North American Carsharing - A Ten-Year Retrospective

Title: North American Carsharing: A Ten-Year Retrospective

Publication Information: Transportation Research Record, 2009

Author(s): Susan Shaheen, Adam Cohen, and Melissa Chung

Document Date: May, 2009

Number of Pages: 10

Price: $0

Abstract: Carsharing (or short-term auto use) organizations provide members
access to a fleet of shared vehicles on an hourly basis, reducing the need
for private vehicle ownership. Since 1994, 50 carsharing programs have
been deployed in North America—33 are operational and 17 defunct.
As of July 1, 2008, there were 14 active programs in Canada and 19 in
the United States, with approximately 319,000 carsharing members
sharing more than 7,500 vehicles in North America. Another six programs
were planned for launching in North America by January 2009.
The four largest providers in the United States and Canada support
99% and 95.2% of total membership, respectively. A 10-year retrospective
examines North America’s carsharing evolution from initial market
entry and experimentation (1994 to mid-2002) to growth and market
diversification (mid-2002 to late 2007) to commercial mainstreaming
(late 2007 to present). This evolution includes increased competition, new
market entrants, program consolidation, increased market diversification,
capital investment, technological advancement, and greater interoperator
collaboration. Ongoing growth and competition are forecast. Rising fuel
costs and increased awareness of climate change likely will facilitate this

Keywords: Carsharing, shared vehicle, North America, market, public policy

This article can be found here.