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A Growing Trend, Car Sharing Offers a Different Mobility Option

This article was reposted with permission from Planetizen.

Stephanie Steinberg and Bill Vlasic survey the growing universe of car-sharing services. From big corporations to non-profits, the high demand for car sharing in urban areas allows a variety of alternatives to “coexist comfortably.” With about two dozen car-sharing services currently operating in the United States, the growing rental universe is far from homogenous. 

With about two dozen car-sharing services currently operating in the United States, the growing rental universe is far from homogenous. From Smart cars fleets that charge customers by the minute and allow for one-way rentals and free street parking to industry stalwarts that offer numerous rental locations and a wide variety of automobiles, “rental providers are trying to differentiate themselves” to attract a share of the 800,000 people who belonged to car-sharing services in the United States last year, report Steinberg and Vlasic.

What explains the rise in car-sharing, and its many variants?

“There’s a trend in general for people wanting to pay for what they use,” said Car2go’s chief executive, Nicholas Cole. “It’s like the success in iTunes, where people choose to buy a few songs instead of the whole album.”

The need for cheap, convenient mobility is fueling the growth of car sharing around the world, said Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. She said that recent statistics showed 1.7 million car-sharing members in 27 countries, not including so-called peer-to-peer services that allow drivers to rent vehicles directly from individual car owners.

A menu of mobility options works for some consumers, like Michelle Fox, a 27-year-old executive of a technology company in Washington. Ms. Fox recently sold her Toyota S.U.V. because of the cost of car payments, insurance and parking.

Instead, she uses a combination of Car2go, a bicycle-sharing network and the Uber call-a-limo service.

Photo By Fotolia/Pixel & Création 

7/8/2014 3:07:51 AM

We should do the same thing in many other cities!

6/3/2014 9:11:42 AM

Maybe I will use for my the same car, it will be something unique!

5/28/2014 4:37:18 AM

Maybe in this way we will and we will change the strategy!

5/27/2014 8:06:39 AM

it is for sure a really nice way to save the planet, we should do it!

5/26/2014 3:10:32 AM

An alternative is, I really like what you said! Great job!

3/15/2014 7:57:24 AM

Car sharing is a useful thing for the employes those who are work in a office, in many cities people use the share car. In United States it can very helpful for the people and the smart cars give the service for the customers. In this type of system the customer got the benefit.