Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: The potential of car sharing that uses existing vehicles and fleets

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    611

    The potential of car sharing that uses existing vehicles and fleets

    I'm a big believer in expanding high-quality transit (especially those modes, like rail-ready B.R.T., that can be implemented quickly) and combining it with clean-energy car-sharing subscriptions and with transit-oriented development, while simultaneously instituting extensive traffic calming that facilitates walking, cycling, and N.E.V.-driving. But, even though most of this approach seems logical and straight-forward, the car-sharing element usually depends on rapidly increasing residential densities. And, even then, the cost structure may still be too unwieldy to gain the widespread use that we need.

    Moreover, the existing cars on the road are not at the end of their useful life. So, while some companies are experimenting with new business models that lower costs through advertising and sponsorships (e.g., Toronto's City Flitz that offers Yahoo!-touting Mini Coopers at a dollar a day), others, like Britain's Whip Car are specializing in converting existing vehicles, and, conceivably, fleets of vehicles, to car-sharing.

    If the extant cars individuals own, as well as the fleets governments and businesses own, are sitting idle more than 90% of each day, why can't we immediately institute car sharing more broadly by using these underutilized vehicles?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    611
    http://www.fastcompany.com/1686054/w...t-up-in-london

    The cars are also available in Brighton, Bristol, Glasgow, Coventry and Edinburgh, but it's in the rural areas where WhipCar can really clean up, unlike the car clubs. "The issue with the traditional car club model is that it starts to break down in less populated areas because of the overheads--maintenance and securing the fleet, and there's a problem with access. They're free midweek, but never at weekends. They have those kinds of challenge. This is highly scaleable because, whereas it doesn't make sense for a rental firm to be in a small village in Wales, we've already got a car there."

    But getting the word out in rural areas is more difficult than in cities. Gupta, however, leaves a lot of the marketing to the owners. "We look at our owners as Avon Ladies. We give them the tools to help them market their vehicles, everything from personalized business cards to posters and flyers that they can put up in their local supermarket or coffee shop. We give them personalized URLs to market themselves on the web, and we've got social tools in development as well." At the moment, it's left to the individuals to market their cars via Facebook or Twitter, although they are in the throes of launching an active campaign. They've also delivered a voucher code that allows owners the opportunity to give discount vouchers to valued customers.

    So what about launching abroad? I have a theory that WhipCar is totally suited to the U.K. market--Brits are pretty laid-back about their possessions, and wouldn't be that bothered about the odd scratch on the bodywork, or latte spillage or dog hair in the interior. Would the service go down well in the U.S., which is by nature more litigious? Driving in Continental Europe--as a former resident of both France and Spain, I have first-hand knowledge--is more Lewis Hamilton than Lewis Hamilton's home country.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,801
    I suspect one of things you would have to overcome in such an arrangement is the personal attachment people have to their vehicles. People here really do see them as an extension of their personality and personal space.

    Contrast that with the situation in Uganda and probably many other parts of the world. When I lived there, there were two types of transit: Teksis and Private Hires. Teksis are reconditioned minivans that run on designated routes. Its all private, but managed by a government-sanctioned union that sets rates, routes, and other requirements.

    Private Hires are passenger cars owned by an individual and then leased out to a driver who carts people around during the day. Private Hires take you places the Teksis don't go, but its more costly, Regardless, the driver and the owner split the profits according to an agreed upon percentage.

    In this way, the car is not seen purely as an expression of that individual's personality or social status - its an investment and a tool to generate revenues. As you said, these folks recognize that having the vehicle sit in the driveway all day represents an entrepreneurial money-making strategy waiting to happen - unrealized potential. But it also requires that they view the car as a tool and not a coveted personal item (with other coveted personal items kept within it).

    There are plenty of private car owners who subscribe to the western model, too. Especially if they have managed to acquire a nicer vehicle, it does serve as a status symbol and such vehicles would not find their way into the Private Hire system. But for sure, for the more affordable, mainly reconditioned Japanese cars, this is definitely a potential that is eagerly exploited.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    611
    I should clarify one point. Greater residential densities are necessary for share cars that are situated outside a person's home, but they are not required for implementing car sharing at transit stations where passengers often need a connecting mode.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    611
    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    I suspect one of things you would have to overcome in such an arrangement is the personal attachment people have to their vehicles. People here really do see them as an extension of their personality and personal space.

    Contrast that with the situation in Uganda and probably many other parts of the world. When I lived there, there were two types of transit: Teksis and Private Hires. Teksis are reconditioned minivans that run on designated routes. Its all private, but managed by a government-sanctioned union that sets rates, routes, and other requirements.

    Private Hires are passenger cars owned by an individual and then leased out to a driver who carts people around during the day. Private Hires take you places the Teksis don't go, but its more costly, Regardless, the driver and the owner split the profits according to an agreed upon percentage.

    In this way, the car is not seen purely as an expression of that individual's personality or social status - its an investment and a tool to generate revenues. As you said, these folks recognize that having the vehicle sit in the driveway all day represents an entrepreneurial money-making strategy waiting to happen - unrealized potential. But it also requires that they view the car as a tool and not a coveted personal item (with other coveted personal items kept within it).

