Advertisement

Transportation

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 363–382 | Cite as

The cost saving potential of carsharing in a US context

  • Michael DuncanEmail author
Article

Abstract

Carsharing is a vehicle sharing service for those with occasional need of private transportation. Transportation planners are beginning to see great potential for carsharing in helping to create a more diversified and sustainable transport system. While it has grown quickly in the US in recent years, it is still far from the level where it can deliver significant aggregate benefits. A key element to the potential growth of carsharing is its ability to provide cost savings to those who adopt it in favor of vehicle ownership. This research seeks to quantify these potential cost savings. The costs of carsharing and vehicle ownership are compared based on actual vehicle usage patterns from a large survey of San Francisco Bay Area residents. The results of this analysis show that a significant minority of Bay Area households own a vehicle with a usage pattern that carsharing could accommodate at a lower cost. Further research is required to indentify how these cost savings translate to the adoption of carsharing.

Keywords

Carsharing Travel behavior Vehicle usage patterns VKT Sustainability 

References

  1. AAA: Your Driving Costs. AAA Association Communication, Heathrow, FL (2010)Google Scholar
  2. Barth, M., Shaheen, S.: Share-use vehicle systems: framework for classifying carsharing, station cars, and combined approaches. Transp. Res. Rec. 1791, 105–112 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barth, M., Todd, M., Shaheen, S.: Intelligent transportation technology elements and operational methodologies for shared-use vehicle systems. Transp. Res. Rec. 1841, 99–108 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barth, M., Li, W., Todd, M.: Interoperability options for shared-use vehicle systems. Transp. Res. Rec. 1887, 128–136 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beatley, T.: Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities. Island Press, Washington, DC (2000)Google Scholar
  6. Burkhardt, J., Millard-Ball, A.: Who is attracted to carsharing? Transp. Res. Rec. 1986, 98–106 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. California Air Resources Board: Estimation of Average Lifetime Vehicle Miles of Travel. http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/grnhsgas/vmt.pdf (2004). Accessed 1 May 2010
  8. California DMV: Vehicle Registration Fee Calculator. https://mv.dmv.ca.gov/FeeCalculatorWeb/index.jsp (2010). Accessed 1 May 2010
  9. Carsharing Network. http://www.carsharing.net/ (2009). Accessed 1 May 2010
  10. Celsor, C., Millard-Ball, A.: Where does carsharing work?: Using geographic information systems to assess market potential. Transp. Res. Rec. 1992, 61–69 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cervero, R.: City Carshare: first-year travel demand impacts. Transp. Res. Rec. 1839, 159–166 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cervero, R., Landis, J.: Twenty years of the Bay Area rapid transit system: land use and development impacts. Transp. Res. A 31, 309–333 (1997)Google Scholar
  13. Cervero, R., Tsai, Y.: City Carshare in San Francisco, California: second-year travel demand and car ownership impacts. Transp. Res. Rec. 1897, 117–127 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cervero, R., Golub, A., Nee, B.: City Carshare: longer-term travel demand and car ownership impacts. Transp. Res. Rec. 1992, 70–80 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. City CarShare: Rates and Savings. http://www.citycarshare.org/ratesandsavings.do (2010). Accessed 1 May 2010
  16. Enoch, M., Taylor, J.: A worldwide review of support mechanisms for car clubs. Transp. Policy 13, 434–443 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fan, W., Machemehl, R., Lownes, N.: Carsharing: dynamic decision-making problem for vehicle allocation. Transp. Res. Rec. 2063, 97–104 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fellows, N., Pitfield, D.: An economic and operational evaluation of urban car-sharing. Transp. Res. D 5, 1–10 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Glaeser, E., Kahn, M.: The Greeness of Cities: Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development. National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 14238 (2008)Google Scholar
