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Update on total overhaul and retooling of the World Carshare Consortium

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  • Eric Britton
    Dear Colleagues, If you go today to http://www.worldcarshare.com you will see the results of a major revision of the World Carshare Consortium program, website
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 26, 2008
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      Dear Colleagues,

       

      If you go today to http://www.worldcarshare.com you will see the results of a major revision of the World Carshare Consortium program, website and supporting toolset that we have been working very hard on in the past weeks. Best way in is simply to click to the site and then run though the various small boxes and links which appear on the home page. You’ll see.

       

      We have long called carsharing an example of a “two percent” solution (a multi-billion dollar new metro is, by contrast, and example of a 5-7 percent solution). All by itself in an unquestioning old mobility vacuum carsharing cannot expect to do all that much -- however when combined with and supported by the rich battery of modes and approaches which are the stuff of the New Mobility Agenda, it has a very important role to complete the multi-level 21st century new mobility system of your city. As some of you know, we have long called carsharing “the last nail in the coffin of old mobility”.

       

      Highlights of the new site and toolset include:

       

      1.     An inventory identifying one thousand cities in which you can carshare this morning - see http://www.cities.worldcarshare.com

      2.     A comprehensive listing of major sources of supply and service support for carshare start-ups - http://www.suppliers.worldcarshare.com  

      3.     An in process inventory identifying more than three hundred of the leading carshare operations worldwide – http://www.operators.worldcarshare.com

      4.     A combined search engine which provides focused information on all key aspects of carsharing worldwide - http://www.knoogle.worldcarshare.com

       

      This Augean process of updating and extending our coverage of carsharing has been a terrific learning experience. (It is also one in which we have received good help from a significant number of the close to five hundred members of our informal working group, so let me take this occasion to thank them, for all of us.)

       

      As but one example, back in 2006 our inventory of cities with carsharing logged in some six hundred, but today just two years later, and if we include the fast-growing campus and specific company/group carshare operations, it can be seen that we have doubled that number. That has to mean something.

       

      But now what? Well, the fact is that the technical and business aspects of how to make a carshare project work are now pretty well in hand. That’s a great leap forward, but if you look closely you can see that it makes the next set of targets for our work very clear. And that is that we, and possibly you, need to find ways to get together with cities, local government and other eventual national and regional organizations which can help in this,  to give them more strategic carshare support strategies. This is we are seeing the real weak link thus far. So that is where I intend to concentrate our efforts and attention over 2009 and beyond.

       

      I would say that we are far enough along in this process, that I can without hesitation invite you to drop in and have a good look. Carsharing is just one of the rich palette of new mobility options that we now need to put in place and make work. But in this case it has the advantage of one that is at the same time successful, fast growing and well mapped from a world perspective. Carsharing is ready to roll.

       

      Tell me what you think.

       

      With all good wishes,

       

      Eric Britton

       

      PS. And don’t miss http://www.lite.worldcarshare.com – carsharing operators selling their service with a grin. May they be an example for us all.

       

       

       

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    • Dave Holladay
      Your man Eric wrote As but one example, back in 2006 our inventory of cities with carsharing logged in some six hundred, but today just two years later, and if
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 26, 2008
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        Your man Eric  wrote

         As but one example, back in 2006 our inventory of cities with carsharing logged in some six hundred, but today just two years later, and if we include the fast-growing campus and specific company/group carshare operations, it can be seen that we have doubled that number. That has to mean something.

        Perhaps an even more dramatic effect might be in Bike Sharing - and related systems

        Barely 5 years ago the germ of OV-Fiets was manually working on one site - there are now 160 sites with NS and clones elsewhere.

        And how many bike share bikes have appeared since 2006?  Clue - in 2007 the call for bike share 3-speed hub fitted bikes caused a major shortage world-wide in supply of these units. I don't recall such a problem with car sharing cars.....

