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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Electric Vehicle Carsharing is Helping to Fill Transit Gaps and Improve Mobility in Rural California

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In rural areas, cost-effective transit service is challenging to provide due to greater travel distances, lower population densities, and longer travel times than in cities. Access to a personal car is often essential to the quality of life for most residents, enabling them to readily access essential services. However, keeping one or two vehicles in reliable working order can be prohibitively expensive for low-income families. To address this issue, multiple organizations partnered to launch an electric vehicle (EV) carsharing pilot called Míocar in 2019. This non-profit service in the rural San Joaquin Valley of California differs from the dominant carsharing model of for-profit businesses serving affluent communities that already have high-quality transit. Míocar seeks to provide carsharing to price-sensitive populations with low transit access at a price point that is more affordable than owning a personal vehicle. The service currently has 27 EVs located at eight hubs throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

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