    There are plenty of private car owners who subscribe to the western model, too. Especially if they have managed to acquire a nicer vehicle, it does serve as a status symbol and such vehicles would not find their way into the Private Hire system. But for sure, for the more affordable, mainly reconditioned Japanese cars, this is definitely a potential that is eagerly exploited.
    You may be right. Perhaps, this is a marketing challenge. The time-share industry has moved, for example, to a model where people think of themselves as buying an ownership interest that is allocated points that provide flexibility. So, the Whip Car model could be tweaked in a similar way.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,128
    I posed this to Mr Hoffa, he wants all of you to know:

    Everyone must buy thier own car. This is america! We need the freedom! Cars that are made with components from Detroit are superior to other cars. Cars made in the Great Lakes are even better.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    5,542
    Car sharing is already being done in certain metropolitan areas in the U.S. through a company called ZipCar. they have only been operating for a couple of years here but I think I remember an article about them in the NYTimes or Washington Post about how they are already surprisingly successful and profitable for being such a young company.

    I have friends in Chicago and a buddy in the DC area who all use ZipCar pretty regularly once about every other week for larger grocery hauls, trips to big box stores, or emergency/unscheduled trips within the area but outside of the use of public transportation. They all seem to absolutely love it.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,128
    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Car sharing is already being done in certain metropolitan areas in the U.S. through a company called ZipCar. they have only been operating for a couple of years here but I think I remember an article about them in the NYTimes or Washington Post about how they are already surprisingly successful and profitable for being such a young company.

    I have friends in Chicago and a buddy in the DC area who all use ZipCar pretty regularly once about every other week for larger grocery hauls, trips to big box stores, or emergency/unscheduled trips within the area but outside of the use of public transportation. They all seem to absolutely love it.
    Commie-Traitor! I'm telling LBP on you! I'll be lowering the PCI near the Hills this Thanksgiving myself. Going to my cousin's home in the viewshed of the South Course.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    5,542
    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Commie-Traitor! I'm telling LBP on you!
    I'm tearing things down from the inside.


    Or maybe I'm preserving the status quo... I can never remember.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    27

    care share parking

    The idea of sharing private cars certainly makes sense, and I suspect it happens informally within familites and circles of friends (everyone has a friend with a van, or should!), but I guess the next question is whether a group would get together to agree on a shared vehicle. Having a company take care of the maintenance and renting it out could be quite attractive to some private car owners who rarely use their cars (e.g. downtowners who only abandon foot/transit on the weekend), provided they can make enough to cover the true costs - if I won't have access to my car then why should I pay all the depreciation, insurance etc. for the convenience of that access? It would be interesting to do some market testing on this. The viability of carshares from the client side seems to be looking good, so the question is really about the owners side.

    Toronto has both Zipcar and AutoShare active, with over 350 vehicles in total I believe, but really still in a fairly small area of downtown only. A key issue is of course parking, but some agreements have been reached with the City on that count, allowing on-street and parking lot parking at monthly rates. A couple of documents are available on the parking issue:

    Parking Standards Review: Examination of Potential Options and Impacts of Car Share Programs on Parking Standards
    http://www.toronto.ca/zoning/pdf/car...2009-04-02.pdf

    and this backgrounder, look for the section on Car Sharing on page 5:
    http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2...dfile-7210.pdf

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    611
    I think governments need to play a greater role.

    For example, T.O.D. developers often seek HUD money, and the costliness of these buildings is usually the parking. Similarly, the transit systems should all be able to significantly increase their ridership by adding car sharing in a more robust, but scalable, way.

    Additionally, government fleets may be converted in order to easily provide the critical mass that can, in turn, make car sharing more useful for people.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jswanek's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2009
    Location
    County of Orange
    Posts
    134
    .

    You are proposing an end to POVs (personally owned) in favor of COVs (community-owned) or GOVs? Sounds rather communalistic...

    .

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    611
    Quote Originally posted by jswanek View post
    .

    You are proposing an end to POVs (personally owned) in favor of COVs (community-owned) or GOVs? Sounds rather communalistic...

    .
    I can't tell if you're being serious. But, then again, you are representing Orange County.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    611
    Hasan Ikhrata, the Executive Director of SCAG, the largest M.P.O. in the country, told me a year or so ago that he didn't see much potential for car sharing in southern California because it is so spread-out. But, in my opinion, this fact is precisely the reason the mode holds so much potential in the region since share cars at destination stations can make more trips by commuter rail and other transit viable.

    I would, personally, love to be able to forego long- and medium-distance freeway driving by relying, instead, on Metrolink with an improved level of service and with integrated car-sharing.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Car Sharing Program Comes to the US
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 13
    Last post: 15 Dec 2004, 1:29 AM
  2. Replies: 9
    Last post: 18 Dec 2002, 10:37 AM
  3. Since we're sharing recipes...
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 03 Dec 2002, 8:32 AM
  4. Signs / billboards Vehicles as signs
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 07 Jun 2000, 5:56 PM