Carpooling and Carsharing Schemes

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1 Carpooling and Carsharing Schemes Index Purpose Description Relevance for Large Scale Events Options Technologies Impacts Integration potential Implementation Best Cases and Examples 1 of 11

2 Purpose Carpooling or Urban Lift-sharing Services is the sharing of car journeys so that more than one person travels in a car. The car is usually owned by the driver itself, who gives a lift to other passengers he/she may know or not. They are thus matching services that bring people together who are travelling in the same direction, aiming to encourage individuals to share private vehicles for particular journeys. They use advanced technologies (e.g. matching software, the internet and optional call centres) for trip matching, increasing the potential to reach the necessary critical mass of users, targeting as a main group commuters in urban agglomerations and the surrounding regions, but also improving mobility options for other trip purposes and areas. By having more people using one vehicle, carpooling reduces each person's travel costs such as fuel costs, tolls, and the stress of driving. Carpooling is also seen as a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel as sharing journeys reduces carbon emissions, traffic congestion on the roads, and the need for parking spaces. Authorities often encourage carpooling, especially to drive in highly congested roads or during high pollution periods, providing incentives such as High Occupant Vehicles lanes and preferred/free parking spaces. Carsharing (car club in the UK) is slightly different since it refers to short-term automobile rental services intended to substitute for private vehicle ownership and making an affordable and occasional use of a vehicle: several users share the access to a car fleet, which is owned and managed by a service provider. Carsharing can provide numerous transportation, land use, environmental, and social benefits helping to reduce congestion and pollution. The first direct effect is that the use of shared cars directly reduces demand for parking spaces, which can be very valuable in dense urban areas. A secondary effect is due to the fact that only a certain number of cars can be in use at any one time then reducing traffic congestion at peak hours. Since the system provide the direct metering of costs provides a cost incentive to drive less. With owned automobiles many expenses are hidden and thus not related to how much the car is driven (such as purchase cost, insurance, taxes and maintenance). Usually carsharing users change their modal shift in favour of public transport and walking. 2 of 11

3 Description Carpooling drivers and passengers offer and search for journeys through one of the several mediums available. After finding a match they contact each other to arrange any details for the journey(s). The arrangements for carpooling is the critical phase of the system and can be made through many different mediums, including: Public websites Closed website schemes Carpooling software Manned carpooling agencies Pick-up points (not pre-arranged) The increasing diffusion of internet, smart phones and social networks are giving new chances to carpoolingschemes. Carsharing users can book a car for a time slot, and then return the car to car-parking (usually the same), making it available for the next user. Users are members of the club (usually paying an annual subscription) and pay an all-inclusive fee for the use of the car (usually both time and mileage based): on average the cost-effectiveness for a carsharing user is set at around km; below this threshold carsharing is more convenient than owning a car. Relevance for Large Scale Events The relevance for large events scale is still unknown, since carpooling and carsharing schemes are quite new compared to other transport means. It is by the way true that since carpooling and carsharing support the day by day mobility, reducing congestion; this would be of great help during a large event, when all the mobility systems are exploited at their maximum. While carsharing is mostly aiming to reduce the number of cars parked and in the long terms to modify the modal split towards more sustainable transport means, e.g. public transport and walking, the aim of carpooling is to improve the performance of the street network, improving the total person throughput of the infrastructure and the travel time reliability at the same time. This could be relevant during a large 3 of 11

