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Carsharing is a revolution in personal transportation - urban mobility for the 21st century.
Carsharing is designed to replace car ownership for people who do not need to drive to work every day, and to significantly reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Car sharing is a service that provides 24/7 self-serve access to a network of vehicles stationed around your city (and increasingly, cities world-wide), which can be reserved by the hour or day via smart phones, Internet and call centres.
This amazing green business idea works because people save money, and lose the hassles of ownership, yet still have the beneficts of access to a car when they need one.
Car Sharing pilot projects like Witkar began as early as the 1960's and 1970's, but modern car sharing programs launched in 1987 in Switzerland and later in 1988 in Germany, and came to North America via Quebec City in 1994. [The first successful car share in the USA, Portland Oregon's CarSharing-PDX, launched in 1998.]
As of July 2012, - based on data provided by Susan Shaheen, University of California, Berkeley - 26 U.S. carsharing programs claimed 806,332 members sharing 12,634 vehicles; and 101,502 members shared 3,143 vehicles among 19 carsharing organizations in Canada. Worldwide, as of October 2012, carsharing was operating in 27 countries and five continents, accounting for an estimated 1,788,000 members sharing over 43,550 vehicles - and carsharing was planned in seven additional countries worldwide.
Carsharing membership has grown tremendously over the past 15 years - since it launched in North America in Quebec City in 1994 - and the industry has recently attracted significant commercial attention. Take a look at a decade of carsharing growth:
William Clay Ford Jr.,