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Re: [NewMobilityCafe] carsharing

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  • David Levinger
    Yes, Simon, In fact Katherine Freund has established an entire ride sharing platform on this very concept. They enable an alternative ride currency that
    Message 1 of 13 , May 13, 2009
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      Yes, Simon,

      In fact Katherine Freund has established an entire ride sharing platform on this very concept.  They enable an alternative ride currency that enables bartering and banking rides, too.  Their platform is being re-architected to be extensible and adaptable so that it might be usable in many parts of the world.

      See:  www.ITNAmerica.org

      -David


      David Levinger  |  The Mobility Education Foundation  |  Seattle  |  (206) 390-8118  |  david@...


      On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 1:18 PM, Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:


      The benefits of carsharing to society depend on it taking cars out of use. Would
      it therefore be a good idea if car clubs bought their cars from their
      prospective members ? Compared with buying new cars this would avoid the
      downside of loading these cars onto the secondhand market, and it would also
      reduce the capital cost of setting the schemes up (though this would be
      compensated by the extra maintenance costs of used cars).

      If car clubs did seek to buy cars from their members, would one expect the
      number willing to sell would be more or less than the vehicle requirement of the
      club ? If the former, what types of car would the club look for to buy ? Would
      there be any merit in governments underwriting a scheme whereby they would buy
      any car (for selling on or scrapping if it couldn't be used) on condition that
      its owner didn't replace it ?

      Have any of these ideas been considered in existing carshare schemes ?

      Simon Norton

      .


    • Simon Norton
      About 25 years ago there was a threat of a large underground car park under one of Cambridge s commons and there was a vigorous and successful campaign to
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 21, 2011
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        About 25 years ago there was a threat of a large underground car park under one
        of Cambridge's commons and there was a vigorous and successful campaign to
        oppose it by getting the County Council to go for park & ride instead.

        The problem is that they haven't progressed since then and still regard park &
        ride as the solution to all of Cambridge's traffic problems. The guided busway
        (currently over 2 years behind schedule and well over budget) is seen as
        essentially a glorified park & ride system. Meanwhile conventional bus services
        have been neglected and are now under grave threat all over the county.

        Campaigners have tended to see park & ride as a way of increasing car parking
        capacity serving a city without the need to actually allocate valuable land for
        car parking. The system also relieves the central area of the city but can
        actually increases problems on some radial routes leading to the car parks.

        The point I am trying to make is that park & ride is part of a solution, but it
        is not in itself a solution. As long as there are spaces in the city centre
        there will be traffic to use them, and there will be pressure to make park &
        ride competitive, which may mean lower fares than on bus services used by
        non-motorists and buses racing past stops even though these have few other buses
        serving them. However, if local authorities went for a complete phase-out of
        central parking except in cases of need then things might be better.

        I have now started to wonder whether things might be similar with carsharing. In
        other words, can it give worthwhile improvements unless accompanied by a
        phase-out of individual car ownership ? Does anyone have any evidence to show it
        can ?

        Simon Norton
      • roy russell
        Simon, I haven t seen any formal study that ties the reduction in registered vehicles with the adoption of car sharing. However, I do know that in both
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 22, 2011
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          Simon,

          I haven't seen any formal study that ties the reduction in registered vehicles with the adoption of car sharing.  However, I do know that in both Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC while there has been an increase in population over the past 10 years the number of registered vehicles has dropped, generally consistent with around 20 vehicles removed for every car sharing vehicle added.  These numbers are also consistent with surveys of car sharing members who report that they would own a personal vehicle were it not for the availability of car sharing.

          I do think a preferable alternative to building a new 1,000 car parking structure could be to promote car sharing.  If conditions are right for it then it should be easy to displace that many personal vehicles with far fewer shared ones.  In Cambridge, MA with a similar  population (though higher population density) to Cambridge, UK, vehicle registrations dropped 2,685 between 2003 and 2008.  In DC vehicle registrations dropped 14,900 between 2005 and 2008.


