Carsharing and the Built Environment: Geographic Information System-Based Study of One U.S. Operator


Authors: Tai Stillwater, Patricia Mokhtarian, and Susan Shaheen

Date: December 01, 2009

Abstract:The use of carsharing vehicles over a period of 16 months in 2006-07 was compared to built environment and demographic factors in this GIS-based multivariate regression study of an urban U.S. carsharing operator. Carsharing is a relatively new transportation industry in which companies provide members with short-term vehicle access from distributed neighborhood locations. The number of registered carsharing members in North America has doubled every year or two to a current level of approximately 320,000. Researchers have long supposed that public transit access is a key factor driving demand for carsharing. The results of this study, however, find an ambiguous relationship between the activity at carsharing locations and public transit access. Light rail availability is found to have a significant and positive relationship to carsharing demand. Regional rail availability is found to be weakly and negatively associated with carsharing demand, although limitations in the available data make it impossible to ascribethe observed difference to user demand, random variation, or other factors specific to the industry.

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December 1, 2009