4 event, where often lanes are reserved for the games family transportation, and the space for the usual users is reduced: in that case a reliable and well implemented carpooling scheme could be of great benefit for the mobility during the games: reduced number of cars on the road (without reducing the number of actual car users) and thereby reduced congestion means increased accessibility under consideration of transport cost, location and transport safety as well as reduced energy consumption and emission of air pollutants from single occupancy vehicles. At the same time, a carpooling scheme could help users save on gas and parking, increase mobility choices in areas that are not well served by public transport, improve quality of life for commuters through less stress (passengers) and in some cases reserved parking, in summary reducing the need for a private car. Options Carsharing and carpooling organisations can be public, cooperative or private, according to the local characteristics. While differing markedly in their objectives, size, business models, levels of ambition, technology and target markets, these programs do share many features. The more established operations usually require a check of past driving records and a monthly or annual fee in order to become a member. The cost and maximum time a car may be used also varies. To make a reservation, one can either make a reservation online, by phone, or by text messages depending on the company's flexibility. Then the company usually asks all the necessary information such as: What time will the car be needed? How long will the car be in use? Where would you like to pick up the car? What type of car is preferred? There is a higher chance of availability the earlier the reservation is. If a reservation is cancelled however, one may still be charged. Once the reservations are completed and confirmed, the car will then be delivered at the time and place scheduled. There will be a small card reader mounted on the windshield. Once the customer places their membership card on the reader, it will use what is called blink technology to activate the time and unlock the car. The reader will not work until it is time for that specific reservation. The keys can then be found somewhere inside the car. Depending on the company, the customer may be provided with a key to a lock box that contains the ignition key itself. Although members are often responsible for cleaning the car and filling up the tank when low, the car sharing company is generally responsible for the long-term maintenance of the vehicles. Members have to make sure that when they are finished, the car is ready for the next user to move on. 4 of 11

5 Technologies The technology of carsharing evolved enormously, from first simple manual systems using key boxes and log books to increasingly complex computer-based systems (e.g. partially automated and fully automated systems) with supporting software packages that handle a growing array of back office functions. Most modern systems relies on complex on-board units, smart cards, RFID, GPS, GSM network, plus back office software. By the way it worth noting that without the implementation of well-developed Car-Sharing technology, the success of modern Car-Sharing systems would be unthinkable. It is what guarantees the dependability and simplicity of the service for users and operators. Every modern Car-Sharing system these days has both a staffed 24-hour telephone centre to take customer bookings (and other wishes and complaints) and an automated Internet portal through which they offer those same services. There are almost always at least two methods available for customers to make reservations. The technologies used in carpooling services are mainly related to the arrangement phase (offer and search): the use of websites it almost mandatory nowadays, and in the last few years smartphones with access to the internet are becoming used to arrange the trip. 5 of 11

6 Impacts The potential impacts of carpooling is a direct reduction of congestion and pollution at urban level. Experience indicates that ridesharing programs typically attract 5-15% of commute trips if they offer only information and encouragement, and 10-30% if they also offer financial incentives such as parking cash out or vanpool subsidies Carpooling CRITERION TRAFFIC EFFICIENCY IMPACT COMMENTS LEVEL *** Carpooling schemes can reduces peakperiod private cars trips. A great potential can be identified for trips to work due to the average low occupancy rate and the high number of simultaneous trips. PT EFFICIENCY ** Potential improvements in public transport efficiency can be associated with the reduction in congestion along specific routes. AIR POLLUTION ** Air pollution decrease is due to fewer cars on the streets resulting in a reduction of vehicle-km travelled. [*, ** or *** indicate the strength of the impact] MEASURED IMPACTS* Objective Rating Comments Congestion Reduction 3 Reduces peak-period automobile travel. Road & Parking Savings 3 Reduces peak-period automobile travel. Consumer Savings 3 Provides consumer savings. Transport Choice 3 Increases travel choice. Road Safety 2 Reduces vehicle mileage, but increases vehicle occupancy, so crashes that do occur may have more casualties. Environmental 2 Reduces automobile travel. Protection Efficient Land Use -1 May encourage longer-distance commutes and urban sprawl. Community Liveability 2 Reduces automobile trips. Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to 3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts Carsharing Typical impacts of car sharing are lower car-mileage travelled per customer after joining the service (with more use of publictransport, rail and bike), downsizing of cars (i.e. more appropriate cars for purpose of journey) and a direct reduction in pollutant emissions and greenhouse gasses due to better cars available (newer and better maintained vehicles, higher emission standard). 6 of 11