          -Roy Russell
          --- In NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com, Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:
          >
          > About 25 years ago there was a threat of a large underground car park under one
          > of Cambridge's commons and there was a vigorous and successful campaign to
          > oppose it by getting the County Council to go for park & ride instead.
          >
          > The problem is that they haven't progressed since then and still regard park &
          > ride as the solution to all of Cambridge's traffic problems. The guided busway
          > (currently over 2 years behind schedule and well over budget) is seen as
          > essentially a glorified park & ride system. Meanwhile conventional bus services
          > have been neglected and are now under grave threat all over the county.
          >
          > Campaigners have tended to see park & ride as a way of increasing car parking
          > capacity serving a city without the need to actually allocate valuable land for
          > car parking. The system also relieves the central area of the city but can
          > actually increases problems on some radial routes leading to the car parks.
          >
          > The point I am trying to make is that park & ride is part of a solution, but it
          > is not in itself a solution. As long as there are spaces in the city centre
          > there will be traffic to use them, and there will be pressure to make park &
          > ride competitive, which may mean lower fares than on bus services used by
          > non-motorists and buses racing past stops even though these have few other buses
          > serving them. However, if local authorities went for a complete phase-out of
          > central parking except in cases of need then things might be better.
          >
          > I have now started to wonder whether things might be similar with carsharing. In
          > other words, can it give worthwhile improvements unless accompanied by a
          > phase-out of individual car ownership ? Does anyone have any evidence to show it
          > can ?
          >
          > Simon Norton
          >
        • Richard Layman
          Arlington County did a study after their initial support of carsharing (they were the first jurisdiction in the DC region to allow the cars to be parked on the
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 22, 2011
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            Arlington County did a study after their initial support of carsharing (they were the first jurisdiction in the DC region to allow the cars to be parked on the street, in dedicated parking spaces), but it was 4 years ago or so and I don't remember the results.

            The point is that one particular thing is never enough, you have to have a well balanced transportation demand management program, a great transit system, compact development land use policies, etc. so that a greater number of trips can be accomplished by walking or biking (or transit), etc.

            Alexandria VA has just released a new TDM plan which I haven't yet read.

            Arlington County's master transportation plan is  "beautiful" conceptually in that each plan element derives from the goals and policies and is in turn congruent within the element with those policies.  E.g., since a primary goal is the reduction of single occupancy vehicle trips, it means that the parking and curbside management element doesn't prioritize individual car ownership, but accords streetspace to car sharing, transit stops, etc.

            Seattle's Urban Mobility Plan is also excellent and worth reading...

            The biggest lesson from the experience with sustainable transportation in cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Portland, etc. ought to be that change is a process that starts with a breakthrough vision, but a vision that is supplemented by incremental improvements of a substantive nature going forward.

            Note that for all their efforts, DC's mode split for walking/biking/transit commuting is something like double that of Portland's.  We have the right spatial pattern (and a strong employment center at the core), plus heavy rail transit, so we get away with insubstantial transportation demand management planning.

            One thing in and of itself is never enough.  DC has proved that with transit.  We do a lot of transportation planning badly, but we can get away with it because we have a great spatial pattern bequeathed to us by L'Enfant.  When you have a spatial pattern that derives from the Walking City era (1800-1890), when you add transit service back and bike infrastructure, it extends the already extant land use patterns that promote placemaking, compact development, and sustainable transportation.

            A parking garage/park and ride on the edge of a city is a 1970s policy.  It's 2011.  And there have been 40 years of knowledge gains in the interim...



            --- On Tue, 3/22/11, roy russell <roy@...> wrote:

            From: roy russell <roy@...>
            Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Re: carsharing
            To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 12:17 PM

             

            Simon,

            I haven't seen any formal study that ties the reduction in registered vehicles with the adoption of car sharing.  However, I do know that in both Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC while there has been an increase in population over the past 10 years the number of registered vehicles has dropped, generally consistent with around 20 vehicles removed for every car sharing vehicle added.  These numbers are also consistent with surveys of car sharing members who report that they would own a personal vehicle were it not for the availability of car sharing.

            I do think a preferable alternative to building a new 1,000 car parking structure could be to promote car sharing.  If conditions are right for it then it should be easy to displace that many personal vehicles with far fewer shared ones.  In Cambridge, MA with a similar  population (though higher population density) to Cambridge, UK, vehicle registrations dropped 2,685 between 2003 and 2008.  In DC vehicle registrations dropped 14,900 between 2005 and 2008.


