Research suggests that car sharing may offer considerable environmental and social benefits, such as carbon emission reductions and greater use of alternative modes such as public transit, walking, and cycling, and reduced parking investments due to reduced ownership and use of vehicles. Surveys carried out in six European cities and three U.S. cities have indicated that car sharing could result in a 30% to 40% reduction in annual vehicle travel per driver, which could yield significant co-benefits.
- Action applies specifically to passenger transport.
- As noted in title, action applies to car and bike sharing, with limited potential for expansion to other modes.
- Current evidence suggests that there is a minor to moderate level of impact on CO2 emissions by bike sharing schemes, mainly due to significant shift from sustainable modes of transport like walking and public transport, and to the use of motorized fleets for bike maintenance and re-distribution. However, evidence also suggests that scaling-up bike share systems has led to dramatic increases in private bike use in many cities.
- Car sharing has the potential to reduce car ownership, and in turn can reduce parking demand (and thus positively impact commercial and residential parking requirements in the long term). Bike sharing is associated with a decreased risk of bicycle injuries compared to private bike riding and offers the potential for positive effects on local economic activity.
Status of deployment:
- Car sharing operations can be found in 33 countries on five continents for a total of approximately 4.8 million members. Europe accounted for a plurality of car sharing memberships, at 46%, with North America in second place at 34%. Bike share schemes have been implemented in more than 800 cities worldwide, with China well in the lead; European cities contribute the bulk of the remainder, with the Americas quickly ramping up efforts, thus demonstrating a truly globally-scalable action.
- By extrapolating past trends in car sharing membership growth, the IEA has estimated that scaling-up car sharing programs could achieve average mitigation of about 0.45% of transport sector emissions by 2030. By 2050 about 25 million individuals could participate in car sharing, resulting in a reduction of about 11.81 million tons of CO2.