This report presents the results of a study evaluating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission changes that result from individuals participating in a carsharing organization. The principle of carsharing is simple: individuals gain the benefits of private vehicle use without the costs and responsibilities of ownership. Carsharing is most common in major urban areas where transportation alternatives are easily accessible.
Carsharing provides users access to a shared vehicle fleet for short-term use throughout the day, reducing the need for private vehicles. The provision of on-street and public off-street parking dedicated to carsharing is an important policy area confronting public agencies. As of July 2009, approximately 377,600 individuals were carsharing members in North America in about 57 metropolitan areas.
The rapid motorization of China raises questions about the potential for alternative mobility solutions, such carsharing (short-term auto use), in developing mega cities like Shanghai, with a population of over 17 million people. While motor vehicle demand is increasing rapidly, there are many aspects of urban transportation in Shanghai (and China more broadly) that separate it from the urban environments in which carsharing has traditionally thrived.
By July 2011, North American carsharing had grown to an industry of nearly 640,000 members since its inception on the continent more than 15 years ago. Carsharing engenders changes in member travel patterns both towards and away from public transit and non-motorized modes. This study, which builds on the work of two previous studies, evaluates this shift in travel based on a 6281 respondent survey completed in late-2008 by members of major North American carsharing organizations.
This paper evaluates the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission impacts that result from individuals participating in carsharing organizations within North America. The authors conducted an online survey with members of major carsharing organizations and evaluated the change in annual household emissions (e.g., impact) of respondents that joined carsharing.