            -Roy Russell
            --- In NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com, Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:
            >
            > About 25 years ago there was a threat of a large underground car park under one
            > of Cambridge's commons and there was a vigorous and successful campaign to
            > oppose it by getting the County Council to go for park & ride instead.
            >
            > The problem is that they haven't progressed since then and still regard park &
            > ride as the solution to all of Cambridge's traffic problems. The guided busway
            > (currently over 2 years behind schedule and well over budget) is seen as
            > essentially a glorified park & ride system. Meanwhile conventional bus services
            > have been neglected and are now under grave threat all over the county.
            >
            > Campaigners have tended to see park & ride as a way of increasing car parking
            > capacity serving a city without the need to actually allocate valuable land for
            > car parking. The system also relieves the central area of the city but can
            > actually increases problems on some radial routes leading to the car parks.
            >
            > The point I am trying to make is that park & ride is part of a solution, but it
            > is not in itself a solution. As long as there are spaces in the city centre
            > there will be traffic to use them, and there will be pressure to make park &
            > ride competitive, which may mean lower fares than on bus services used by
            > non-motorists and buses racing past stops even though these have few other buses
            > serving them. However, if local authorities went for a complete phase-out of
            > central parking except in cases of need then things might be better.
            >
            > I have now started to wonder whether things might be similar with carsharing. In
            > other words, can it give worthwhile improvements unless accompanied by a
            > phase-out of individual car ownership ? Does anyone have any evidence to show it
            > can ?
            >
            > Simon Norton
            >

          • Larry Shaeffer
            In Philly back in 02, those factors were why it was such an easy sell to get the city and parking authority on board to provide on-street parking spaces for
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 23, 2011
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              In Philly back in ' 02, those factors were why it was such an easy sell to get the city and parking authority on board to provide on-street parking spaces for PhillyCarShare. Many of the center city neighborhoods were pressing for parking garages to alleviate a perceived on-street parking shortage for residents. At $40,000 per space (way more now) not counting land costs, the city wasn't anxious to start building.
              BTW: parking study by city planning commish showed there was no real parking shortage in those neighborhoods, it was all perception-"if I can't park in front of my house, there's a parking shortage"
              Larry Shaeffer

              On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM, Richard Layman <rlaymandc@...> wrote:
               

              Arlington County did a study after their initial support of carsharing (they were the first jurisdiction in the DC region to allow the cars to be parked on the street, in dedicated parking spaces), but it was 4 years ago or so and I don't remember the results.

              The point is that one particular thing is never enough, you have to have a well balanced transportation demand management program, a great transit system, compact development land use policies, etc. so that a greater number of trips can be accomplished by walking or biking (or transit), etc.

              Alexandria VA has just released a new TDM plan which I haven't yet read.

              Arlington County's master transportation plan is  "beautiful" conceptually in that each plan element derives from the goals and policies and is in turn congruent within the element with those policies.  E.g., since a primary goal is the reduction of single occupancy vehicle trips, it means that the parking and curbside management element doesn't prioritize individual car ownership, but accords streetspace to car sharing, transit stops, etc.

              Seattle's Urban Mobility Plan is also excellent and worth reading...

              The biggest lesson from the experience with sustainable transportation in cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Portland, etc. ought to be that change is a process that starts with a breakthrough vision, but a vision that is supplemented by incremental improvements of a substantive nature going forward.

              Note that for all their efforts, DC's mode split for walking/biking/transit commuting is something like double that of Portland's.  We have the right spatial pattern (and a strong employment center at the core), plus heavy rail transit, so we get away with insubstantial transportation demand management planning.

              One thing in and of itself is never enough.  DC has proved that with transit.  We do a lot of transportation planning badly, but we can get away with it because we have a great spatial pattern bequeathed to us by L'Enfant.  When you have a spatial pattern that derives from the Walking City era (1800-1890), when you add transit service back and bike infrastructure, it extends the already extant land use patterns that promote placemaking, compact development, and sustainable transportation.

              A parking garage/park and ride on the edge of a city is a 1970s policy.  It's 2011.  And there have been 40 years of knowledge gains in the interim...



              --- On Tue, 3/22/11, roy russell <roy@...> wrote:

              From: roy russell <roy@...>
              Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Re: carsharing
              To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 12:17 PM


               

              Simon,

              I haven't seen any formal study that ties the reduction in registered vehicles with the adoption of car sharing.  However, I do know that in both Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC while there has been an increase in population over the past 10 years the number of registered vehicles has dropped, generally consistent with around 20 vehicles removed for every car sharing vehicle added.  These numbers are also consistent with surveys of car sharing members who report that they would own a personal vehicle were it not for the availability of car sharing.

