We know that our love affair with cars is polluting the air, congesting our cities, and destroying our health – but after decades of car-centric planning, it’s hard for many people to give up car use altogether.
The road to a better transport system is likely to be a long one. But we can put the brakes on the increase in per-capita vehicle ownership and use right now, by sharing the cars we’ve already got.
Car sharing is an alternative to car ownership that lets people bridge the gap between complete car dependence and a car-free life. The City of Sydney commissioned a cost-benefit analysis of car sharing in 2012. The study found that a single shared car replaces up to 12 privately-owned cars.
“Traditional” car sharing – where cars are owned by a company and parked around the streets for members to rent by the hour or day – is now well-established in Sydney and Melbourne, with operators like GoGet, Flexicar, Hertz On Demand and Green Share Car all offering car sharing services.
Neighbour-to-neighbour car sharing aims to provide the same solution as traditional car sharing platforms, but by using the wasted cars that are already clogging up our streets.