Published on June 11th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro3
Car Sharing Reduces Members Need To Drive
June 11th, 2014 by Christopher DeMorro
Car sharing services are gaining members daily, though the effects of this new kind of shared transportation system are still being figured out. A study finds that car sharing members are learning to divest their lives of the need to drive. Turns out we don’t need to drive as much as we thought!
The San Francisco Bay Guardian reports that UC Berkeley researcher Susan Shaheen conducted a thorough study in which she claims that carsharing services remove between 9 and 13 vehicles per member. The numbers are “amazingly consistent” across the world, casting doubt on estimates that peg the number at 32 cars per car sharing member, though there has been a small ripple effect on new car sales. But even more important is the drastic reduction in Vehicle Miles Traveled, or VMT per carsharing member families.
The study found that, over time, carsharing members learned to live their lives without cars, driving less and less as time went on. A reduction as drastic as 27% was observed across the board, even though 60% of carsharing households were car-free when they signed up. In other words, households that still owned their own car ended up using it less, hinting that carsharing alters the driving habits of the entire family.
While cars are still a necessary evil from time to time, getting rid of a car can save the average family more than $10,000 a year, conservatively. For some families, going car-free could add up to even higher savings, and even if you can’t eliminate driving from your life entirely, you can still learn to live with less of it. The planet and your wallet will thank you.