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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

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
236
14th Street Bridge
63
Ballston Connector
93
Bluemont Connector
0
CC Connector
167
Clarendon EB bike lane
0
Custis Bon Air Park
0
Custis Rosslyn
324
Eads NB
30
Eads SB
0
Fairfax EB bike lane
56
Fairfax WB
56
Joyce St NB
12
Joyce St SB
0
Key Bridge East
312
Key Bridge West
0
Military NB bike lane
23
Military SB bike lane
22
MVT Airport South
451
Quincy NB bike lane
43
Quincy SB bike lane
55
Roosevelt Bridge
45
Rosslyn Bikeometer
0
TR Island Bridge
29
WOD Bon Air Park
279
WOD Bon Air West
378
Wilson WB bike lane
0

Peds counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
404
14th Street Bridge
48
Ballston Connector
338
Bluemont Connector
646
CC Connector
303
Custis Bon Air Park
0
Custis Rosslyn
491
Eads NB
0
Eads SB
0
Fairfax WB
0
Joyce St NB
6
Joyce St SB
0
Key Bridge East
1430
Key Bridge West
0
MVT Airport South
242
Roosevelt Bridge
89
TR Island Bridge
468
WOD Bon Air Park
774
WOD Bon Air West
687

All counters, YTD

View Counter Data
Year to Date
108687