News, Analysis and Opinion for the Informed Boulder Resident
Monday August 19th 2019

Support the Blue Line

Subscribe to the Blue Line

That's what she said

city council transportation energy municipalization xcel housing urban planning april fools bicycles climate action election 2011 density boulder county affordable housing open space election agriculture renewables CU local food climate change election 2013 development jefferson parkway youth pedestrian election 2015 preservation Rocky Flats election 2017 recreation BVSD immigration mountain bikes boards and commissions GMOs decarbonization urban design transit fracking plan boulder farming fires wildlife planning board colorado politics architecture downtown smart regs new era colorado land use natural gas plutonium homeless journalism transit village parking commuting ghgs radioactive waste rental taxes height limits coal historic preservation walkability energy efficiency april fools 2015 Neighborhoods zoning population growth diversity historic district flood students growth North Boulder gardens arts education election 2018 solar bus election 2010 University Hill water supply nutrition RTD bike lane electric utility library safety sprawl groundwater water quality election 2012 affairs of the heart april fools 2016 renewable energy organic flood plain planning reserve mayor zero waste blue line wetlands county commissioners hogan-pancost politics electric vehicle hazardous waste transportation master plan obama longmont ballot right-sizing street design golden Mapleton solar panels PV climate smart loan recycling comprehensive plan diagonal plaza bears colorado legislature flood mitigation campaign finance congestion conservation easement food epa boulder junction pesticide drought oil flooding inequality election 2016 road diet planning bus rapid transit commercial development daily camera climate change deniers automobile PUC children ecocycle community cycles BVCP Newlands community league of women voters wind power public health ken wilson david miller sam weaver civil rights mlk west tsa crime public spaces city attorney boulder creek al bartlett marijuana green points technology EV Orchard Grove Whittier arizona

Aristotle on Wealth and Carsharing


On the whole, you find wealth much more in use than in ownership. – Aristotle

What Aristotle aimed at cannot be certain. When applied to owning a car, though, we can certainly interpret it in the following manner: “The true cost of car ownership is not in its capital expense, but in its operating expenses.”

Jane outside her Whittier neighborhood home

Boulder resident, Jane Enterline recently bought a new car. Her next door neighbor, Graham Hill, mentioned the idea of sharing that car with her entire neighborhood. She fell in love with the idea, so now her new shiny, fuel-efficient, red Honda Fit is conveniently placed outside her Whittier Neighborhood home, and as part of the eGo CarShare fleet, she won’t have to pay for insurance, maintenance or even gas. This is Peer-to-Peer (P2P) CarSharing and, though referred to as a new phenomenon, has been going on in Boulder since 1997.

P2P asks the question, “Why so many cars?” Peer-to-Peer CarSharing has the potential to change the standard ratio (one car for every person) to neighbors sharing cars with neighbors. Imagine entire neighborhoods reclaiming the public spaces we now reserve for automobiles by significantly reducing the number of vehicles that remain parked, and unused, 22 hours out of every day. The traditional concept of one car, one owner is about to become an outdated paradigm. As serial Internet entrepreneur, Lisa Gansky, highlights in her recent book The Mesh, “We’re moving from an economy and lifestyle where access trumps ownership.”  Indeed, Boulder’s soon-to-be launched Community Tool Library and upcoming Bike Share program further illustrate this trend.

“I was going to buy a car anyway, but when this option became known, I thought it was perfect for my family,” explained Enterline. “I ride my bike a lot, plus I have an Eco Pass, so sharing our car and still having easy access to it made this an easy decision. I think more people will be willing to buy a car and place it in front of their house for others to use in exchange for no operating costs. When I first looked into carsharing, I noticed that the closest car was about 9 blocks away. By adding my car to the eGo fleet I can unload my groceries in front of my house, while providing a beneficial resource to my neighbors,” said Enterline.

In 2009, the average annual cost of owning a car was $8,487 per 15,000 miles. That’s $707 per month. This cost is seldom considered in purchasing decisions. Sharing will become the new norm as we move away from hyper consumerism and re-invent ourselves and our society. As Gansky put it “With all of our ability to connect to each other and the physical world, this is the precise moment when sharing our things could be convenient, relatively inexpensive, and painless.” For now, Boulder residents can easily share their cars making us wealthier with easy and cost effective access. Did Aristotle see this coming?

Rate this article: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

What do you think? Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.