Re: [New Mobility/WorldTransport Forum] WBCSD report - Report Contributions
- tara.bartee@... <tara.bartee@...> wrote, in part:
> Carsharing seems squirrely to me. The little I have seen was notAs a carshare provider, I find the comment is itself squirrely. Carsharing
> convincing. However, car rentals by the hour instead of by the day
> might have potential.
_is_ car-rental for short periods, as little as an hour. This allows rental
cars to be used for all the around-town travel, other than commuting to a
job, all without requiring private car ownership.
But car-rental for such short periods requires a different business model.
The cars need to be at locations that are closer to the users, since the
effort to get the car cannot be out-of-proportion to the importance of the
trip itself. To do this, a membership system is needed, so that the users
are screened once, and can be trusted to let themselves into the cars
themselves, filling in their own paperwork, since staff cannot be present at
Also, without supervision, users cannot be required to replace the gas they
use; gas must be included in the fees (saving the nearby gas stations and
the users with a lot of nuisance fill-ups). Collisions insurance -- little
more than a shakedown by car-rental companies -- is also included in the
fees, although members are held accountable for the $500 ($300 in the U.S.)
deductable, a nice touch of personal accountability that is part of just
about every private-car collision policy.
Finally, since no staff are present, the cost of the trip cannot be
collected at the conclusion of each trip, so monthly invoices are issued.
If the current car-rental companies started charging by the hour, they would
either have to accept a similar access arrangement, or they would not get
the short-trip business, just as has happened in every case, including in
Scotland (Budget) and in Ottawa (Journey), that I have seen.
There are five kinds of what I call MASC, or metered access to a shared car:
car-rental, ride-sharing, taxi, carsharing, and informal sharing (a car
owner letting family, friends, or neighbours drive it -- or an employer
provide "pooled" cars for business travel). Although only carsharing
charges purely by time and distance, all have the potential, working
together with walking, cycling, and transit, to shift all the significant
fixed costs to variable costs, making all car use appear to be as expensive
as it is -- and to provide trip-by-trip documentation, reducing car uses
that do not relate to "need" rather than getting one's "money worth".
This makes private car ownership appear much less economical and eventually
unnecessary. In time, we might well reduce the concomitant excessive land
demands for roads and parking by making society's "fleet" no larger than
Since this discussion group is an international group, many of whose
participants travel a great deal, I would ask that, when you are away from
your home city, are you leaving a perfectly good automobile sit idle. And
don't you wish you could access as little car-access as you need in the
other cities, without being required to get one at the airport for
"wall-to-wall" replace of the idle car at home? With fractured
auto-insurance jurisdictions world-wide, this use of carsharing will remain
Vrtucar, Ottawa, Canada