Monday, April 13, 2009

Carsharing on World Streets

World Streets actively supports carsharing as one of the key baseline new mobility modes that have to be brought in as part of the multi-level package needed to manage the transition to sustainable transport in all cities and communities around the world. Note the fact that we say all and not just certain kinds of cities. Stay tuned and you will see how this work.

The New Mobility Agenda created the World Carshare Consortium in 1997 as a free, cooperative, independent communications and collaboration forum in support of carsharing projects and programs, worldwide. World Carshare offers a convenient place on the web to gather and share information and independent views on projects and approaches, past, present and planned future, freely and easily available to all comers.

Through this date World Carshare has has brought together more than 450 members, hosted more than 3000 exchanges of questions and information, organized or participated in several dozen national or international workshops or conferences, generated a number of independent reports, provided policy counsel to both cities and carshare projects, helped draft legislation, and more generally served as a spur to carshare development internationally. (These contributions have been deeply appreciated by leaders in the field, as you can see from the testimonials that are summarized here.)

Here is what the map of visitors for 12 April 2009 looks like. Basically it provides a good resume of where carsharing is being practiced and studies today. We are going to see this map expand steadily in the years immediately ahead.

In a recent world survey (November 2008) we identified more than one thousand cities and communities in the world in which you can pick up a share car this morning. This number has come close to doubling over the last two years, and there is no sign of this rate of growth leveling off.

Why have we over all these years supported a concept that may to some appear to be so off-beat and marginal as carsharing? Simple! We think it's a great, sustainable, practical mobility idea whose time has come and whose potential impact is quite simply huge. Carsharing: the missing link in your city's sustainable transport system.

In Spring 2009 Streets will report on carshare development at the leading edge, and will be hosting a series of interviews with leading figures and projects in every country in which it is presently practiced. Stay tuned.

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