              I do think a preferable alternative to building a new 1,000 car parking structure could be to promote car sharing.  If conditions are right for it then it should be easy to displace that many personal vehicles with far fewer shared ones.  In Cambridge, MA with a similar  population (though higher population density) to Cambridge, UK, vehicle registrations dropped 2,685 between 2003 and 2008.  In DC vehicle registrations dropped 14,900 between 2005 and 2008.


              -Roy Russell
              --- In NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com, Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:
              >
              > About 25 years ago there was a threat of a large underground car park under one
              > of Cambridge's commons and there was a vigorous and successful campaign to
              > oppose it by getting the County Council to go for park & ride instead.
              >
              > The problem is that they haven't progressed since then and still regard park &
              > ride as the solution to all of Cambridge's traffic problems. The guided busway
              > (currently over 2 years behind schedule and well over budget) is seen as
              > essentially a glorified park & ride system. Meanwhile conventional bus services
              > have been neglected and are now under grave threat all over the county.
              >
              > Campaigners have tended to see park & ride as a way of increasing car parking
              > capacity serving a city without the need to actually allocate valuable land for
              > car parking. The system also relieves the central area of the city but can
              > actually increases problems on some radial routes leading to the car parks.
              >
              > The point I am trying to make is that park & ride is part of a solution, but it
              > is not in itself a solution. As long as there are spaces in the city centre
              > there will be traffic to use them, and there will be pressure to make park &
              > ride competitive, which may mean lower fares than on bus services used by
              > non-motorists and buses racing past stops even though these have few other buses
              > serving them. However, if local authorities went for a complete phase-out of
              > central parking except in cases of need then things might be better.
              >
              > I have now started to wonder whether things might be similar with carsharing. In
              > other words, can it give worthwhile improvements unless accompanied by a
              > phase-out of individual car ownership ? Does anyone have any evidence to show it
              > can ?
              >
              > Simon Norton
              >


            • Simon Norton
              Regarding Dave Holladay s post, I think it is important to distinguish the individual and social benefits of carsharing as against car ownership. I believe
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 24, 2012
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                Regarding Dave Holladay's post, I think it is important to distinguish the
                individual and social benefits of carsharing as against car ownership.

                I believe that there are key benefits that can't be captured as long as
                carsharing remains a niche market.

                In many residential areas every available inch of roadspace is used for parking.
                This means that when people need to have work done on their houses it's
                difficult to find parking space for builders or whoever. It also means less
                space for cyclists and pedestrians. When the road is used by buses, it can
                sometimes mean significant delay for them as they have to move aside every time
                they encounter a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction -- and if one
                suggests that for that reason parking shouldn't be allowed (at least on both
                sides of the road) one will be asked where else people can keep their cars.

                New developments could be much more compact if less space was needed for parking
                and garaging. This would benefit walkers and cyclists, and also lead to less
                loss of land.

                One problem is that charges for residential parking are far too low. In my area
                of Cambridge, for example, an annual permit costs 52 pounds, or less than 17p a
                day based on a 6 day week. By contrast a visitor's permit (which can be used by
                builders etc.) costs 8 pounds for 5 days, i.e. nearly 10 times as much per day.

                For new developments, of course, residential parking has to be designed out from
                the beginning of we want people to rely on carsharing for those mobility needs
                that are unsuited to other modes of transport (which for properly planned
                developments in countries with integrated transport networks would be virtually
                nil anyway).

                Incidentally in response to Chris Bradshaw's posting I agree that the system of
                specialised groups is leading to duplication in what we are receiving.

                Simon Norton
              • Richard Layman
                I write about this issue from time to time myself.  I take a kind of cultural studies approach to the issue, asking whether or not we should privilege car
                Message 7 of 13 , Oct 25, 2012
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                  I write about this issue from time to time myself.  I take a kind of "cultural studies" approach to the issue, asking whether or not we should privilege car owners over car users.  Car users are supported by carsharing schemes.  In 2005, I came to realize when DC decided to charge car sharing firms for space use at commercial rates, that really we are dealing with questions of privilege for the use of scarce public space, and that current policy typically privileges car owners with maximal "right" to the use of public space (parking lanes on roads) for car storage.   

