Car sharing is a service that has been growing in popularity since the 1990s. It allows car owners to rent out their vehicles to people on an hourly basis, usually for a fee of 40-50 dollars per hour. This system benefits drivers who need quick access to a vehicle and decreases congestion and pollution, which are problems associated with traditional car rentals or personal ownership. Generally, one would assume that renting or sharing a vehicle does nothing to help reduce air pollution because more vehicles are being driven around on city roads. However, this system reduces greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the possibility of owning different cars that go unused most of the time.
- Beginning with the first and most well-known, car sharing is a form of transportation that reduces the need for private vehicle ownership by allowing people to ‘share’ cars. Many names are given to this practice: car sharing, car clubs, peer-to-peer carsharing, casual carpooling. This article discusses various impacts of car sharing on urban sustainability.
- Car sharing has been shown to decrease the demand for parking and increase available parking, leading to decreased congestion and increased safety for all transportation systems. In this case, car sharing has no direct influence on traffic speeds as such but provides a considerable alternative to private car use.
- In addition, carsharing makes parking more efficient because those who do not own cars pay others to share theirs with them, making ownership of one’s vehicle less necessary or possible. For example, people who live in urban areas and commute to work might opt out of owning a personal vehicle if they can instead access one at their convenience through services such as Avail car sharing.
- Car sharing has been cited for having positive impacts on traffic safety by reducing the number of vehicles on the road, thus creating fewer opportunities for collisions. Carsharing users are more likely to walk, cycle or take transit for their daily trips than private vehicle drivers; this has important implications for personal safety in addition to environmental benefits.
- Also, carsharing decreases the cost of infrastructure, making it easier for cities to take on necessary infrastructural projects like road work or installing new bike lanes. Furthermore, car sharing programs work with local governments worldwide to decrease congestion by changing parking regulations (e.g., no parking during rush hour) and implementing free-floating carshare programs. Other benefits cited are decreased emissions due to less energy investment for private vehicles and reduced emissions through optimized traffic flows. The latter is especially true in urban areas where there may be several different traffic lights surrounding one intersection that can back up cars for miles if everyone is trying to get through at the same time.
- Less congestion is suitable for everyone, including those who might own their vehicle and love driving it because they have more space on the roads to traverse freely. Less congested roads are also safer for public transportation systems like buses, subways, and bike lanes, which help further decrease congestion by creating more efficient ways of getting around a city that does not require parking afterwards. Without these transportation systems being slowed down by drivers seeking parking spaces, they can continue moving people across cities quickly and efficiently.
- Car sharing has been found to increase housing affordability in some areas due to decreased demand for parking spaces or gear with attached living quarters because fewer people own a personal vehicle. Not every household needs to have a car for every adult, and those who wish to reduce their expenses might opt out of owning one altogether if they can instead use car-sharing services.
This article has put more emphasis on urban sustainability as a result of car sharing. The presence of more people in an area increases its economic success because there are more consumers spending money and resources around town. This is especially true during periods of growth as cities expand their infrastructures, which will be spread further as populations increase and often require people’s commuting from time to time.