Carsharing is a system of shared access to vehicles parked in your community or at transit stations. Users can pick up a clean, maintained automobile with a full tank of gas and drive it for as long as needed; only paying for what they use.A carsharing membership or fee usually includes gas, maintenance, insurance, and parking.
A carsharing membership is a great resource for people who occasionally need a car, but don’t want the expense and trouble of car ownership. For some, carsharing can eliminate the need for a second car. For businesses, participation in a carsharing program can reduce or eliminate the need to store and maintain company cars, or to require employees to bring their personal cars to work.
- Carsharing can reduce car ownership rates. With fewer vehicles owned per capita, parking demand decreases.
- Carsharing allows individuals to save money while meeting their transportation needs. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has found that individuals driving 10,000 miles per year pay about $7,022 annually for their medium sized cars. In comparison, using a Zipcar for 15 hours per month costs about $1,300 per year.
According to the 2010 Making an Impact Report, carshare programs contribute to the following reductions per day:
- 1,234 single-occupant vehicle trips reduced
- 16,512 miles reduced
- 17 fewer pounds of NOx
- 11 less VOC
- 16,566 fewer pounds of CO2
- 694 fewer gallons of gasoline consumed
The overarching goal of the Arlington County’s Master Transportation Plan is to “move more people without more traffic.” This will require substantial increase in non-SOV travel, and the various carshare programs will continue to play a vital role in providing alternatives to non-SOV travel as they expand, evolve and new programs are developed.
Carshare Research Studies:
- 2008 National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board Commuter Connections Program Carshare Survey: http://www.mwcog.org/commuter2/pdf/Carshare%202008%20FINAL%20Draft%20Report%20012709.pdf
- 2006 Arlington County Carshare Program Study: http://mobilitylab.org/2012/01/23/2006-arlington-county-carshare-program-study/
- 2005 Arlington Pilot Carshare Program First-Year Report: http://mobilitylab.org/2012/02/06/2005-arlington-pilot-carshare-program-first-year-report-2/