Carsharing and Carfree Housing

Project Area(s): 
Innovative Mobility

Carsharing, or more broadly, shared-use vehicles, is one of the innovative strategies that could be integrated into smart growth policies to reduce vehicle miles traveled, congestion, and degrading air quality. Carfree housing is another mobility option being examined to reduce the negative effects of travel. Carfree housing refers to residential developments that have restrictions on the number of cars that residents can own, limited parking availability, or increased parking costs. Researchers examined the predicted travel, emission, and economic benefits of carsharing and carfree housing. They simulated three innovative mobility scenarios forecast to 2025 using an advanced regional travel demand model. This model approximated the effects of transit-based carsharing (short-term vehicle access linked to transit), real-time transit information services (providing travelers with real-time information through telephone, television, Internet, kiosks, changeable message signs, handheld electronic devices, pagers and cell phones), and carfree housing (residential developments designed with limited parking provisions) in the Sacramento region. The results of this study indicated that there were relatively modest reductions in vehicle travel and emissions, in part, due to limited transit service availability in the region. Despite the modest travel effects of the scenarios, the economic analysis showed a net benefit for all three of the innovative mobility scenarios. The total per-trip benefit ranges from $0.01 to $0.05. The yearly total benefit for all scenarios would be significant, particularly if there were a combination of services and policies in place.

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