not clutter up an apartment or office with things that you use once a year. Finally, traveling or living together means meeting like-minded people. Not only services can be common, but also interests.
At the same time, experts point out a number of disadvantages of the sharing economy. The main one is related to security when making transactions. When renting a car, a person cannot be absolutely sure that it will not fail on the road. A joint trip or exchange accommodation does not guarantee you clean, comfortable conditions and friendly fellow travelers or neighbors. In addition, all issues related to taxes and regulation of transactions have not yet been resolved at the legislative level.
But the sharing economy and its legal framework continue to develop and cover all new sectors of urban life. In the future, the world will face changes in legislation, regulation and special control of transactions and operations within the framework of sharing.
Spinning the wheels
One of the most popular and affordable forms of sharing is renting a car for a short period, or car sharing (car – “car”, share – “to share”). This term first appeared in Switzerland in the post-war years, when the owner of a local company bought cars for his employees and offered to drive them in turns.
According to the analytical company Statista, in the past year, residents of India used the most car-sharing services (32 percent). In second place is China (17 percent), and Spain closes the top three (11 percent). Also in the top ten most active countries are carsharing users Italy, USA, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland and France.
In the capital, the system of per-minute car rental appeared in 2012 and continues to actively develop. In 2019, Moscow was recognized as the world leader in the fleet of rented cars. In the capital’s car-sharing system last year, 25 thousand cars were registered – this is the largest fleet in Europe. In total, Muscovites use car sharing services to make about 130 thousand trips a day, last year there were almost 44 million.
The number of car sharing users continues to grow, but demand still exceeds supply. The city actively promotes the development of the industry, for example, subsidizes leasing. Moreover, in Moscow, car-sharing operators pay for parking on preferential terms, not users.
Every year the popularity of bicycle rentals and kicksharing (kick scooter) – short-term rental of bicycles and scooters – is growing in the capital. The rental service appeared in 2013 and is so loved by Muscovites that the city has long caught up with the cycling Barcelona, Paris and Copenhagen. This year alone, since the beginning of the season, 1.2 million people have used the capital’s bicycle rentals.
2020 has become a real cycling year: Muscovites have made about 5.7 million rides on rented bicycles. Last season, 662 points worked, in which there were 6.5 thousand bicycles. This year, almost 700 rental stations, and plans for 2021 include the purchase of another thousand bicycles and the installation of 67 bike rental stations.
Scooter rental services were opened in Moscow in 2018, during the first season, users made 100 thousand trips, the size of the fleet was 3,150 scooters, last season residents made about two million trips. Today rental is available in 70 districts of Moscow.
Taxi and car-sharing companies will receive subsidies for the purchase of carsThe Digital Business Space site won one of the Move Realty Awards nominations
Another area of the sharing economy is coworking (coworking in translation from English – “teamwork”). This is a common space that can be rented for a while by representatives of different professions, businessmen, so as not to pay for the rent of their own office. Coworking centers appeared 15 years ago. The first site of this type opened in California. Programmer Brad Newberg brought together freelancers who were engaged in creative work under one roof for a small rent.
In Moscow, the first free coworking spaces for entrepreneurs were organized by the Moscow Government. They are located in the business service centers of the Central, Southern and Eastern Administrative Districts, where entrepreneurs can get advice on running their business and support measures within walking distance, improve business competence at educational events, and find potential partners and clients.
Coworking spaces have comfortable furniture – tables and chairs, sofas and poufs, and meeting rooms can hold a business meeting. Free internet is available to visitors. Both companies and individual entrepreneurs and self-employed can become residents of coworking spaces. To get a place in the coworking space, you must leave a request on the portal mbm.mos.ru.
By the way, hiring specialists for one-time jobs is also a sharing economy. Working with freelancers is beneficial when, for example, you need to fix a faucet, assemble a closet, or write text for a website. On some services for the selection of such specialists, several thousand customer ads are published daily, and about one and a half million people are ready to participate in temporary projects.
Shared consumption is also in demand among travelers. For example, there are services for renting apartments for a couple of days, so that during a trip a tourist would feel at home. Another service provides an opportunity to stay with local residents for free, and in gratitude to provide a service: cook dinner, water flowers, or just tell funny stories.
A separate type of sharing economy is carpooling (car – “car”, pool – “association”), or ride sharing (ride – “ride”). This is a ride with a driver who drives in the direction you want. Online services for finding such travel companions are beneficial to all participants: the driver saves money on gasoline, and the passenger saves on the cost of a ticket on another transport or the price of a taxi ride.
Youth IT-coworking was opened in the children’s technopark “Baytik”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.