        Note also that in some US cities the demand for bike on transit (ie buses) went up over 100% between April and June/July

        But one curious thing  on UK TV  channels .  Until very recently , and possibly still  appearing we have  the property make-over shows and the property investment shows (Location Location Location  etc) .  However when it comes to a transport makeover, all they can come up with is taking away the subject(s) car(s) and forcing them to walk to the bus stop and wait for buses with no thought to what the contemporary car-light and car free households actually do.  For a start they locate where most daily needs can be obtained within a 5 minute walk, and then with a catholic ethic use car share, car hire, taxis and cycling to fill in the gaps where appropriate, or get things delivered  (and on the basis that if you want my business then accept my terms, most suppliers will realise that delivery without exhorbitant penalties will actually bring them the custom of the substantial % customers without the appropriate transport).

        Dave



      • Eric Britton
        Thanks for filling in the dots on this one Dave. As you know the New Mobility Agenda has for a long time been a strong supporter of sharing, bikes as well as
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 27, 2008
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          Thanks for filling in the dots on this one  Dave.

           

          As you know the New Mobility Agenda has for a long time been a strong supporter of sharing, bikes as well as cars, streets and public spaces.  The program update to which you refer below noted the very high growth of carsharing over the last two years, and from an already strong base (more than 600 in operation in 2006). It also reflects that the World Carshare Consortium was started as a cooperative international  venture more than a decade ago, and we are proud to have been part of this significant shift (as you will see if you page over to http://recommendations.worldcarshare.com where those words come from some of the outstanding leaders in the field).

           

          Our allegiance to bike sharing, whereas only dating back to 2006 as far as the organization of this World City Bike Collaborative program, and the considerable information and databases behind it, is I think a sign that we are just as strongly committed to the concept of shared bikes. And in any event I for one do not propose to make this into a beauty contest, which I think does not help given the difficulty of getting these things working and accepted in both cases.

           

          My own original experiences in both go back to the late sixties at which time I thought that Luud Schimmelpennink, my friend, associate, and occasional partner, going all the way back to that ancient era, had got the wheels spinning in the right direction with his great White Bicycles. And only  year or two later I also fell in love with the concept of carsharing when I visited what I think of as the first “modern” carsharing project in Montpellier France, the terrific and innovative ProcoTip project. Sure both of them ran into their full share of problems, but to my mind they did not FAIL. Rather they pioneered and led the way.

           

          So carsharing, bikesharing, street-sharing, whatever. Let’s put our shoulders behind these great projects and do our bit to make them work. The world needs them and badly.  And if tonight you raise your glass to Luud and all the others who have worked so hard, smart and long to turn this simple idea into a transformative reality, well I am sure that you will not be alone.

           

          Eric Britton

           

          PS. KNOOGLE IT: Never heard of the White Bicycles, ProcoTip or for that matter to Luud’s almost parallel WitKar project). No problem: Click to http://www.knoogle.worldcarshare.com and pop them into the search box. Sapristi. There you are and now you know.

           

           

           

           

           

          On Behalf Of Dave Holladay
          Sent: Monday, 27 October 2008 07:03

           

          Your man Eric  wrote:  As but one example, back in 2006 our inventory of cities with carsharing logged in some six hundred, but today just two years later, and if we include the fast-growing campus and specific company/group carshare operations, it can be seen that we have doubled that number. That has to mean something.

          Perhaps an even more dramatic effect might be in Bike Sharing - and related systems

          Barely 5 years ago the germ of OV-Fiets was manually working on one site - there are now 160 sites with NS and clones elsewhere.

          And how many bike share bikes have appeared since 2006?  Clue - in 2007 the call for bike share 3-speed hub fitted bikes caused a major shortage world-wide in supply of these units. I don't recall such a problem with car sharing cars.....

          Note also that in some US cities the demand for bike on transit (ie buses) went up over 100% between April and June/July

          But one curious thing  on UK TV  channels .  Until very recently , and possibly still  appearing we have  the property make-over shows and the property investment shows (Location Location Location  etc) .  However when it comes to a transport makeover, all they can come up with is taking away the subject(s) car(s) and forcing them to walk to the bus stop and wait for buses with no thought to what the contemporary car-light and car free households actually do.  For a start they locate where most daily needs can be obtained within a 5 minute walk, and then with a catholic ethic use car share, car hire, taxis and cycling to fill in the gaps where appropriate, or get things delivered  (and on the basis that if you want my business then accept my terms, most suppliers will realise that delivery without exhorbitant penalties will actually bring them the custom of the substantial % customers without the appropriate transport).

          Dave


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