Car sharing feedback and information

We recently posted our blog article on Car Sharing to a few LinkedIn discussion groups in order to obtain feedback on what is going on in other parts of the world in terms of car sharing. We received strong response and a lot of interesting information was provided by professionals in various parts of the world. Therefore we thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of the links we were sent and some of the more interesting comments and further

The response to the car sharing debate.

Generally, the parking community is supportive of car sharing schemes, driven by recent economic conditions which are increasing its public acceptance; the overall consensus is that the greatest benefits are to be found in larger cities, which are well-connected via public transit systems or transportation hubs.

Car Sharing on-street, is being implemented in many cities globally with the introduction of zoning arrangements and dedicated car sharing spaces in London, New York, Austin (Texas), Hoboken (NJ), Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and across Belgium. We are sure that there are many more regions, cities and countries in addition to this list.

Off-street, many responses drew on new planning initiatives from regulators and governments, which are moving to establish building standards or benefits to property developers who look to include car sharing within their plans. Reducing the number of parking spaces they are required to provide as a result, construction savings can be passed on to residents or tenants who are willing to adopt the lifestyle.

Interestingly, established car rental companies are also getting in on the act, with the added benefit of free storage for their fleet and also generating casual rental rates as well.

One interesting comment we received: “I suspect the parking industry hates it because it reduces their revenue and the property industry loves it because it reduces the number of parking spaces they have to provide.”

PCI’s opinion is that car sharing needs to become an integral part of parking and transportation planning in a variety of situations. It’s important to remember that the very concept of innovation opens up new solutions and utilization within a capped inventory of spaces, whilst having the added benefit of an environmental benefit across the board. What do you think?<

Links to car share companies provided by the community

Zipcar is common in large US cities

Some regional US companies:
I-Go (Chicago), a non-profit car-sharing service

CityWheels (Cleveland)

Governments and city planning department activity:
New York City’s Department of City Planning recently proposed a Car Share zoning text amendment.

The City of Austin, Texas is about to rollout a car share program called Car2Go to the public. The program should be available to the public very soon and will allow anyone that joins the program to use the cars, available to be rented by the minute.

The City of Hoboken is just rolling out a “city-wide” on-street car sharing program that is targeted to reducing parking demand in the third densest city in the US.

In London ‘car clubs’ are actively promoted by Transport for London and therefore London Boroughs, and is a principally on-street activity where the Council designate car club bays. Transport for London are also promoting electric charging points in commercial off-street car parks through grants; car share schemes are piggy-backing on this idea.

And two other interesting links:
Cambio, a Belgian organisation run with the support of public transport operators.  Hertz Connect. At IPI this year, Hertz had a very large stand offering a share concept, with their share car (an electric Mini) parked in bays around the town and available to be rented for low rates (approx $8 per hour – cheaper than a bicycle in Melbourne!).

Please feel free to contribute with further links and comments below.

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