Scenario one: Your personal car is parked out front and you get a sudden craving for ice cream.
You don’t think about it. You jump in your car, drive to the grocery store, buy a pint of ice cream, drive home and eat the ice cream.
Scenario two: You don’t own a car, but have access to carshare vehicles and you get a sudden craving for ice cream.
You pause to ask yourself – do I really want the ice cream? If so should I ride my bike to the store or reserve a carshare vehicle, walk to the car, drive to the grocery store, buy a pint of ice cream, drive back to the vehicle station, walk home and eat the ice cream. What would you do?
Apparently, most people under scenario two choose to ride their bike. The data bear this out. A recent study by Elliot Martin and Susan Shaheen concludes:
Carsharing can substantially reduce the number of vehicles owned by member households, despite the fact that 60 percent of all households joining carsharing are carless. Households joining carsharing owned an average of 0.47 vehicles per household before joining carsharing, but that average dropped to 0.24 after membership. Carshare households exhibited a dramatic shift towards a carless lifestyle.
Our own Boulder original, eGo CarShare, conducted its own before and after surveys* that support the national study:
52% Decrease in Average Annual Vehicle Miles Traveled (Before: 3,780 miles; After 1,829 miles)
44% Decrease in cars per household (Before 1.24 cars/HH; After 0.69 cars/HH)
61% Decrease in eGo Members who drove alone to work (Before 13%; After 5%)
42% of members reported they either: a) Gave up a car before joining eGo, b) Gave up a car after joining eGo, c) Postponed buying a car because of joining eGo, or d) Plan to give up a car because of joining eGo
18% of members reported they drive alone less after joining eGo CarShare
Scenario three: Your personal car is parked out front. You care about the environment (and don’t mind saving money as well). You’ve read this post. You pause to reflect on your habits. You think about it. You say to yourself “Maybe I should consider carsharing.” You look online to see if carsharing is a good fit for you. It is and you sign up. You smile to yourself and eagerly await your carshare keyfob to arrive in the mail within a few days. In the meantime, you calculate how many pints of your favorite organic, dairy-free, ice cream you’ll be able to buy with the proceeds of the car you just sold.
*All results are based on eGo’s New Member Survey (data before joining eGo) and the Existing Member Survey (data after joining eGo). Surveys exhibited a 24% response rate.