Carlink: A Smart Carsharing System— A Study of Behavioral Adaptation

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Author: Susan A. Shaheen, Ph.D

Date: January 2000

Abstract: Most trips in U.S. metropolitan regions are drive-alone car trips, an expensive and inefficient transportation form. A more efficient, but often less convenient, system allows drivers to share cars. Carsharing organizations are becoming common throughout Europe and North America. Shared-use vehicles offer a modal alternative that can make metropolitan regions more livable.
A shared-use system aims to reduce traffic by reducing the number of cars needed by households and encouraging commuters to walk, bike, and use transit, at least for part of their trips. Further, carsharing could help air quality by incorporating low-emission vehicles into shareduse fleets, further reducing traffic and vehicle miles traveled. For commuters, shared-use vehicles could offer a low-cost, low-hassle alternative to private vehicles.
This paper describes the CarLink study approach; presents market results from a longitudinal survey on the CarLink concept, conducted in 1998; and describes an early CarLink adopter profile for the East San Francisco Bay region. This study found that willingness to use CarLink was dependent on the amount and type of exposure. Specifically, participants who read only a CarLink brochure lost interest over time, while nearly 78% of those who read a brochure, watched a video, and participated in a drive clinic declared they would use CarLink.

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January 31, 2000

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