UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center
Carsharing and Partnership Management: An International Perspective
- Author(s): Shaheen, Susan
- Sperling, Dan
- Wagner, Conrad
- et al.
Most cars carry one person and are used for less than 1 hour per day. A more economically rational approach would be to use vehicles more intensively. Carsharing, in which a group of people pays 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. Relative to car ownership, carsharing has the disadvantage of less convenient vehicle access but the advantages of a large range of vehicles, fewer ownership responsibilities, and less cost (if vehicles are not used intensively). The uncoupling of car ownership and use offers the potential for altering vehicle usage and directing individuals toward other mobility options. The perceived convenience (e.g., preferred parking) and cost savings of carsharing have promoted a new modal split for many carsharing participants throughout the world. Societal benefits include the direct benefit of less demand for parking space and the indirect benefits arising from linking costs to actual usage and matching vehicles to trip purpose. The experience of carsharing in Europe, North America, and Asia is reviewed, and its future prospects through expanded services, partnership management, and advanced technologies are explored.