RE: [WorldTransport] FW: The Culture of Carsharing (3rd world thoughts)
- Dear Eric,
I have not been in Geneva (yet) however I been in several cities of the
developing (?) world, moreover, i live in one of them.
Just form the top of my head, the issue of carsharing as a good business
oportunity seems to be more related to the lack of a good administrative
context (registration system, good and cheap insurance availability, etc)
that limits the chance of a success enterprise, along with the hidden and
open subsidies for private ownership, more than picking up the top rich
sector of the society to introduce the concept of CS.
Of course several cities are doing good adminstrative progress and
internalizaing costs despite the inmense informality in transport sector so
this situation can change in the upcoming years.
Another point, to avoid long stories, which seems to be relevant is about
thinking that the strategy towards CS should point the richest part of the
society because due the conditions mentioned this is the people who does not
really need a car sharing option (ok, for ideological reasons, as you
mentioned, few of them could), instead I would go for the middle class
(normally more illustrated than the rich ones) who would like to reflect
their status in certain moments of the month, but intelligent enough to not
carry all the weight that the car property implies.
Hope we can follow the discussion and have good holidays,
Carlos Cordero Velasquez
----- Original Message -----
From: Eric Britton <eric.britton@...>
To: WTP&P List <WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 10:44 AM
Subject: [WorldTransport] FW: The Culture of Carsharing (3rd world thoughts)
> From deepest darkest Geneva a few quick thoughts on carsharing in Third
> World cities:
> 1. In many cities of the developing world, there are indeed groups and
> places where carsharing should prove a viable option - subject to the
> (harsh) constraints of making it work in the first place. The target
> for take off is (a) obviously among the top couple of percent of the
> groups, and (b, and perhaps less obviously) what looks like a specific
> sub-set of the yuppie class - call them post-modern or post-auto. To the
> extent that a world wide culture is growing up (which I think is the case)
> in which increasing numbers of mainly educated and generally well to do
> people are beginning to get the message that car ownership is not some
> of Nirvana but rather, more often than not, a real drag.
> 2. My guess is that we will see this developing in a next stage in
> Europe, parts of Latin America, and places like Singapore - and who knows,
> China and India in their fast growing "Europe surrounded by Africa"
> enclaves. So to help make this happen, all of us need to keep talking
> and more important still keep hard at it to make sure that we have
> replicatable models to offer. Think of it as: leading by example.
> 3. Finally and after some years of hands on experience with these issues
> cities as well as in the halls of theory, it strikes me that the great
> forward will occur all over the place only when those of us who care about
> this sort of thing are able to demonstrate viability within a much broader
> pattern or paradigm of "post automotive age transportation" thinking and
> practice. In this transportation configuration there are/we need to have
> many different elements doing many different things - many of which new,
> unfamiliar and even for most, quite unrecognizable. You can get a first
> taste for this if you go to Bogotá and see what Enrique Peñalosa, his team
> and all those who thy have engaged to follow, pursue and deepen their
> pioneering work. Likewise a visit to Jaime Lerner's Curitiba to see an
> earlier variant of some of these concepts, or, while you are at it, a
> to Zurich or any of several dozen other European cities that have started,
> at least, to get the message.
> 4. So when a great moment in the transport story of any city suddenly
> up - for example, some high authorities decision to do something drastic
> about a ring road, pushing human transport to the side, building a super
> urban motorway, monorail, whatever - it is there where those of us who
> must be standing and waiting with our alternative proposals all well
> out and ready to put into high profile. Two bits of all this must be
> thought out and concatenated in great detail:
> a. At the front end, the full gamut of mobility tools and arrangements,
> encompassing such things as carsharing, lift sharing, new and innovative
> systems, TSM (transport systems management) active (non-motorized)
> transport, "planning transport out" activity nodes, strategic parking
> policies, E&H transport, IT and other substitutes or capacitor, for
> movement, kinds of taxis, vans and delivery services that you have never
> dreamed of, and the list goes on. And even includes road pricing and
> forms of restricted access, of which there are those slowly growing models
> of how to do it, well if not always quite perfectly, at least better than
> the option (of doing nothing at all). And please do not forget the
> wonderful world of new tools in terms of micro-modeling and simulation
> give us (finally) the ability to model our alternative solutions and to
> modify and fine tune them before disaster strikes.
> b. And then behind this all and in support of it an overarching
> framework, consciousness, and support system. For this last, we had a
> terrific example in Bogotá a couple of years back when a large
> support group got behind the proposal of the Peñalosa administration to
> organize and deploy a real car free day and (b) then to continue with a
> term follow-up program worthy of the name.
> Without this essential broader context, the chances of making carsharing
> work in any truly useful scale way in most of the world's cities is pretty
> This makes it tough for our carshare operator friends and aspirants, but
> whoever said that life was supposed to be easy. Anyway, most of the
> whom I have met in the carsharing 'industry' over the last few decades
> plenty smart enough to comprehend this, but to judge by the results they
> never quite found the time to get around to doing enough about it. With
> exception of you, of course.
> Eric Britton
> The Commons ___ technology, economy, society ___
> Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara, 75006 Paris, France
> Email: Eric.Britton@... Mobile: +336 8096 7879
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> PS. As some of you know I am currently working in Geneva in an attempt
> save a couple of small technology companies here (real technology, not dot
> com), which gives me a great opportunity to observe the traffic system in
> one of the world's wealthiest and most intellectually endowed cities. May
> give you my Executive Summary? Pathetic. Unbelievably bad. Crude. Brain
> dead. What was it that O Wilde was supposed to have said about fox
> "the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible"? We need a slogan along
> lines to describe the situation that persists here in our fair Geneva.
> that is perhaps not unique in the world. May I ask for suggestions?
> The Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice
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- One detail which would make the need for car shareing clubs and
administration less attractive would be when car hiring runs 24 hours/day at
a sensible price, probably per hour or half dsy asand is bookable on the net,
for delivery to your door in the next hour.
In the UK 1 car 1.com almost fits this market, and by combining car hire with
another 24 hour transport operation like a bus depot, so that a pool of
drivers can ferry cars out, or stand in for no-show bus drivers.
Car hire is of course then universally available to anyone with a driving
licence, allowing people to travel by train, bus or air to a location and at
any hour use a car, if this is appropriate.