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The Benefits Of Carsharing Essay

2421 words - 10 pages

Automobile dependency became a huge issue in the United Stated. People conduct most of their commute on private vehicles. This presented us with problems in economics, social aspects, and environment. Traffic congestion caused by overcapacity amount of cars on roads provides losses in productivity time, decrease mobility, and increase in energy consumption. In terms of social aspect, drive alone and spend more time by themselves in a car, not all people can afford owning a car. Majority of CO2, greenhouse gas, comes from fossil fuel combustion, and major source of it are private vehicles. However, recent phenomenon in the United States, increase in carsharing, provides an opportunity to address these issues. Carsharing provides access to carless households, decrease CO2 emissions, and reduces the amount of cars on the streets. Use of carsharing is has been increasing for the last 15 years in the United States. According to Navigant Research there were 2.3 million members of carsharing programs worldwide in 2013. They predict that this number will grow to 12 million by 2020. Another study by Susan Shaheen2 found that there are about 800,000 people belonged to car-sharing services in the United States, which represents 44 percent increase from 2011 (Stephanie Steinberg and Bill Vlasic, 2013). AS such, our relationship towards possession of physical assets is changing. With the development of Information Technologies (IT), it has become easy to access and share what we own. Internet based services such as Netflix, ITunes, and Hulu allow us to share digital contents such as movies, music, photographs. Not only that, IT allowed us to share and access many other forms of physical assets. And now, we are also changing our relationship towards car ownership.
1. Navigant Research is a market research and consulting group that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets.
2. Susan Shaheen – co-director of the Transp. Sustainability Research Center at the Univ. of California, Berkeley
Car sharing industry is not new, but with the development of IT, it has become more widespread. Technological development in car industry and in IT allows us to benefit from growing of sharing economy.
Defining Carsharing
In this paper, the term carsharing is a form of car rental that provides a vehicle for a short term use, usually on hourly basis. The concept is simple, individuals pay memberships fee on a monthly basis. When a member needs a car, he makes a reservation by phone, internet website, or other applications. After this, the individual takes the private vehicle reserved at specific times. There are two ways to pay for use; they are per mile and/or per hour of vehicle use. Also, there are two forms of access to cars: peer-to-peer, where operators, i.e. RelayRides, provide access to individuals owned cars when not used, and peer-to-organization, where operators provide access to their own fleet of organization owned vehicles.
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