A recent study out of Transportation Research Procedia has found that women are less likely than men to use carsharing services due to childcare, household duties, and the need to make “chain trips” across multiple destinations for a variety of errands. Even in Germany—the EU country with the highest rate of women working—childcare, child transportation, and household tasks still fall predominantly to women.
As of early May, some residents of public housing projects in Sacramento have access to an on-demand vehicle service using electric cars, reports the Sacramento Bee. Through a partnership with Boston-based Zipcar, eight electric vehicles—two at each of four public housing complexes throughout the city—are now available for residents’ use at significantly subsidized rates. The $1.3 million project is funded through California’s cap-and-trade program that charges businesses to offset their impact on the environment.
A recent study done by researchers at University of California-Berkeley has answered several questions many have had since car-sharing began by showing that car2go members in five North American cities reduced both their annual vehicle miles traveled and also their greenhouse gas emissions. Members also sold or delayed purchasing vehicles, resulting in each car-sharing vehicle removing seven to 11 private vehicles from the road.
Car sharing is maturing, expanding options beyond the initial model of a station-based system structured around accessing and returning cars parked at designated location. Of particular interest is the free-floating car share model, or FFCS, which allows members to pick up and drop off a car anywhere within the service area without being tied to a designated parking location. This new choice, in use in Montreal, expands service flexibility geographically, but also broadens the member demographic, which could have additional environmental and congestion mitigation benefits.
The primary focus of transportation agencies for many years has been to keep pace with ever-rising levels of traffic. New policy goals focused on health and environmental impacts in California, Massachusetts, and elsewhere, as well as nationwide trends in travel behavior have begun to change this focus. Now, the emergent sharing economy also appears to be playing some part in markets that currently are isolated but that could grow quickly.
Over the last 15 years, the Internet and mobile communications technologies have transformed the way Americans live and work. During that same period, growth in vehicle travel slowed and then stopped, with Americans today driving about as much on average as we did in 1996. Early evidence suggests that new innovations in technology and social networking are beginning to change America’s transportation landscape.
For almost a decade, per-capita VMT has shown a flat to downward trend. But don’t be fooled; people are traveling. Transit ridership is up. Biking and walking for transportation continues to increase. Car-sharing and ride-sharing services are seeing a boom. New technologies, including smart phone applications and interactive web sites, give these intrepid travelers the tools they need to decode the mysteries of public transit and investigate the growing availability of non-motorized travel options.
This transportation demand management plan from the Puget Sound Regional Council and the TDM Steering Committee lays out strategies to reduce single occupancy car trips through the region. A variety of efforts are outlined, including neighborhood-based alternative transportation education, car-sharing, employer-based ride-sharing, parking management, and regional transit cooperation.
A new integrated transportation system of car and bike share, shuttle buses, and on-demand cars with drivers—all linked together with a smartphone app known as Project 100—will give residents of Las Vegas a convenient way to avoid owning their own cars.
At the first national conference of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), city transportation and elected officials expressed dismay that cities may be on their own in moving forward with innovative plans and policies. Attendees were frsutrated that neither cities nor transportation overall got much attention during the recent campaign season.