World Carshare 2014: “Going Dutch”

going dutch cover 29jan14

Abstract

(From in-process draft report of 29 January 2014)

This report being prepared under the auspices of the Kennisplatform Verkeer en Vervoer (KpVV) is aimed to inform local and national government on latest developments in the fast-growing field of carsharing, in an attempt to put this relatively recent transport concept into a broader strategic planning frame. Carsharing has over the last decade proven itself to be an effective transport option which is, or at least should be, a key element of an integrated mobility strategy for people and for cities.

Carsharing is a thrifty transport mode and is largely self-financing. People choose to carshare because they see it as a better way to get around for a portion of their daily trips. Properly positioned it offers potential for energy savings, pollution reduction, and reduced requirement for expensive public investments in infrastructure to support cars or conventional public transport.

Until recently however it has been largely neglected by national governments — and has for the most part been treated on an ad hoc basis, if at all, by, the cities who are the primary beneficiaries and partners. It is now the moment to take steps. This paper makes a small number of recommendations, among them a proposal for a national car sharing label to help cities make better use of its full potential.

The present document is being presented to and supported by series of city workshops, aimed at ensuring that the final report fully reflects the requirements of local and and national policies.

Note:  “Going Dutch” is a popular English-language expression which refers to the practice of people each covering their own costs when dining together or sharing other events in which there is an amount to be paid. The term has been chosen as the title for this project because it evokes notions of sociability, equity, sharing and self-reliance, which are also keys to the success of any carshare operation.

Contents of working copy of report
going dutch toc 29jan14

going dutch Witkar note# # #
about the editor 21dec13

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One thought on “World Carshare 2014: “Going Dutch”

  1. Obviously, I haven’t read the report yet but it would be interesting to see if it addresses a variant of taxi service that often, wrongly, is considered to be a form of carsharing, called ridesharing, enabled by mobile commerce platforms.

    There are two-three types. One is a fully for profit service, offered by firms such as Uber. It’s called “collaborative consumption” but it’s really more a form of premium taxi service, although Uber works to not brand it that and to evade typical regulation that comes with being a “common carrier.” If it were positioned as a premium service, with higher prices, and licensed, that would solve a lot of the issues. But meanwhile they aim to open without having to go through the traditional regulatory approval process that covers taxis.

    There is a form of car sharing, enabled by mobile e-commerce platforms, where individuals, not firms, allow their cars to be rented like carshare, and the e-commerce platform takes a cut, provides umbrella insurance coverage etc.

    The third form is called ridesharing and involves payments by the rider to the car owner. It can be a variant of taxi-like service–the firm Lyft is one example, and participating cars are adorned with a pink moustache, allowing you to hail them as well as to do a pre-arranged mobile phone enabled pickup. Or there are platforms, like old ride boards at universities, that can connect people going in the same direction.

    The thing about ridesharing services is I call them overgrounding the undergound economy. They allow people to monetize an otherwise fallow and expensive asset. But typically they operate at peak times–the best time to sell the service–and not nonpeak periods. So they reduce profitability for traditional taxi services and this could impinge on their overall availability.

    I have written about this more, here: http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2013/08/misunderstanding-uber-taxi-regulation.html

    This blog entry includes a link to an Enterprise Car Share national television ad: http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-trend-away-from-automobile.html

    Reply

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