At the beginning of each new year the New Mobility Agenda invites the approximately two thousand individuals and groups from more than seventy nations on all continents who log into our dozen-plus focus sites to share overviews of the “state of the nation” in their particular area of interest and activity. This year we start with carsharing.
The following update note and invitation sent on Monday of this week to the almost five hundred members of the World Carshare Consortium, has set off the annual country updates on carsharing that will this year for the first time be published on World Streets. Over the course of the coming weeks, we shall be presenting their reports in these pages. You will see: 2009 was a great year for carsharing, and 2010 is going to be even better.
Carsharing: the last nail in the coffin of old mobility.
1. Progress report – 2009
2. Countries and cities consulting WCS in 2009
3. The carshare/city/national government interface – Joint projects?
4. Carsharing and World Streets:
5. It’s your forum – Do your bit
6. PS. Two questions for your attention
7. Annex: Countries and Cities consulting World Carshare in the last days
8. Want more on carsharing around the world?
1. 2009 State of World Carshare – Progress report:
2009 was the eleventh consecutive year of the World Carshare Consortium. Hurrah for continuity in a start and stop world.
Though I was somewhat disappointed to find that World Carshare was not nearly as lively and useful to you all in this last year as one might have hoped. I trust we shall be able to do better in 2010. In any event your can count on us to try.
We had received like 350 messages to the group over the year, one a day on averages, and have been host to close to 500 members, including a good number of the people who know more about how to make a carshare operation work than anyone on the planet. But it was precious hard to get anything out of most of you – which I guess is not altogether a bad sign, since I take it to mean that you were too busy running your operations to ask or deal with the more general, often strategic questions that are close at least to my heart and vision of things.
There is in fact more consultation than communication in our group, with close to ten thousand people checking in over the year, Here for example is a map showing the contacts over the last several days. The basic pattern is one we have seen here over the years, but there is some indication of spread of interest beyond the now traditional OECD region.
2. The carshare/city/national government interface – Joint projects?
The years pass but this is still in my view the weak link – the great unasked questions of carsharing. Our better and best carshare operators have now gleaned enough experience, have enough good examples to be able to plan, operate and of maintain viable accounts. That’s no longer the question.
The following chart taken from Adam Millard-Ball’s TRB report “Carsharing: Where and How It Succeeds” is worth taking out for a spin with since it reminds us of some of the apsects of this complex interface.
The big deal though is that even after a decade of carsharing that works most of our cities still fail to understand how carsharing fits into the larger whole of the sustainable transport strategy. We need more work, better references, clearer guidelines and examples of best practices to stimulate wider public policies in this area. I very much hope that we will find a way at least to follow and possibly to contribute to this in the year ahead.
I personally am interested in team or personal advisory and consulting assignments with both carshare operators and the respective public sector originations and agencies, both at the city and the national level. So if you have an idea or a project we might discuss , don’t be shy, get in touch. And if I am not the person best suited to do the job, ask and I can make my best recommendations.
3. Carsharing and World Streets:
We started World Streets over this last year with the idea in mind that it would serve as a place to share with a much broader range of readers some of what is going on at the leading edge and most important for the success and contribution of carsharing, and of course the other areas that together constitute the New Mobility Agenda. if you click to http://newmobilityagenda.blogspot.com/search/label/carshare you will see that we were able to post more than twenty I think rather interesting articles treating carshare developments in a number of countries as well as worldwide.
But to do a better job in 2010 we need more contributions, a bit more liveliness on the part of our members here (ahem!). It is not of course useful simply to publish a feature article around one more plain vanilla carshare operation, or some announcements of great stuff to follow. But our readers do want to hear about the innovations, the new ideas, the new cities, the problems, the barriers, and the outstanding examples that other cites, countries and operators can give some thought to. I hope we shall hear from you on this in the year ahead. After all, it is a collaborative program.
