This article which recently appeared in City Lab gets straight to the heart of the New Mobility Agenda as we understand it, a critical and often ignored mobility category which we have long since dubbed xTransit, Third Ways of Getting around in Cities. Just below you will find some key excerpts from the article; for the full text click to http://goo.gl/hI8VI . If you are not familiar with the Matatu, you will find additional background in the short but quite useful Wikipedia site at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matatu. For more on our xTransit work, have a look at http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/xtransit and eventually https://www.facebook.com/groups/xtransit .
In the context of the ongoing World Carshare 2014 program, we have been asked by several considering authors to provide some context and perhaps indicate some issues or questions concerning matters that our readers might be interested to know more about in order to better understand the evolution of carsharing in their country.
Results of pilot project in the Netherlands
This paper describes a pilot project consisting of a substantial increase in the number of carshare vehicles in a neighborhood in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The goal was to explore, first, the impact on the demand for carshare services and, second, the impact on the socio-economic composition of the new carshare members. The results show a substantial increase in the number of carshare members, but little proof for the diversification hypothesis. While households interested in carshare membership had a different socio-economic profile from existing carshare members, the households that eventually became carshare members more closely resembled the existing members.
Germany is among the world leaders when it comes to the development of carsharing, as the following figures and graphics clearly illustrate. One of the primary reasons for this success has been the existence of strong networks and relationships between the cities and carshare operators over the last decade and more. And in this process the Bundesverband CarSharing e.V. (bcs) — the industry association of the traditional car sharing organisations in Germany – has played an important role. Let us have a look at their summary information on the situation in 2014, as well as in the preceding 17 years which have shown steady development and strong growth.
xCARS: NEW WAYS OF OWNING AND USING CARS IN 21ST CENTURY.
The 2014 work program focuses on carsharing, but not limited to this one new form of car use. Coverage of different main forms: Traditional, One-way, P2P and private. Carsharing by its various names and different forms is one of the fastest-growing new ways of getting around in cities and outlying areas for day-to-day travel. Over the last decade it has increasingly proven itself to be an effective mobility option, serving thousands of cities on all continents.
* Click here to go to archives covering period 2009 – 2014 *
Carsharing has a brilliant, in many ways surprising and certainly very different future — a future which is already well in process. Carsharing is one of the fastest growing new mobility modes, with until now almost all services occurring in the high income countries. But it is by and large new, unfamiliar and does not fit well with the more traditional planning and policy structures at the level of the city. This is a problem. And addressing this problem is the goal of this cycle of reports and events in the year ahead.
More than three quarters of the municipalities in the Netherlands are currently served by carshare operators (as opposed to 11% in 2002). The following listing has been compiled with the help of several friends and colleagues in the Netherlands, helping us to identify all of the carshare operators currently offering “traditional”, P2P or one-way services. This listing is part of the in-process “Going Dutch” project which got underway in December 2013 and has been introduced here on World Streets.
Before digging into the details, the important mechanics of carsharing, it is important for policy makers to ask these deeper questions if we are ever to be able to shift gears into sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives.
This is an extremely important foundation question to which the short answer is: yes definitely. But let us dig deeper.
Some may argue this, be that as it may, but if you ask World Streets for our advice for a great place to go to start your research into and understanding of carsharing from its semiformal origins in the years immediately after the second world war up to today, we would say go right to the international bibliography which has been organized by our Canadian friends and outstanding carshare innovators Communauto.
- – > Click here to find your way.
The short off the cuff answer is: yes definitely. But let us dig deeper.
A well thought-out carsharing policy — which incidentally is not really possible unless you first have a well thought out overall mobility strategy – – will make a contribution to promoting balanced and sustainable economic growth. How is that?
- Csaba Mezei reports from Budapest
In the field of mobility, Hungary typifies the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Municipal public transport is well-developed and its modal share is relatively high (e.g. 61 percent in the capital city Budapest). However, the quality of public transport systems is declining due to decreasing state subsidies. Car ownership is still a status symbol and governments are keen to placate car owners and support motorised individual transportation rather than sustainable community solutions. In cities the health impacts of transport include a high rate of respiratory decease and allergies. The situation can be expected to get worse with increasing air pollution (especially particulates), noise, and congestion.
