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3 DITCH YOUR CAR (CAR-SHARE)

This action focuses on using a car-sharing program to eliminate personal-car driving.

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why?

"If you live in a city, you don't need to own a car."

William Clay Ford, Jr.
Chair, Ford Motor Company
November 2000

Car-sharing is designed to replace car ownership for people who do not need to drive to work every day, and to significantly reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Car-sharing is a service that provides 24/7 self-serve access to a network of vehicles stationed around your city (and increasingly, cities world-wide), which can be reserved by the hour or day via smart phones, Internet and call centers (carshare.net).

The video below shows an introduction to car sharing:


Car sharing programs offer some enticing benefits:

  • 1 - SAVE MONEY
    For many people, the money needed to pay car loans, maintenance and insurance fees far exceeds the cost of car sharing per month. Car share members have an average savings of more than $500 per month vs. car ownership (ZipCar). To calculate how much money you could save, follow this link: ZipCar Savings Calculator.

  • 2 - ELIMINATE THE HASSLE OF OWNING A CAR
    Car share programs take care of themselves: they have parking spaces, plus cleaning and maintenance crews.

  • 3 - REDUCE GAS-RELATED GREENHOUSE GASES
    Zipcar cites that each car takes an average of 20 personally-owned vehicles off the road.

  • 4 - DRIVE A NICER CAR THAN YOU COULD AFFORD!
    Most car sharing fleets are made up of hybrid vehicles and other new and well-maintained cars.

  • 5 - DRIVE LESS
    Would you rather get around primarily with public transit, by bicycle or walking? After joining Zipcar, 90% of members drove 5,500 miles or less per year. That adds up to more than 32 million gallons of crude oil left in the ground—or 219 gallons saved per member.

Read the following research reports for more detailed information:

San Francisco City Car-Share: Travel-Demand Trends and Second-Year Impacts
Car-Sharing Reports by Susan Shaheen, Ph.D.

how to do this action:

The goal of this action is to eliminate personal-car driving for the duration of the project, transporting yourself through public transportation, bicycling, walking and, when necessary, using a car-share.

HOW IT WORKS
  • Reserve by phone or online; 1 hour minimum up to 2 months in advance. (Some services require as little as one minute’s advance notice, and members can reserve vehicles as far as one year in advance. Consult individual websites for details.)

  • Unlock the car with your personal card or key.

  • Drive away.

  • Return to a specified car-share location before your reservation time expires.

  • Leave car as clean as you found it.

  • The car-share company owns and insures all its cars, which are parked at convenient locations around town. You can pick up a car, with some car-share programs, drop it off at any car-share location when you’re finished. (Other car-share programs do not allow members to take one-way trips with the vehicles, because the next member who has reserved that vehicle is expecting it to be returned to its starting location.) You pay only for the hours you’ve had the car. Gas, oil and car maintenance are paid by the company; members are issued a company credit card for these costs. If the car is already booked, members either have to take an alternate car, or wait until the car they usually drive is available.

  • The only rule is to get the car back on time. Car-shares charge a late fee, usually around $20, and drivers who are consistently late lose their membership.

  • Cost: Annual memberships range from $25 to $100 a year. Some car-share programs require a security deposit in the $200-$500 range. Other programs have no security deposit requirement; consult individual websites for details. Usage fees range from less than $2 an hour to $9 an hour.

WHERE TO FIND CARS
  • Minneapolis’ primary car-sharing program is HOURCAR, with a fleet of 36 vehicles throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul.
  • United States:
  • ZipCar
    Currently serving Boston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland OR, Los Angeles, Washington DC.(metro), San Diego, Atlanta, Ann Arbor MI, Arlington, Fairfax County and Alexandria VA, Baltimore and Greenbelt MD, Chicago, Chapel Hill NC, Gainsville FL, Hoboken NJ, Minn./St. Paul, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton NJ, with plans to expand to over 30 cities across the U.S.

  • City CarShare
    Serving San Francisco and the greater Bay area with a fleet of over 200 cars. Cars have automatic transmissions. www.sfcarshare.org. As a City CarShare member, you get driving privileges in other cities, such as Philadelphia, Austin, Madison, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Sydney (AU) and Melbourne (AU).

  • Mint
    Operates a large fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles in many locations throughout greater Manhattan, and one location in Brooklyn Heights.

  • eGo CarShare
    Boulder city-wide car-share program. eGo CarShare (formerly Boulder Car Share) now stations vehicles throughout the Denver - Boulder area.

  • I-Go
    Serving the greater Chicago area.

  • HourCar
    Serving Minneapolis and St. Paul MN with a fleet of Toyota Prius hybrids and Toyota Yaris cars.

  • Philly Car Share
    Serving the greater Philadelphia region with Priuses, Minis, BMWs, Elements, pickups, and more.

  • Austin Car Share
    Serving the downtown Austin, Hyde Park and Univ. of Texas areas with Scion xA’s and Toyota Tacomas.

  • Buffalo Car Share
    Serving the greater Buffalo area.

  • Community Car
    Serving Madison WI with high gas mileage and hybrid vehicles.

  • U Car Share
    Currently in Portland, OR. Portland, ME, Berkeley, CA. and Madison, WI.

  • Car Share Vermont
    Serving the greater Burlington area and University of Vermont campus.

  • Ithaca Car Share
    13 vehicles serving downtown Ithaca, two college campuses, and at EcoVillage.

  • We Car
    Over 30 locations, usually on or near school campuses.

For a more exhaustive list of car-sharing programs around the world, follow this link to EarthEasy.com.


what will be measured?

KEY QUESTIONS

QUANTITATIVE QUESTION: What percentage of transportation energy can be saved when eliminating use of your personal car and using a car-share program as well as other forms of public transit, bicycling and walking?

QUALITATIVE QUESTION: How does the experience of using a car-share program for all car transport affect happiness, convenience, health, and costs?

BASELINE WEEK TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
During the baseline tracking week before the project begins, use the corresponding spreadsheet (T3_BASELINE) to track the mileage you currently commute by each mode (bike, walking, car, bus...) daily.

QUALITATIVE


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria on the spreadsheet (T3_BASELINE) as it relates to your current transportation habits:

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

IMPLEMENTATION PHASE TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
Use the corresponding spreadsheet (T3_QUANTITATIVE) to track the miles you traveled using each mode of transportation (car share, bus, bicycle, walking) daily. The spreadsheet will calculate the energy used (in gallons of gas and MJ) for each day’s transportation.

QUALITATIVE
Part 1 - Ranking


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria, every IMPLEMENTATION day on the spreadsheet (T3_QUALITATIVE) Your answers should not be rated in comparison to your baseline week, but in general as a reflection of how you are feeling.

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

Part 2 - Blogging
Keep a narrative log of your experiences changing this action in your life. How did the experience of using a car-share program change the way you used a car? What were some of the struggles and benefits of using the car share? Where was the closet car share location to you (how far away)? What did you find were incentives or disincentives to car sharing?


resources

San Francisco City Car-Share: Travel-Demand Trends and Second-Year Impacts
Car-Sharing Reports by Susan Shaheen, Ph.D.
ACTION SPREADSHEETS

The spreadsheets referred to above can be found in the Excel file at the following link:

T3_Ditch Your Car Spreadsheet

If you prefer to enter your responses by hand, printable PDFs of each spreadsheet can be found at the following links (at the end of the project, all data will have to be entered into the Excel spreadsheet):

T3_BASELINE
T3_QUANTITATIVE
T3_QUALITATIVE