4. Support World Carshare and World Streets – 2010:
You may be aware that since World Carshare first cranked up in 1998, it has been totally financed by the person who is signing this letter. With from time to time a little help from our friends.
A handful of you have been kind enough to make contributions to World Streets to keep all this work going over 2009, ranging from $50 to $500. 2010 is going to be the year in which we either get the support on the scale we need, from public and private sector, or we will simply be unable to continue to serve you. So kindly take a bit of time as this new year starts up to give a careful read to the attached
Here in closing are four things I would like to ask you to have a look at before making up you mind on this.
1. Our four page/four minute summary which you can click to here – http://tinyurl.com/ws-4-4sum
2. A synopsis of 101 comments that we have received from expert readers worldwide, at http://tinyurl.com/ws-101
3. Our outline work program for 2010 – at http://tinyurl.com/ws-2010b
4. And finally, our background note for supporters and contributors – at http://tinyurl.com/ws-support2
That’s it carsharers. I really hope you have taken the time to read this, and that you will at the very least let me have your reactions. It’s great to put our shoulders behind a good idea like carsharing, but better yet when we have someone to help push.
PS. Two concrete, I think rather important questions for your attention in closing:
a. Street safety for others: Is carsharing less dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists than own-car driving – in terms of deaths, injuries and accidents? – Please share with us your numbers and reports on this.
b. Accidents: Do carshare drivers have fewer accidents than own-car drivers?
If we know these two things for sure we know something very important and very useful.
Annex: Countries and Cities consulting World Carshare
Here’s a list of the countries that have checked in over the last two months to our home page at http://www.worldcarshare.com. They are listed here in the order of the number of contacts over the period. Pretty much what one might expect, though one might take note of Qatar and the Emirates. In any event, we can see from it that things are not standing altogether still. (I have bolded those countries where memory serves me currently have operating carshare services. If I have this wrong in any way I count on you of set me right.)
1. United States
4. United Kingdom
14. United Arab Emirates
15. Czech Republic
29. South Africa
30. Russian Federation
31. Korea, Republic Of
39. New Zealand
Annex B. Consulting cities:
The list of cities checking in is no less fascinating. Here you have the latest in order of number of consultations, from high (Doha in Qatar??? ) to low. Again what fascinates me is to think about those cities that do not yet have carsharing but are apparently giving thought to it. Looks like 2010 is gong to be a very big year for carsharing.
27. Buenos Aires
30. New York
58. San Pablo
59. São Paulo
62. North Vancouver
84. Saint Petersburg
87. Cape Town
91. Frankfurt Am Main
96. Colorado Springs
101. San Jose
110. Beverly Hills
116. Mountain View
120. Sugar Land
124. Kuala Lumpur
128. Las Vegas
155. Los Angeles
156. Glenview Nas
157. Den Haag
161. Rio De Janeiro
168. Tel Aviv
171. Le Mans
172. San Antonio
174. Tarpon Springs
What lessons in this other than that at least the curiosity is wide spread? (Though we also know that many of these cities already have carshare operations working on their streets.)
# # #
Want more on carsharing around the world?
No problem. Get comfortable, pour yourself a cup of coffee and take a bit of time to investigate . . .
1. All World Streets articles on carsharing – http://tinyurl.com/ws-carsharing
2. The World Carshare Consortium at http://www.worldcarshare.com
3. Search World Carshare’s member forum – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WorldCarShare/messages (You have to be a member of the forum to make this work, but that’s no problem. Just send a quick email to the editor here – firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be done.)
4. Finally check out our rather huge, tightly focused New Mobility Knowledge Base (http://www.Knoogle.net on carsharing world-wide at http://tinyurl.com/kn-carshare. (Careful here: this will call up more than 500 references so you may want to think about narrowing your search to a country, city, supplier, whatever. For that drop to the bottom of the page and try “Search within results”. You’ll see.)
As you will quickly see this is an existing, fast-developing and thoroughly practical transportation innovation that is ready to go. It is a key component of the path to sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives.
We can do it.