7 CRITERION TRAFFIC EFFICIENCY IMPACT COMMENTS LEVEL ** Car Sharing users reduce their car kilometres travelled and each Car Sharing vehicle replace several private passenger cars. This lead to a decrease in on-street parking pressure and in circulating passenger cars. AIR POLLUTION ** Savings in fuel consumption and pollutant emissions are expected because the CS vehicles are typically newer than private vehicles and with better engine technology, improved fuel efficiency and lower emission levels. According to the results of a Swiss Car- Sharing evaluationsurvey, published 2006, every active Car Sharing user releaves the environment per year with 290 kg less of GHG emissions. MODAL SHIFT * Car Sharing reduces the private car ownership and use per capita and encourages public transport, walking, cycling. MEASURED IMPACTS* Munich -59% in km travelled by car per year (before and after joining a Car Sharing service). every Car-Sharing vehicle replaces 4 to 8 private passenger cars private passenger cars. (MOMO Project data) Munich -12% in CO 2 emission factor (g/km) based on the comparison between private cars fleet and CS fleet. Germany t CO2 emission saved by Car Sahring customers in (MOMO Project data) Italy According to the results of a national survey involving Car-Sharing customers, after joining the service the average user travelled by car km less per year, choosing other modes (PT, bicycle, walking) more frequently. [*, ** or *** indicate the strength of the impact] Objective Rating Comments Congestion Reduction 2 Reduces total per capita vehicle travel. Road & Parking Savings 2 Reduces total automobile ownership and use. Consumer Savings 2 Reduces total transportation expenditures. Transport Choice 3 Encourages public transport, walking, cycling Road Safety 2 Reduces total automobile use. Environmental 2 Reduces total automobile use. Protection Efficient Land Use 2 Supports reduced automobile ownership. Community Liveability 2 Reduces total automobile use. Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to 3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts 7 of 11

8 Integration potential Modern systems are trying to integrate carpooling and carsharing services with public transport, sharing information with other systems like public transport planning, itinerary calculation tools and payment means especially if based on smart-cards. Integration with GPS and internet is of benefit of such systems. Implementation It is not easy to sum up here practical indication for a successful deployment of carpooling and carsharing schemes, since they depend upon several city characteristics and other factors. The following list tries to sum-up the main ones for the above mentioned services: Carpooling: It should be part of a comprehensive mobility plan; It needs funding to implement an efficient matching tool; Effectiveness depends on the availability of appropriate incentives (HOV, subsidies, free parking, etc ); Marketing efforts may be needed to inform potential users about cost savings and create the largest as possible pool of users; It should be flexible: Carpooling can struggle to be flexible enough to accommodate en-route stops or changes to working times/patterns. To counter this some schemes offer 'guaranteed ride home' arrangement with a local taxi company. It should be reliable: if a carpooling network lacks a "critical mass" of participants, it may be difficult to find a solution for certain trips. In addition, the parties may not necessarily follow through on the agreed-upon ride. Several internet carpooling schemes are addressing this concern by implementing systems for flagging irresponsible users, and by completing ride payments even if passengers do not turn up. It should be secure: concerns over security have long been an obstacle to sharing a vehicle with strangers, though in reality the risk of crime is small. One remedy used by internet carpooling schemes is to use systems for flagging problematic users. 8 of 11