Carsharing is most unevenly distributed over the world map. There are great extremes, running from countries like Switzerland in which it is universally known and widely practiced, to the situation of most countries on the planet where even the word is not much known. For this reason our 2013 country profiles have to be ingenious and flexible, one size will not fit all, if we are to give our readers a feel for the full range of practices and issues. Let’s have a look, starting with some “carshare basics”.
This 2011 report by May Hald, Petter Christiansen and Vibeke Nenseth of the Norwegian Center for Transport Research on carsharing in Oslo gives us a good feel not only for carsharing activities in that one city but also more generally user preferences and choice factors in Norway and Scandinavia.
Here by way of historical background to accompany our just getting-underway World Carshare 2013 update please find some working notes that I pulled together for the purpose of a presentation at the first official government meeting on carsharing in France (seven years after we set up our own unofficial working group with the OECD in 1998). What you have here was extracted from a much longer thinkpiece that I was drafting on the subject at the time. Have a look and let us know if you find some vision in what follows. Or the lack thereof if that is your read of the evidence as et out here and available from other sources.
- – > Full report available here.
As part of this 2013/2014 update program on our country reports in this series, we have now grouped all of the past, including the latest, articles and reports which you can call up by clicking http://goo.gl/P0rlhl. As of this date you will find 26 featured articles, thus far reporting on status and developments in Greece, Norway, Great Britain, United States, Canada, Netherlands, Croatia, France, Japan, China, Sweden, Italy, Iceland and Singapore. As you will see there is no standard reporting format in these cases, preferring to leave it to each contributing author to work with the format with which they’re most comfortable, and to whom we can now express once again our sincere thanks.
Jarrett Walker, the transport planning consultant behind the Human Transit blog has done all of us a favor by providing a short review on an excellent report freely available from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund Frontier Group under the title A NEW WAY TO GO: The Transportation Apps and Vehicle-Sharing Tools that Are Giving More Americans the Freedom to Drive Less.. The PIRG report announces its colors, opening with the words . . .
Most Americans want to drive less. For some, it’s a matter of economics. Transportation is the second-largest household expenditure, after only housing, and ahead of food, clothing, education and health care. Owning, maintaining and fueling a car is a significant drain on household budgets, especially when times are tight. For others . . .
Make it happen:
As you can well imagine, there is quite a bit of work that goes into a worldwide collaborative program at this level of ambition. And to achieve the level of results that this important policy topic deserves we need help. This can take any of several forms and that is where you come in:
Paris, 21 October 2013. How much we learned about car sharing, and more importantly sustainable transport in cities, over the last decade and a half? To put that question into perspective, please find below the full text of a year 2000 collaborative report prepared here in Paris with the help of knowledgeable colleagues from around the world which does a pretty good job of summing up the state-of-the-art state of thinking about these matters at the end of the 20th century. Have a look at this 13 year old overview of the industry and its prospects, and tell us what you think.
This free, cooperative, independent, international communications program supports carsharing projects and programs, world wide. Since 1997 it offers a convenient place on the web to gather and share information and independent views on projects and approaches, past, present and planned future, freely and easily available to all comers.
- – > Check it out at http://worldcarshare.com/
This is a collaborative thinking exercise addressing essentially a single question. But one of many parts. What is the “modern motor car” going to look like in the decade immediately ahead? Will it be more of the same? Or will it mutate into a very different form of mobility? Who is going to own it? And how is it going to be used? Where will it be driven (and eventually parked)? Will it be piloted by a warm sapient human being, or will it be driverless? Will it still have wheels, doors and tires? What will be its impact on the environment? And what will be the impact of the “environment” on it? On public safety? On quality of life for all. Will it be efficient, economic and equitable? Who will make them and where? Is it going to create or destroy jobs? And how fast is all of this going to occur? . . .