04 December 2008

Why car sharing works

Here's a chart of a single HOURCAR's use from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.:

Green segments are different reservations. We often see cars with three or four reservations per day (this particular day saw three other cars with four separate reservations each) but I'm not sure I've ever seen five. This means that five people who would have otherwise needed a car each were able to all use the same car. Instead of five parking spaces, one. The average car is used for only about an hour per day, and only by one person. This HOURCAR was used nearly half a dozen times by as many people in one day — and the next day it will be driven by others. This spreads out the cost of insurance and parking and maintenance and depreciation, making the utility of the resource much more efficient.

Car sharing works because it allows for the efficient use of automobiles — and the efficient use of other transportation modes. HOURCAR members bike, walk, take the bus and who knows what else (ski? paddle? skate? This is Minnesota after all) and when they need a car, they hop in and HOURCAR and go. Sometimes five times in a single day.

Update: We've since had a single day with two cars each receiving five reservations, although they were not in use for such solid periods of time. Still, it's great to see the cars being use so efficiently!

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