Since the late-1990s, over 25 U.S. shared-use vehicle programs - including carsharing and station cars - have been launched. Given their presumed social and environmental benefits, the majority of these programs received some governmental support - primarily in the form of startup grants and subsidized parking. As of July 2003, there were a total of 15 shared-use vehicle programs, including 11 carsharing organizations, two carsharing research pilots, and two station car programs, Over the last five years, U.S. carsharing membership has experienced exponential growth.
Since 1998, carsharing programs (or short-term auto rentals) in the U.S. have experienced exponential membership growth. As of July 2003, 15 carsharing organizations collectively claimed 25,727 members and 784 vehicles. Given this growing demand, decision makers and transit operators are increasingly interested in understanding the potential for carsharing services to increase transit use, reduce auto ownership, and lower vehicle miles traveled. However, to date, there is only limited evidence of potential program effects in the U.S. and Europe.
Transit accounts for just two percent of total travel in the U.S. One reason for low ridership is limited access; many individuals either live or work too far from a transit station. In developing transit connectivity solutions, researchers often employ a range of study instruments, such as stated-preference surveys, focus groups, and pilot programs. To better understand response to one innovative transit solution, the authors employed a number of research tools, including: a longitudinal survey, field test, and pilot program.
Susan Shaheen wrote "Car-Sharing Continues to Gain Momentum" chapter, which provides an overview of carsharing impacts, developments, and prospects worldwide.
China’s economic expansion is fueling an accelerated demand for private vehicles. While China’s growing motorization is similar to that of other developing nations, the scale of this growth is unprecedented. Personal motorization provides numerous benefits to individuals and society; however, roadway congestion, parking inefficiencies, and environmental challenges typically accompany widespread auto use in urban areas.
Carsharing provides members access to a fleet of autos for short-term use throughout the day, reducing the need for one or more personal vehicles. Over ten years ago, carsharing operators began to appear in North America. Since 1994, a total of 40 programs have been deployed--28 are operating in 36 urban areas and 12 are now defunct. Another four are planned to launch in the next year. This paper examines carsharing growth potential in North America, based on a survey of 26 existing organizations conducted from April to July 2005.
In recent years there has been significant worldwide activity in shared-use vehicle systems (I.e., carsharing and station cars). Much of this activity is taking place in Europe and North America; however, there has also been significant activity in Asia, primarily in Japan and Singapore. This paper examines the latest shared-use vehicle system activities in both of these countries, beginning with an historical review followed by an evaluation of their current systems.
Carsharing (or short-term auto use) provides a flexible alternative that meets diverse transportation needs across the globe, while reducing the negative impacts of private vehicle ownership. Although carsharing appeared in Europe between the 1940s and 1980s, it did not become popularized until the early 1990s. For nearly 20 years, there has been growing worldwide participation in carsharing. Today, carsharing operates in approximately 600 cities around the world, in 18 nations, and on four continents. Malaysia is operating a carsharing pilot, with a planned launch in 2007.
Transportation issues can create seemingly no-win conflicts for planners, whether it's dealing with traffic demand management, wrangling over parking requirements, addressing quality of life issues that accompany traffic congestion, or trying to reduce vehicle emissions to forestall climate change. A new "product-as-service" approach to vehicle use, called carsharing, is springing up in major metropolitan markets, smaller districts, and university campuses all across the country.
Rising auto ownership in China brings significant urban and environmental challenges. Since China is still in the early stages of motorization, there are opportunities to introduce alternatives to personal vehicle ownership. The authors conducted a survey with 800 Beijing residents; collecting data on transportation patterns, automobile ownership, environmental attitudes, and carsharing response. Fifteen of those participants were selected to complete an in-depth questionnaire discussing how they would use carsharing services.