Carsharing

California’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Mandate – Linking Clean-Fuel Cars, Carsharing, and Station Car Strategies

Susan Shaheen, PhD, John Wright, and Daniel Sperling
2002

To reduce transportation emissions and energy consumption, policy makers typically employ one of two approaches-changing technology or changing behavior. These strategies include demand management tools, such as ridesharing and vehicle control technologies that involve cleaner fuels and fuel economy. Despite the benefits of a combined policy approach, these strategies are normally employed separately. Nevertheless, they have been linked occasionally, for instance in the electric station car programs of the 1990s. Station cars are vehicles used by transit riders at the start or end of...

A Short History of Carsharing in the ’90s

Susan Shaheen, PhD, Daniel Sperling, and Conrad Wagner
1999

Updating a prior carsharing publication, this paper provides an extensive background to the international history of carsharing up to 1999, highlighting the reasons for which some organizations flourished and others faltered. Experiences of worldwide carsharing organizations (CSOs) are used to assess which factors are favorable to attaining innovative and economically viable operations and other organizational goals. The future prospects of international CSOs are explored based on trends in services offered, partnership management, and advanced technologies.

Carsharing in Europe and North America: Past, Present, and Future

Susan Shaheen, PhD, Daniel Sperling, and Conrad Wagner
1998

Most automobiles carry one person and are used for less than one hour per day. A more economically rational approach would be to use vehicles more intensively. Carsharing, in which people pay a subscription plus a per-use fee, is one means of doing so. Carsharing may be organized through affinity groups, large employers, transit operators, neighborhood groups, or large carsharing businesses. While carsharing does not offer convenient access to vehicles, it does provide users with a large range of vehicles, fewer ownership responsibilities, and less cost (if vehicles are not used...

U.S. Shared-Use Vehicle Survey Findings: Opportunities and Obstacles for Carsharing and Station Car Growth

Susan Shaheen, PhD, Mollyanne Meyn, Kamill Wipyewski
2003

Shared-use vehicle services provide members access to a vehicle fleet for use on an as-needed basis, without the hassles and costs of individual auto ownership. From June 2001 to July 2002, the authors surveyed 18 U.S. shared-use vehicle organizations on a range of topics, including organizational size, partnerships, pricing, costs, and technology. While survey findings demonstrate a decline in the number of organizational starts in the last year, operational launches into new cities, membership, and fleet size continue to increase. Several growth-oriented organizations are responsible for...

Policy Considerations for Carsharing & Station Cars: Monitoring Growth, Trends, and Overall Impacts

Susan Shaheen, PhD, Andrew Schwartz, and Kamill Wipyewski
2004

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.

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Travel Effects of A Suburban Commuter Carsharing Service: CarLink Case Study

Susan Shaheen, PhD and Caroline Rodier, PhD
2005

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. This paper presents the travel effects of...

Framework for Testing Innovative Transit Solutions: Case Study of CarLink, A Commuter Carsharing Program

Susan Shaheen, PhD and Linda Novick
2005

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. The innovation examined was a commuter carsharing model,...

Carsharing and Station Cars in Asia: Overview of Japan and Singapore

Matt Barth, Susan Shaheen, PhD, Tuenjai Fukuda, and Atsushi Fukuda
2006

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. Overall there are several well-established systems in Japan (approximately 18 systems, 150 vehicles, 3000 members)...

Carsharing Continues to Gain Momentum

Susan Shaheen, PhD
2006

With auto ownership and fuel costs rising, people everywhere are seeking alternatives to private vehicle ownership. Carsharing (or short-term vehicle rentals) provides such an alternative through hourly rates and subscription-access plans, especially for individuals and businesses in major cities with good access to other transportation modes, such as transit and carpooling. The principle of carsharing is simple: individuals gain the benefits of private vehicle use without the costs and responsibilities of ownership. People involved in this typically join an organization that...

Growth in Worldwide Carsharing: An International Comparison

Susan Shaheen, PhD and Adam Cohen
2007

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. Another...