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[WorldCarShare] Car Sharing for Low Income groups

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  • EcoPlan, Paris
    Thursday, January 13, 2005, Paris, France, Europe Thanks so much Dirk for this fine on-target comment and caution to Juan’s request for his research project.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 13, 2005
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      Thursday, January 13, 2005, Paris, France, Europe

       

      Thanks so much Dirk for this fine on-target comment and caution to Juan’s request for his research project.  Let me join you on this quickly if I may:

       

      But before I dig in, I have in fact had a look at your personal website Juan and am much impressed with your strong technical background in transportation.  Nonetheless I will follow Dirk’s lead and give you my unvarnished views in the hope that they may somehow be of use.

       

      Before we start to propose a or in our view possibly THE answer to any of the specific problems that we face in the transportation sector, it is perhaps better to get us going to make a clear and as possible wide open, non-narrowing statement of what we believe to be the problem.  I mention this not only in the case of your good question Juan, but because it is and has for about ever been indeed one of the main “deforming factors” in our transportation decision arrangements… call it “Décision précoce”.  (Note: I am hoping that we will be looking at this more closely together in our proposed transportation dialogue under the Principal Voices program shortly).

       

      You probably have already run this drill yourself Juan, but let me see if I can set out the broader preparatory steps in this case as I see them.  Let’s see what we might do with this in the case of your “better and cheaper mobility alternatives for low income groups”.  That is your target right?

       

      1. Certainly as part of our background we have to be sure that we fully understand the main short-comings in our target case associated with the existing own-car arrangements (which include stuff like the huge cost, direct and indirect, of car ownership and use, along with the “costs” that are implied to the extent to which any given person might wish to opt for what appear to be useful shortcuts: i.e., no insurance, inadequate maintenance, etc.)
      2. So yes indeed we really to have a problem here, now what might the range of answers be -- sticking for now to stuff that relates to mobility alternatives alone, but on the understanding too that we have a mature understanding of the specifics in terms of the full access problematique of our target group.  (And in this context we also must from the beginning be sensitive to the fact that in most real world situation many of the things that need to be done to reduce or eliminate any given mobility problem in fact may lay outside of the transportation sector per so.  Something of which  we should never lose sight.)
      3. Car clubs of various sorts are probably something that we might look at in any given situation, but in addition to carsharing per se as we know it, it also suggests various possibilities of ride sharing  (each of these of course bringing with them their own share of problems and limitations, but if we don’t have a careful look without having to give birth to a doctoral dissertation each time and for each choice). But there are other mobility options to which we should be giving some thought.
      4. A probably doubtful solution in almost all cases that I can imagine would be the creation of a standard taxpayer-funded deficitory scheduled bus service, but that said if there happens to be something of the sort lurking around in the target area, there may be possibilities for better service levels and route adaptation (and even flexibility) without necessarily breaking the bank.
      5. Other options which I for one would at least like to have a good look at would include:
        1. Some form of organized hitchhiking
        2. Group taxi services
        3. Para-taxis (which may be more or less illegal, but then again much of the time when we want or need to break the paralysis of systemic inertia in this sector, this may be the case.  But we have to lean to come to grips with this in creative responsible ways).
        4. Community transport (via local religious groupings, social agencies, neighborhood associations, and the list goes on).
        5. Etc.

       

      I would imagine Juan that you have already worked your way down these various hit lists before settling on the carshare option in this case, but I would like to think that this quick reminder might be useful in itself – and that it might inspire more and better from our colleagues who have a lot more hands-on knowledge than I do. However if you were to ask me point blank: do I believe that carsharing  can be made to work for low income groups?  I would have to say: might do, but we would have to be very very careful to make it work.

       

      To close: If I seem to insist on this little exercise in problem setting overly, it is because it is now well known that in our sector “most of the problems we face today are someone’s old answers”.  So better that we scratch around a bit before making our implementation decisions.

       

      I look forward to the comments from our other colleagues on this, and if possible Juan to our being able to follow in some efficient manner the progress of your worthy project.

       

      Eric Britton

       

      PS. Suppose the question were: Where best to start carsharing in Colombia?  And there I would suggest that the best target just might be not the poor but wealthier groups living in and around the larger cities. They after all are often, and despite many of their other and inevitably bad habits, the leading edge for new ways of doing things. (See if you can sell this idea to our esteemed friend and colleague Enrique Peñalosa. It will give him one more arrow in his quiver.)

       

       

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: DIRK VANDIJL [mailto:dirk.vandijl@...]
      Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2005 9:25 AM
      To: WorldCarShare@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [WorldCarShare] Car Sharing for Low Income groups

       

      Juan

      I have no information for you, but I am faced with this question also from many local governments and I have a problem with it.

       

      Car clubs were started to reduce pollution and congestion. Part of our mission (after the primary mission which is to build a sustainable, successful and profitable business) is to achieve those goals.

       

      If we confuse our goals by adding making one of the most polluting forms of transport (after airplanes) available to people who otherwise would not have cars, we will only increase pollution and congestion.

       

      No doubt the question of 'social inclusion' and 'work opportunities' etc then come around the corner, questions which are very important and valid. However, if a car is needed to get to work daily, then a car club is not a suitable alternative. In that case a private car in much cheaper. The car club is good for the 'occasional' journey, though what 'occasional' means each person will have to judge themselves.

       

      So my conclusion is that car clubs should not be looked at as a method of giving access to cars by a group of people who would not otherwise have access to cars. It will dilute the prime objective (I think that was a Star Trek phrase) and not achieve the desired effect in other (not part of the prime objective) areas.

       

      Good luck

       

      Dirk

      "Juan F. Ortega" <juanfortega@...> wrote:

      Good evening to everybody in the World Car Share group!

       

      I am doing research on Car Sharing opportunities for low income groups in the United States and I was wondering if you could give me examples of cities in the US that provide this kind of service.

       

      Thanks,

       

      -juan

       

      Juan F. Ortega, P.E., Ph.D.

      juanfortega@...

      http://www.juanfer73.tk/

       



      Carsharing: Sustainable transport's missing link!
      Go to World CarShare: http://WorldCarShare.com
      The broader issues behind carsharing? Check out the New Mobility Agenda at http://www.newmobility.org
      Free video- and voice-conferencing: click http://newmobilitypartners.org

       

       



      Carsharing: Sustainable transport's missing link!
      Go to World CarShare: http://WorldCarShare.com
      The broader issues behind carsharing? Check out the New Mobility Agenda at http://www.newmobility.org
      Free video- and voice-conferencing: click http://newmobilitypartners.org



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