The researchers looked at car2go, which has the largest reach, and is available in a number of major urban markets. What they found to be most appealing about car sharing was the freedom it affords.
“It provides people with ubiquitous auto-mobility – anywhere they go, they can get a vehicle within these zones,” Elliot Martin, Research Engineer at Cal’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, and the study’s co-author told KCBS.
Martin says that level of convenience gives people the confidence to get rid of their car, or not buy one in the first place. Five cities were used for the study – San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, Washington DC, and Calgary.
“San Diego and Calgary were two of our lowest density cities, and we actually found that the effects in those cities were actually quite substantive,” Martin said.
So, it’s not just folks living in high density cities who see car sharing as a viable alternative to the family car.
The research found that while younger people use car sharing more than other age groups, middle aged and older people are using the service. All of this bodes well for easing traffic congestion and air pollution.