  20. Goldman, T., Gorham, R.: Sustainable urban transport: four innovative directions. Technol. Soc. 28, 261–273 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Huwer, U.: Public transport and car-sharing: benefits and effects of combined services. Transp. Policy 11, 77–87 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Katsev, R.: Car sharing: a new approach to urban transportation problems. Anal. Soc. Issues Public Policy 3, 65–86 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kek, A., Cheu, R., Meng, Q., Fung, C.: A decision support system for vehicle relocation operations in carsharing systems. Transp. Res. E 45, 149–158 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lane, C.: PhillyCarShare: first-year social and mobility impacts of carsharing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Transp. Res. Rec. 1927, 158–166 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Litman, T.: Evaluating carsharing benefits. Transp. Res. Rec. 1702, 31–35 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Loose, W., Mohr, M., Nobis, C.: Assessment of the future development of car sharing in Germany and related opportunities. Transp. Rev. 26, 365–382 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Morency, C., Trepanier, M., Martin, B.: Object-oriented analysis of carsharing system. Transp. Res. Rec. 2063, 105–112 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. MTC: Travel Demand Models for the San Francisco Bay Area (BAYCAST-90) Technical Summary. Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Oakland, CA (1997)Google Scholar
  29. Murphy, J., Delucchi, J.: A review of the literature on the social cost of motor-vehicle use in the United States. J. Transp. Stat. 1, 15–43 (1998)Google Scholar
  30. Nobis, C.: Carsharing as key contribution to multimodel and sustainable mobility behavior: carsharing in Germany. Transp. Res. Rec. 1986, 89–97 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Orski, K.: Car sharing. Transp. Q. 55, 13–15 (2001)Google Scholar
  32. Parent, M.: New technologies for sustainable urban transportation in Europe. Transp. Res. Rec. 1986, 78–80 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schuster, T., Byrne, J., Corbett, J., Schreuder, Y.: Assessing the potential extent of carsharing: a new method and its implication. Transp. Res. Rec. 1927, 174–181 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Shaheen, S.: Commuter-based carsharing: market niche potential. Transp. Res. Rec. 1760, 178–183 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shaheen, S., Cohen, A.: Growth in worldwide carsharing: an international comparison. Transp. Res. Rec. 1992, 81–89 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Shaheen, S., Novick, L.: Framework for testing innovative transportation solutions: case study of CarLink, a commuter carsharing program. Transp. Res. Rec. 1927, 149–157 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shaheen, S., Sperling, D., Wagner, C.: Carsharing in Europe and North America: past, present and future. Transp. Q. 52, 35–52 (1998)Google Scholar
  38. Shaheen, S., Meyn, M., Wipyewski, K.: U.S. shared-use vehicle survey findings on carsharing and station car growth: obstacles and opportunities. Transp. Res. Rec. 1841, 90–98 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shaheen, S., Schwartz, A., Wipyewski, K.: Policy consideration for carsharing and station cars: monitoring growth, trends, and overall impacts. Transp. Res. Rec. 1897, 128–136 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shaheen, S., Cohen, A., Roberts, J.: Carsharing in North America: market growth, current developments, and future potential. Transp. Res. Rec. 1986, 116–124 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Shaheen, S., Cohen, A., Chung, M.: North American carsharing: a ten-year retrospective. In: Transportation Research Board 88th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers, Washington, DC (2009)Google Scholar
  42. Small, K., Verhoef, E.: The Economics of Urban Transportation. Routledge, Abingdon (2007)Google Scholar
  43. TCRP (Transit Cooperative Research Program): Car-Sharing: Where and How It Succeeds. TCRP Report 108, Washington, DC (2005)Google Scholar
  44. Wachs, M., Taylor, B.: Can transportation strategies help meet the welfare challenge? J. Am. Plan. Assoc. 64, 15–17 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Warburton, D., Nicol, C., Bredin, S.: Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Can. Med. Assoc. J. 174, 801–809 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wright, C., Curtis, B.: Reshaping the motor car. Transp. Policy 12, 11–22 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zipcar: Savings Calculator. http://www.zipcar.com/is-it/savings-calculator (2010). Accessed 1 May 2010

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Earth SciencesUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

Personalised recommendations