Car sharing: an alternative transportation opportunity for Calgary
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AbstractWhile alternatives to the private automobile, such as public transit, cycling, and walking can provide many of our daily transportation needs, they do not afford the convenience and flexibility that is associated with owning a private vehicle. Car sharing offers a network of community-based short-term car rentals to pre-approved users, who pay a variable rate based on usage, and can complement the other modes in a sustainable transportation system by offering more efficient and affordable use of a personal vehicle. Successfully integrated into urban transportation networks throughout Europe and North America, car sharing has been shown to encourage the use of the optimum mode for each trip. It has proven to increase the use of other modes, accompanied by no perceived loss in mobility. In using personal vehicles more efficiently, there are potential positive direct and indirect land use and urban design implications associated with a transportation network incorporating car sharing. Car sharing has operated in Calgary's inner city since 1999, but has not seen significant growth. Opportunities to expand car sharing are identified in this research and include the application of advanced technology, expanding into different markets, utilising various rate strategies and developing strategic partnerships. Identified challenges facing the expansion range from internal barriers within the car sharing organisation, such as its image and business structure, to larger socio-cultural issues including car culture and overcoming an aversion to sharing. Additional barriers include fmancing, difficulties in receiving insurance, and limited transportation alternatives. This project documents the Canadian experience with an innovative transportation alternative to the private automobile and determines opportunities for and challenges to its success in Calgary specifically. As one of the few major research projects to specifically focus on the Canadian car sharing experience, the results of this paper will provide support for potential and existing car sharing organisations, policy makers, and others interested in creating a sustainable transportation network. The recommendations will focus on overcoming barriers to car sharing in Calgary and highlighting the opportunities relevant to the local situation. Key words: Car sharing, car co-operative, Calgary, transportation planning, alternative transportation network, sustainable transportation, transportation innovations, Calgary Alternative Transportation Co-operative (CATCO), urban transportation.
Bibliography: p. 116 -127