Car-sharing

Photo: Zipcar sign

Want to run errands at lunch? Have a business meeting? Spouse has the car for the day? Try car-sharing.

A carsharing membership is a great resource for people who occasionally need a car but don't want the expense and/or trouble of car ownership. Car-sharing programs provide access to a fleet of vehicles for short term use (priced by the hour or even minute), located conveniently throughout the community and with most if not all costs (gas, insurance, etc.) bundled into the rate. In essence, car-sharing transforms the automobile from a product with high fixed costs into a service with costs on a time or mileage basis. When used in conjunction with public transportation, walking or bicycling, car-sharing can reduce or eliminate the need to own a personal vehicle. For families, car-sharing can postpone or eliminate the need to buy a second car. For businesses, participation in a car-sharing program can reduce or eliminate the need to store and maintain company cars, or to require employees to bring their personal cars to work.

Car-sharing Benefits

Some important benefits of car-sharing include:

Lower demand for parking. Surveys consistently report that each car-sharing vehicle replaces as many as seven or more private cars, as members sell or scrap their cars, or avoid buying new ones. When fewer cars need to be parked, it makes parking easier for cars that still do.

Fewer miles driven and emissions produced. While surveys suggest that car-share members are often infrequent car users to begin with (taking advantage of other transportation options available in urban areas), once people start car-sharing they report driving less. Car-share vehicles also tend to be newer and more fuel efficient than the household cars they replace, which means fewer emissions produced for each mile driven.

Lower transportation costs. For people who drive infrequently, the fixed costs of car ownership are a majority of the costs associated with driving. By switching from personal car ownership to car-sharing membership, these infrequent drivers could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

Personal non-monetary benefits of car-sharing include:

  • New vehicles (reliability and comfort)
  • No maintenance or repair responsibilities
  • Vehicles always clean
  • Different vehicles for different purposes (whereas private owners have the same car all the time)
  • Convenient locations where people live and work
  • Guaranteed parking space (*not all business models)
  • No filling up the gas tank (*not all business models)

Car-sharing Service Providers

Free-Floating

car2go - car2go has a fleet of blue and white Smartfortwo and Mercedes Benz vehicles located in Washington, DC (since 2012), and Arlington, VA (since September 2015). There are no designated stations or parking spaces. Members locate cars with a web or smartphone app and use their member card or smartphone app to get in. Members are billed for minutes used, with no set return time. At the end of the trip, vehicles must be parked in a legal on-street space in either Arlington or DCWithin the car’s “home zone”, parking is free to the driver, with those costs (along with gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.) bundled into the rate. More information from arlingtonva.us.

Reserved-Space

Enterprise Car-share – Enterprise Rent-A-Car is America’s car rental company dating back to 1957, and started car sharing as a natural extension of its rental program and longtime focus on customized local service. Enterprise Car-share uses technology and an award-winning service record to deliver speed, efficiency and economy to people who need a car at a moment’s notice.

Maven - General Motors’ car-sharing service Maven has entered the DC market in 2016. Providing exclusively reserved-space round-trip service, members use this option by paying hourly or daily rates.

Zipcar - Hundreds of Zipcars are parked in convenient locations throughout the region. Members reserve a nearby car online or by phone, then use an electronic membership card to unlock the car. The rental period can be as little as ½ hour for one-way trips, where members return the car to a different reserved parking spot, or one hour for round-trip, where members return the car to the same reserved parking spot where they picked it up. Zipcar members can also use their membership in the many other cities in the U.S. and abroad that Zipcar serves.

Peer-to-Peer Carsharing

Peer-to-peer car-sharing programs provide a means for car owners to rent out otherwise underutilized personal vehicles. These programs typically screen would-be drivers and provide insurance for the car owners in the event that their car is involved in an accident while being used by a car-sharing member. Examples of existing peer-to-peer networks include:

Getaround - Rent a car from someone nearby.

Relay Rides - Rent cars from people near you.

Car-sharing Resources

Arlington County, Virginia's Car-sharing page

Arlington's Car-Free Diet Car-sharing page

Did You Know?

Arlington County has 50 miles of shared-use, off-street trails.

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Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counters

Bikes counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
558
14th Street Bridge
1997
Arlington Mill Trail
325
Ballston Connector
0
Bluemont Connector
251
CC Connector
722
Clarendon EB bike lane
216
Custis Bon Air Park
917
Custis Rosslyn
1444
Fairfax EB bike lane
149
Joyce St NB
38
Joyce St SB
24
Key Bridge East
1140
Key Bridge West
735
Military NB bike lane
33
Military SB bike lane
28
MVT Airport South
2429
Quincy NB bike lane
125
Quincy SB bike lane
75
Roosevelt Bridge
478
Rosslyn Bikeometer
0
TR Island Bridge
1203
WOD Bon Air Park
794
WOD Bon Air West
1265
WOD Columbia Pike
0
WOD East Falls Church
1031
Wilson WB bike lane
255

Peds counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
624
14th Street Bridge
261
Arlington Mill Trail
643
Ballston Connector
0
Bluemont Connector
398
CC Connector
624
Custis Bon Air Park
462
Custis Rosslyn
509
Joyce St NB
90
Joyce St SB
102
Key Bridge East
2720
Key Bridge West
1484
MVT Airport South
391
Roosevelt Bridge
137
TR Island Bridge
931
WOD Bon Air Park
656
WOD Bon Air West
698
WOD Columbia Pike
0
WOD East Falls Church
372

All counters, YTD

View Counter Data
Year to Date
7477040
About Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counter Program