CarLink I and II were commuter-based carsharing research programs led by Dr. Susan Shaheen, who has evaluated and studied carsharing since the concept first gained foothold in North America.
Launched in January 1999, CarLink I was a 10-month research project based at the Dublin/Pleasanton Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. CarLink I was developed in conjunction with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis), California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (California PATH), American Honda, BART District, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Employees at LLNL had access to 12 compressed natural gas Honda Civics to drive between the BART station and their work location and for use during the day. Other members could pick up the same cars at the BART station at the end of the day and use the vehicles during the evenings and weekends. Advanced technologies employed included the COCOS smart carsharing and Teletrac vehicle tracking systems. CarLink I resulted in a net commute reduction of approximately 20 vehicle miles per commuter per day.
CarLink II, a one-year project launched in July 2001, introduced more advanced vehicle access, reservation, and tracking technologies. This second phase was a partnership among California PATH, ITS-Davis, Caltrans, American Honda, and Caltrain. CarLink II employed 18 ultra-low emission 2001 Honda Civics and included 100 members. The program served commuters using the California Avenue Caltrain station in Palo Alto and employees working for companies at or near the Stanford Research Park. At the close of the research on July 1, 2002, the pilot project transitioned to carsharing provider Flexcar to manager as an ongoing commercial enterprise.