Research Rest-Stop │ One-Way Car-Sharing

Under Construction: An Autolib' car-share station in progress

Under Construction: An Autolib' car-share station in progress Source: The Transport Politic

There’s little question that car-sharing companies like PhillyCarShare and ZipCar have changed the way people get around. Car-sharing allows users to rent vehicles by the hour or day so that they do not necessarily need to buy or regularly have access to a car in order to get to places that may be difficult or impossible to reach by public transportation.

A recent article from The Transport Politic discusses how Paris, France’s capital, is making new strides in the car-share market. The city recently introduced Autolib’, a new car-sharing program that is modeled after its successful Velib’ bike-sharing system. Autolib’ will use electric vehicles in its fleet. The cars will have their own stations (like that above) with their own electric plug-ins.

One of the most innovative features of this program is that users will now have the freedom to drive from one destination to another without having to return cars to their original locations. Not having to drop off cars where users pick them up will potentially increase the accessibility, flexibility, and ease of car-sharing.

In the United States, a similar car-sharing program, Car2Go, is gaining ground. Developed by Daimler, Car2Go provides users with access to extremely fuel-efficient Smart Fortwo commuter cars, which get 41 miles-per-gallon hwy.

The program allows users to use the vehicles as long or as little as they like and does not require the return of vehicles to their initial pick-up locations. Car2Go is currently active in Austin, Texas, as well as overseas in Ulm and Hamburg in Germany and Vancouver, Canada. Daimler is also working to implement all-electric vehicle Car2Go programs in San Diego, California, and Amsterdam.

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