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Car-sharing: convenient, environmentally friendly or financially smart?

by Vancity Report
in Environment, Finance, ONLINE FEATURE, Transportation

A recent report conducted by Vancity contacted over 4,000 B.C. residents to find out why they are using car-sharing services. A whopping 95 percent stated convenience was the top reason they choose to car-share; and, in second, 62 percent of residents indicated cost savings as their motivator. Surprisingly, these reasons ranked higher than environmental concerns – the most commonly cited rationale to encourage car-sharing. (Environmental reasons came in fourth, behind “just in case you need it”.)

Beyond these findings, the car-sharing report also had some recommendations for government, namely:

  • Municipalities should act on the recommendation for further research made in the 2014 Metro Vancouver Car Share Study.
  • More research from objective parties such as governments is needed to determine the extent to which car-sharing is “net green” and reduces overall vehicle kilometres travelled.
  • Municipalities should work with car-share providers on opportunities for fleet electrification.
  • Do not unnecessarily restrict potential users of a car-share vehicle by limiting access and parking. Local governments should pilot test a scheme giving car-share vehicles the right to park at meters and time-limited parking zones. If successful, explain to the public why car-sharing should be granted privileged parking access, and the value gained by allocating public parking spaces downtown.
  • Municipal governments should work with planners and developers to facilitate community-centric (not building- centric) car-sharing stations.

“It’s only growing in popularity as all the car-sharing companies expand out of Vancouver into New Westminster and North Vancouver,” said Anthonia Ogundele, manager of environmental sustainability at Vancity.

The car-sharing business is rapidly growing. With younger generations leading the population of customers, most have chosen to use these services instead of purchasing or using a currently owned vehicle.

For full report, please visit Vancity.com MW

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