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SV: [WorldTransport Forum] Counter-thoughts on carsharing for Third World cities. Your views?

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  • martin.strid@vv.se
    I totally agree with Lee Schipper. Car sharing is for the too rich. Even there, the ratio between cost of car and cost of acquiring a licence may be an
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15, 2004
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      Meddelande
      I totally agree with Lee Schipper. Car sharing is for the too rich.
      Even there, the ratio between cost of car and cost of acquiring a licence may be an anti-sharing incentive. A licence in Sweden today normally costs about two thousand US dollars. I can easily get a usable car for a fraction of that price.
      The rest of the world, who in a historical and ecological perspective should be regarded as the more normal part of humanity, do better in sticking to shared mobility in terms of public and semi-public transport. And BICYCLES. Even in "poor" countries today, fatness is reported to be a growing health problem.
      In addition, car sharing is supposed to be a well organised business where people are very conscious of the just-in-time aspect, in getting the cars and returning them to the next user. Having lived in Africa for a few years, I have acquired another, very un-European, perspective on the JIT bit. And I do not believe in mzungu style car sharing in Africa at all.
      In an unknown number of years, not very many by some estimates, oil well emptying (sometimes referred to as oil production) will start decreasing. Meanwhile, oil demand is prophesised to continue growing. It does not take an MBA to work out what will happen to petrol prices then. Any society trying to see beyond the next street crossing should mentally prepare itself for less car transport.
      Unless, of course, you have the weapons and the criminal egocentricity to go to illegal wars on distant oil countries to secure your own supply of something that ought to have been left in the ground in the first place.

      Mvh
      # :-)

      -----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
      Från: eric.britton@... [mailto:eric.britton@...]
      Skickat: den 15 april 2004 12:24
      Till: WorldCarshare@yahoogroups.com
      Kopia: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
      Ämne: [WorldTransport Forum] Counter-thoughts on carsharing for Third World cities. Your views?

      There are days in which you learn more than in other days.  For example, yesterday. As almost everyone on both of these lists knows, I am a firm believer in carsharing as a strategic motor into more sustainable and more socially just transport.  And as we all know, the action until now has been mainly in Europe, with North America advancing quite handsomely over the last several years.

      Another aspect of my long term interest is the much needed push to more sustainable transportation in the developing countries, and in  particular new ways of breaking the old patterns and adaptations from the advanced industrial economies who have for the most part done such a fine job in disjoining their own cities and life quality. And while carsharing has not yet made any notable headway there, I have aggressively pushed it in my own international consulting and advisory work.

      And while I still am a believer (I think), today was the day that an old friend and colleague walked through the virtual door and has given me something to think on the subject that I would like to share with you all and ask your comments and counsel in turn.  Lee Schipper, Director of Research, EMBARQ, the WRI Center for Transport and Environment wrote me in quick success today the following three notes on this topic>

      1. “Funny I have thought a lot about car sharing but I am worried it moves people too fast into cars by giving them a cheaper buy-in.”  (And then when I answered that I had to do some serious cogitating on this, he quickly responded . . . )
      2. “Well, if you go into rich countries and woo people who normally would have almost instinctively owned cars, yes, there must be a results. I suspect that Zip and the others in the yuppie parts of Washington DC do that. But car sharing where there are no cars yet can serve as car boosters, likewise among  groups (like students in  Europe) who don't yet have cars. My fear is that by creating a mobile class even if they don’t OWN cars they can move into a car-friendly long-distances/low density world earlier than otherwise
      3. “Also drivers licensees are expensive. By making the car cheap on a part time bases the user has to make the investment in a licenses. After that, who wants to only drive a few hours a week? Anyway some thoughts!”

      Which is where things stand for me this morning in Paris. May I invite your comments on this.  For myself, I have to turn off the lights and do a bit of hard thinking first.  Hmm.  Lee… Hmmm.



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