                  - http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2005/10/high-cost-of-free-parking-revisited.html

                  I am impressed that Cambridge charges 52 pounds for a residential permit.  In DC, until recently the cost was $15/year (some places, including my block, don't have permit requirements depending on demand, but this would make it harder for me to park if I had a car, in other areas of the ward), now it's $30/year.  In North America, the only example of a significantly higher pricing for residential parking is in Toronto, where it can be as high as $50/mo. (Canadian) depending on various factors.  San Francisco charges $96/year and limits the number of permits that can be obtained by address.

                  - http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2010/11/residential-parking-permit-pricing.html
                  - http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2010/01/toronto-rules-or-charging-higher-rates.html

                  Lately DC has upped the rates significantly for carsharing firms, which comes back to the users in terms of higher rates by $2-$3/hour.  This pisses me off.  It means that in using a carshare 1-3 times/month, I pay far more for the use of public space for car storage than residents who own cars.

                  While I still don't think they do it perfectly, Arlington County Virginia's master transportation plan element on "parking and curbside management" does get into this issue somewhat.  It could be better, but it is a start.

                  -------

                  Goal #2 of the Arlington County Master Transportation Plan is stated as “Move More People Without More Traffic” and it specifically calls for the reduction of the proportion of single-occupant-vehicle travel and shifts from motor vehicles to other modes.
                  --------

                  Because the plan's goals include limiting single occupancy vehicle trips, the P&CM element prioritizes use of curbspace accordingly, so theoretically carsharing spots are prioritized over spots for single vehicle owners, and compared to DC, ArCo does not look at carsharing's use of this space as mostly an opportunity for income, but as a way to manage the demand for scarce parking space inventory.

                  - http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2012/05/missing-point-about-performance-parking.html

                  ANYWAY, my biggest point on this general issue is that transportation plans are supposed to provide comparative examples and better practice guidance and they most often DO NOT DO SO.  By doing so they create a context where these conflicts can be identified and addressed and argued about even if policy remains the same.  It also provides cover for elected officials on these issues, which tend to be very volatile.

                  DC is engaged in a parking planning initiative right now in the context of developing a transpo vision plan but they are mostly doing this aspect in house and the people involved, other than the top planners, don't seem to know very much about parking.  Plus they aren't introducing into the mix comparative examples from other jurisdictions, so as a result the ideaspace ends up being pretty dull and static.

                  Even when participants say good things or make points that indicate that change is possible, most of the facilitators don't know enough about the subject to pick up on their points and the opportunity is lost.

                  After participating in one meeting, I offered to facilitate (at no charge) but they blew me off.

                  Richard Layman
                  transportation planner (bicycle facilities, www.bicyclepass.com)
                  Washington, DC


                  From: Simon Norton <S.Norton@...>
                  To: newmobilitycafe@yahoogroups.com; worldtransport@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 1:11 PM
                  Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] carsharing

                   
                  Regarding Dave Holladay's post, I think it is important to distinguish the
                  individual and social benefits of carsharing as against car ownership.

                  I believe that there are key benefits that can't be captured as long as
                  carsharing remains a niche market.

                  In many residential areas every available inch of roadspace is used for parking.
                  This means that when people need to have work done on their houses it's
                  difficult to find parking space for builders or whoever. It also means less
                  space for cyclists and pedestrians. When the road is used by buses, it can
                  sometimes mean significant delay for them as they have to move aside every time
                  they encounter a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction -- and if one
                  suggests that for that reason parking shouldn't be allowed (at least on both
                  sides of the road) one will be asked where else people can keep their cars.

                  New developments could be much more compact if less space was needed for parking
                  and garaging. This would benefit walkers and cyclists, and also lead to less
                  loss of land.

                  One problem is that charges for residential parking are far too low. In my area
                  of Cambridge, for example, an annual permit costs 52 pounds, or less than 17p a
                  day based on a 6 day week. By contrast a visitor's permit (which can be used by
                  builders etc.) costs 8 pounds for 5 days, i.e. nearly 10 times as much per day.

                  For new developments, of course, residential parking has to be designed out from
                  the beginning of we want people to rely on carsharing for those mobility needs
                  that are unsuited to other modes of transport (which for properly planned
                  developments in countries with integrated transport networks would be virtually
                  nil anyway).

                  Incidentally in response to Chris Bradshaw's posting I agree that the system of
                  specialised groups is leading to duplication in what we are receiving.

                  Simon Norton



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