The availability of car sharing services in or near residential developments provides an alternative for residents who are willing to forego the cost of paying for a parking space if they do not own a car. A change in car ownership creates the opportunity for developers to reduce the car park space per unit ratio if local governments are willing to review their current requirements.
In Australia, the cost of building underground parking ranges between $1,060 and $3,100 per m2 in the cities and between $1,040 and $2,800 in other areas. Therefore, minimising or eliminating parking in new developments reduces the cost of construction and, if savings are passed to the consumer, can contribute to house affordability.
The car sharing strategy to reduce the need for parking is particularly valuable in developments located in rich transit areas with alternative transport options available. In areas that are not well served by public transportation, it is unlikely that residents will not own a car at all; however, car sharing availability might reduce the need for a family to own more than one vehicle.
An example of high uptake of car sharing services is the Central Park development, located in Chippendale. Ten per cent of its residents (700 people) are members of the car sharing service GoGet and can utilise one of the 50 GoGet vehicles parked in dedicated bays at the One Central Park and Duo buildings. The location of the development, next to Central Station, serviced by numerous train and bus lines, created the ideal conditions for the car sharing service to thrive.