A Short History of Carsharing in the 90's

A Short History of Carsharing in the 90's

This resource discusses the history of carsharing and how it is evolving to meet current transportation needs.

Key findings

"Carsharing is most effective and attractive when seen as a transportation mode that fills the gap between transit and private cars, and can be linked to other modes and transportation services as a mobility package. For long distances, one might use a household vehicle, air transport, rail or bus, or a rental car; and for short distances, one might walk, bicycle, or use a taxi. But for intermediate travel activities, even routine ones, one might use a shared vehicle."

"This paper concludes that Car Sharing Organizations (CSOs) are more likely to be economically successful when they provide a dense network and variety of vehicles, serve a diverse mix of users, create joint-marketing partnerships, design a flexible yet simple rate system, and provide for easy emergency access to taxis and long-term car rentals. They are more likely to thrive when environmental consciousness is high; when driving disincentives such as high parking costs and traffic congestion are pervasive; when car ownership costs are rather high; and when alternative modes of transportation are easily accessible."

"Taking a longer view, CSOs may be the prototype of an entirely new business activity: mobility service companies. As car ownership proliferates and vehicles become more modular and specialized, entrepreneurial companies may see an opportunity to assume the full care and servicing of mobility needs in neighborhoods, work sites, transit stations, and shopping centers, based on a partnership management strategy. These new mobility companies might handle insurance, registration, and maintenance, and could substitute vehicles as household situations change. One can imagine a future in which the pioneering CSOs combine their operational expertise with the entrepreneurial capabilities of advanced technology suppliers and other businesses to create mobility services that enhance our social, economical, and environmental well being."

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