With the developing in cities, we are more and more focus on our public transportation to reduce the pressure of commuting. Car sharing programs are very good solution to deal with this problem. The most significant car sharing program in Chicago is Zipcar, you can see it almost every several blocks. And Zipcar are always close to residential areas, which is convenient for people commuting.
Let’s take the broader view in the US, there have been a lot of car sharing programs in major cities. Car2go is very common in many major cities: just find a car on phone, reserve it, and then you can drive it to anywhere. It operated by Smart cars, which save the space on road and easy to find a parking spot, and meet most people’s demand with the minimum cost. Nowadays, companies like Uber and Lyft have started to promote their carpool program, which is sharing rides with others with lower rates. Even BMW has started their business in car sharing program, called Drivenow. It operates 2,400 vehicles in Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom, and now coming to San Francisco and Seattle. Car sharing is such a big potential market, and it is not only about business revenue.
(photo by Chris Brown)
When we have the whole world in view, car sharing programs are increasing rapidly these years in all over the world. The number of members of car sharing companies increased from 0.35 million in 2006 to 4.94 million in 2014, and the number of vehicles increased from 11.50 Thousand in 2006 to 92.20 thousand in 2014 (Vine, Zolfaghari and Polak, 2014). It is a great change during this decade, and the key of its success is because of sustainability.
It’s sustainable because it maximizes the utilization with certain cost, and provides the services that according to the demand of the market and also the demand of the environment. “The sustainable cities movement seems united in its perception that the state of the environment demands action and that cities are an appropriate forum in which to act (Anders, 1991).” With the concept of saving energy and green have been around, people realized the importance of public transportation, but sometimes public transportation could not meet our needs, then we need the car sharing program with flexibility. It helps the city to transit from private driving to the public transportation, and the goal of using less energy, control the demand to achieve sustainability. Car sharing program is following this sustainable path and becoming more and more popular.