9 In summary, you will be ready for the implementation if key problems are identified, scheme requirements defined, existing solutions evaluated, support and networking activated, a "Local champion" involved, the necessary resources and teamwork is allocated, the marketing strategy developed. When implementing a carsharing service, it really worth designing it taking into account the following elements: Funding (granting a public funding for start-up, then the system should be self-sustainable); Accessibility (location design should take into account the number of nearby residents); Affordability (reasonable rates, encourage short trips); Convenience (fleet is composed by several different types of vehicles; vehicles are easy to check in and out at any time); Capacity factor: aim to a good mix of private and business customers at any given location, in order toh ave a complementary use of vehicles; Reliability (vehicles are usually available and have minimal mechanical failures) Marketing the service with particular attention to cost savings and work in collaboration with public transport companies to provide integrated transport packages. Supportingmeasures: The implementation of a lift-sharing or a car-sharing scheme should be accompanied by supporting measures and be integrated with an overall transport planning. An overview of possible measures includes "Carrots" - incentives to use sharing services, "Sticks" - discouraging the use of single occupancy vehicles or congestion charging, but also multi- and intermodal integration, walking and cycling as well as organisational integration with links to public transport interchanges and integration of Urban sharing Services in public transport (online) information services. Examples Case studies describing use of the tool: a) In previous large scale events, b) in more general contexts Special Event Ridesharing King County Metro has incorporated special event ridematching into its regional rideshare program (www.rideshareonline.com). Seattle Center and the University of Washington are helping to promote the service in King County, hoping it will attract more attendees to events at their venues. To use the service, visit the website and select an event from a list that currently features more than 30 picks. Then, enter some basic information, including your name and home address or a nearby intersection. If others who live near you are also looking for a buddy for that event, their addresses will pop up. You can even check a map to see who's attending and lives closest to your home. People then one another privately, screening potential buddies for the right match. 9 of 11

10 In coming months Metro plans to launch a similar effort organizing rides to private events. In a region where traffic worsens by the year, the ability to go online and find a car pool fast can revolutionize the way people get around, according to Metro Planner Park Woodworth, or helped establish the program. The possibilities are endless, including business meetings, little League games, industry events, weddings. Neighbours on their way to the grocery could even get online to check whether a nearby senior citizen needs a lift, producing social benefits in addition to environmental and cost-saving benefits. Good practice examples (general examples, not only from large events) Some mature schemes already exist for carpooling like Liftshare.com and Pendlernetz. Liftshare.com Ltd is a commercial company that was founded in 1997 by Ali Clabburn, who had the idea of a web-based matching service after having used a lift-sharing scheme in Germany. Today, liftshare.com (https://www.liftshare.com/uk/) is a national service in the UK that also provides separately branded liftsharing schemes to hundreds of businesses and communities. Users simply enter their liftshare offer or request online via a national portal (www.liftshare.com) or locally branded websites (e.g. for the London region). Liftshare membership stands at more than 141,000 members nationwide and is continuously growing. In 2006, a series of new services was launched, widening the range of modes covered (BikeBUDi, WalkBUDi, TaxiBUDi and TravelBUDI). Pendlernetz NRW: The Bürgerservice Pendlernetz NRW (commuters network for citizens) is a web-based matching service for lift-sharing which is available in more than 165 municipalities in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The service is available through a central Pendlernetz website and the websites of participating local authorities. The Pendlernetz scheme was developed out of a local agenda 21 process and was implemented 10 of 11

11 in a wider region through cooperation of a variety of local authorities in a policy-driven process. The software solution is provided by the commercial company Europe Media Alive. The catchment area of the service has 7.2 million inhabitants, 2.2 million of whom are commuters. Currently there are 8,000-9,000 lift-share offers and requests online daily. Pendlernetz is open to all. The main target group is commuters, but people with other trip purposes also show interest in the service. Car-Sharing started in Bremen (population 547,000) in In 1998, the city introduced the combined offer of a public transport season ticket and Car-Sharing access, known as the Bremer Karte plus AutoCard. Because of its positive impacts on both urban transport and on the quality of the urban environment, Car-Sharing has become a key component of urban transport strategies in Bremen. This involves the (private) operator of the local Car-Sharing company, the City of Bremen, and all of the regional Public Transport operators. As of spring of 2008, there were more than 4500 Car-Sharing users in Bremen, with a fleet of more than 100 Car-Sharing cars parked at 37 stations throughout the city, replacing about 900 private cars. The next figures show a mobility point (left) that includes carsharing, bikesharing and public transport stop, and the integrated carsharing and public transport subscription (right) in Bremen, showing the potential for integration. 11 of 11

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