Think you might wish to participate in a short collaborative survey in which we trying to improve our understanding of the relationship between carshare suppliers and local government in a cross-section of countries and environments? We are hoping to cover cities of a range of sizes, including both high performers and those as yet without much of a strategy. It will be important to cover both ends of the spectrum.
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 .
Our 21st century cities and those of us who live and work in them have transportation requirements that have little in common with the historical patterns. Our actual service needs are closer to what we can see in successful car-based systems than the patterns associated with traditional public transport. That is to say, user requirements in this new-life system are for the most part not linear (i.e., many-to-many) , nor strictly time-cadenced.
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.
Over the last decade carsharing has increasingly proven itself to be an effective mobility option in cities around the world, serving for well more than 1000 cities on all continents. A key element of an integrated mobility strategy for people and for cities, it is a thrifty transport mode and largely self-financing.
People choose to carshare not because they are obliged to, but because it offers a choice. They do it because they see it as a better, more economical way to get around for a portion of their trips. Properly positioned it has been shown that carsharing can offer significant potential for energy savings, pollution reduction, space savings on the street, and reduced requirement for expensive public investments in infrastructure to support cars and/or conventional public transport. However in the last several years the sector has begun to change in some unexpected ways.
This is short report was submitted by the participants of the city of Amsterdam in the 20 February 2014 workshop in the Utrecht for the project Going Dutch: Carshare Strategies for Cities being carried out by the KpVV (think tank of the Dutch ministry of transport) in cooperation with EcoPlan. The latest draft report on that meeting and the recommendations of those present from a cross-section of Dutch cities and agencies is available in our project library at http://goo.gl/clWKnD. Your comment and suggestions are most welcome.
Challenging year ahead. Here are the main program areas to which we intend to give attention over the course of the year ahead. All of these are complex system challenges and require patient attention and mental flexibility if we are to find the best way to proceed in each case. And in each case it is not enough to be right in terms of the basic principles — it is every bit as important to be able to communicate them and to convince the public, government and other key actors that these ideas and approaches are worth getting behind. Nobody ever said that the move to sustainable transport and sustainable cities was going to be simple.
We keep reading and are repeatedly informed that for carsharing to work there must be good public transport, cycling and other mobility arrangements as indispensable complements. In other words, for carsharing to work you have to be not only in a city, but in a certain kind of city. This position has been an article of faith for many carshare observers for more than a decade, and while there is a certain logic to it, upon inspection it turns out there is a lot more to successful carsharing than that.
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.
World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda are strong and consistent supporters of bike sharing projects created in university settings, particularly when planned and implemented on the basis of collaboration with students and faculty. We have reported on the excellent bike sharing project at Taiwan National University, and today we are pleased to share with you information just in from the Bike Sharing Project at Makerere University in Kampala Uganda. Projects like this not only improve mobility and environment for all within the target area, but also serve to prepare future leaders.
Carsharing changes our relationship with the cars we owned and loved and hated over much of the century just behind us. And one of the points we hear from proponents again and again is that carsharing offers substantial savings, because the cost of owning a car has become much higher than in the past. Surely the cost of car ownership in the 21st century — and all that goes with it including direct and indirect costs, among them depreciation, insurance, petrol, maintenance, parking, etc., — is no light burden. But how expensive is it really? In this article, carsharing expert Dave Brook digs into the numbers and reflects on the true cost of ownership for most car owners in the United States.
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.
If you are interested in carsharing, if you understand that public policy has an important role to play . . . and if you read Dutch, then Van autobezit naar autogebruik (“From car ownership to car use”) on LinkedIn at http://goo.gl/VEPRMG is for you.
The project is being carried out under the leadership of the KpVV: (Kennisplatform Verkeer en Vervoer –Knowledge Platform for Mobility and Transport). The KpVV supports local and regional authorities in their efforts to develop and implement mobility and transport policy by providing practical know-how, developing reports and guidelines, arranging meetings, and setting up networks. For more: http://www.kpvv.nl
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?
As we are seeing in these pages Penang in general and Georgetown in particular are giving serious attention to the possibility of creating a public bicycle system for the city. As a first step they have issued a Request for Proposals which is shortly to come online. This is a great thing because there are many reasons to create conditions for safe and agreeable cycling on city streets across the state.
- 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”.