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Car-Sharing

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

A car-sharing 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 or 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

Photo: Car-sharing signSome 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

Free2Move - Free2Move Carsharing offers one of the largest carsharing fleets in Washington DC. You can locate and book a car directly through our app, to get you where you want  to go.

Reserved-Space

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 Car-Sharing

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

Related Content

Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counters

Bikes counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
873
14th Street Bridge
1275
Ballston Connector
201
Bluemont Connector
437
CC Connector
630
Clarendon EB bike lane
9
Custis Bon Air Park
878
Custis Rosslyn
1148
Eads NB
18
Eads SB
50
Fairfax EB bike lane
100
Fairfax WB
147
Joyce St NB
51
Joyce St SB
35
Key Bridge East
1004
Key Bridge West
522
Military NB bike lane
24
Military SB bike lane
22
MVT Airport South
2441
Quincy NB bike lane
74
Quincy SB bike lane
45
Roosevelt Bridge
303
Rosslyn Bikeometer
1043
TR Island Bridge
0
WOD Bon Air Park
1479
WOD Bon Air West
1823
Wilson WB bike lane
24

Peds counted

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110 Trail
719
14th Street Bridge
343
Ballston Connector
0
Bluemont Connector
392
CC Connector
510
Custis Bon Air Park
728
Custis Rosslyn
489
Eads NB
0
Eads SB
0
Fairfax WB
0
Joyce St NB
154
Joyce St SB
106
Key Bridge East
2098
Key Bridge West
799
MVT Airport South
489
Roosevelt Bridge
234
TR Island Bridge
0
WOD Bon Air Park
1077
WOD Bon Air West
941

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Year to Date
5439219