The car sharing service Car2Go recently announced that Vancouver is the first city in its network to register more than 100,000 users. First launched in 2011, the service operates between 1,250 to 1,400 Smart cars that are available for one-way trips anywhere within the city limits.
However, this only represents part of the car sharing story in Vancouver. The city is is also the host for Modo, the pioneering car sharing organization in North America, that started in 1997. Modo now claims over 500 vehicles, 16,000 individual members and 500 business members. Two other car sharing systems active in Vancouver are Zipcar with 225 vehicles and Evo Car Share with 600 vehicles.
A recent report by the Sightline Institute determined that among cities in the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver holds half of all the shared vehicles in the Cascadia region with a total of 2,550 shared vehicles in the city. The success of car sharing in Vancouver according to Car2Go’s Dacyl Armendariz is attributed to “The population being really dense (5,249 people per km2), which makes it a perfect fit for a car-sharing service. There’s also a good public transportation infrastructure already in place, and Car2go is a great complement to an existing public transit system.”
Several car sharing services in the city are part of a larger network that allows visitors who are members in other cities to use the car sharing vehicles in Vancouver. Car sharing is becoming an option for visitors who may require access to a vehicle in the event that they need to make a day trip in the region during their stay without having to rent a vehicle.
According to planner Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, “car sharing schemes typically reduce average vehicle use by 40-60% among drivers who rely on it.”
According to Sightline’s Alan Durning, “…car sharing is combining with a burst of compact new development, better transit, ride-sharing, cycling and walking infrastructure, bike-sharing, and telecommuting to make low-carbon, car-lite living ever more prevalent.”