Friday, September 28, 2007

Precedent: Car Sharing

Car sharing is a system with a fleet of cars is jointly-owned by users but different than car rental or privately owned cars. A democratically-controlled company, the Carshare Operator or CSO, organizes costs and troubles of vehicle purchase, ownership and maintenance. Participants or users of this system are typically in urban areas where main transportation needs are met by public transportation, walking or cycling. The car sharing system is part of the New Mobility Agenda which challenges old ideas of practices in the field of urban transport and make fuller uses of mobile transport.

How it works: Most companies charge a monthly fee plus additional fees per hour te case is in use and per mile used. A vehicle is reserved in advance through the internet or telephone. Members are responsible for returning the vehicles on time to the agreed parking area in good condition for the next user.

Goals: To help ease congestion of busy city streets and parking lots. Car sharing also reduces dependence on cars and increases usage of more environmentally friendly forms of transportation.

Advantages: Car sharing members have access to a variety of different cars to fit their specific needs without having to deal with maintenance and car repair.

Disadvantages: Must have adequate density of users so vehicles can be well used. Must be placed in an urban area where users can easily access pick up locations. Best if supported by public transportation.

Facts:Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, found that 30 percent of households that join City CarShare sell a car. Even more household members delay purchasing a car. Transit use, bicycling, and walking also increase among members.<

It's pretty much the greenest way you can drive. A UC Berkeley study conducted in 2003 showed that each person who joins City CarShare saves nearly 100 gallons of gasoline each year, on average. When you add it all up, our members have saved over 1,000,000 gallons of gas.

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