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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
478
14th Street Bridge
486
Arlington Mill Trail
143
Ballston Connector
107
Bluemont Connector
0
CC Connector
200
Clarendon EB bike lane
40
Custis Bon Air Park
306
Custis Rosslyn
347
Eads NB
25
Eads SB
28
Fairfax EB bike lane
44
Fairfax WB
72
Joyce St NB
19
Joyce St SB
13
Key Bridge East
471
Key Bridge West
251
Military NB bike lane
11
Military SB bike lane
32
MVT Airport South
513
Quincy NB bike lane
36
Quincy SB bike lane
60
Roosevelt Bridge
70
Rosslyn Bikeometer
295
TR Island Bridge
301
WOD Bon Air Park
739
WOD Bon Air West
466
WOD Columbia Pike
442
Wilson WB bike lane
99

Peds counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
569
14th Street Bridge
146
Arlington Mill Trail
686
Ballston Connector
326
Bluemont Connector
723
CC Connector
311
Custis Bon Air Park
586
Custis Rosslyn
507
Eads NB
0
Eads SB
0
Fairfax WB
0
Joyce St NB
58
Joyce St SB
90
Key Bridge East
1773
Key Bridge West
435
MVT Airport South
433
Roosevelt Bridge
1
TR Island Bridge
897
WOD Bon Air Park
939
WOD Bon Air West
880
WOD Columbia Pike
522

All counters, YTD

View Counter Data
Year to Date
2073978