Economics serving society

Sustainable long-distance mobility Chair

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The Chair “Sustainability of Long Distance Mobility” at Paris School of Economics is supported by the Programme d’investissements d’avenir operated by ADEME (the French Agency for Ecological Transition) in the framework of a consortium led by BlaBlaCar.



Several activities are on the chair’s agenda:


The chair aims to carry out a research project on tomorrow’s land-based mobilities in order to make them carbon-free and connected. It focuses on the study of “mobility as a service” platforms (MaaS) platforms offering their users journeys based on low-carbon means of transport (carpooling, bus and train). The research conducted will be mainly in the field of industrial economics, but will also involve other disciplines (e.g. environmental economics and behavioral economics). Empirical work will also be based on data that is unique in terms of quantity and quality, due to the ease of collection permitted by this type of digital platform.

Four main research themes will be explored. The first one concerns the study of MaaS users’ behavior (preferences, cognitive biases, etc.), both in their current form and in the various evolutions they could undergo. We will then look at the various choices made in the design of the platforms: pricing methods, information transmitted to users, etc. The interactions and contractual relations between different platforms will constitute a third field of study. Finally, work will be done on the environmental and societal impacts.

Chair’s holders

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Nicolas Astier, Professor at PSE, Engineer at École des Ponts - ParisTech.

Fellow Researchers

Francis Bloch, Professor at PSE and at the university of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne ;
Philippe Gagnepain, Professor at PSE and at the university of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne ;
Liam Wren Lewis, PSE Professor, research fellow INRAE,
Carine Staropoli, Professor at PSE and at the university of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne ;
Nikhil Vellodi, Assistant Professor at PSE.

Steering committee

To coordinate its work, the Chair has set up a steering committee made up of the Chair’s holders: Nicolas Astier, Jean-Olivier Hairault and partners’ representatives: Emmanuel Fiani (Senior Project Manager, ADEME), Valerian Amourette (Responsible for the engineering program, Blablacar).

Partners PSE

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BlaBlaCar brings together the largest long-distance carpooling community in the world. The French startup connects drivers traveling with free seats and passengers wishing to make the same trip. The costs of the trip are shared between the carpoolers.

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ADEME - the French Agency for Ecological Transition - is a public institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
In all areas - energy, circular economy, food, mobility, air quality, adaptation to climate change, soil... – ADEME advises, facilitates and helps finance many projects, from research to sharing solutions.