Car sharing leads to less congestion, cleaner air and fewer personal cars on the road, as well as more land for people, housing and open space, according to a new report.
The 2018 Impact Report from car-sharing network Zipcar, based on the company’s own figures together with third-party research, shows that every ‘shared’ car and van on the road eliminates the need for up to 13 personally owned vehicles.
Over half (54%) of Zipcar members say they got rid of a personal vehicle after signing up and 65% don’t own a car today.
Each of the company’s vehicles serves around 80 individual members, and its 12,000 vehicle fleet means an estimated 156,000 fewer cars on city streets.
With the average parking space taking up 200 square feet of the urban environment, reducing vehicle numbers frees up space for housing, green areas, office space and more.
There are other benefits, too. After joining, round-trip car-sharing members drive 40% fewer miles than they did previously – reducing emissions. According to the report, car-sharing members reduce their CO2 footprint by up to 1,600 pounds per year.
Members say that if car sharing wasn’t available, they would drive 26% more than their current levels. Many now rely on car sharing for longer trips but use other methods of transport like walking, cycling and public transport for shorter journeys.
“In our vision of the future, we hope that there’s a day when car-shares outnumber car owners,” Zipcar president Tracey Zhen told Smart Cities Dive. “That’s our broader vision. I think we think about all the mobility options and multimodal options that are available, we think that will help accelerate more alternatives to car ownership.”