Carsharing in China’s Cities

Toward a New Mobility Agenda

Eric Britton reports to the Changzhi CUTPP Forum

Carsharing in China's cities
What is this?

T

his dossier presents a set of working notes and comments prepared by the author in fulfillment of his role as co-moderator of the carsharing session of the Second World Share/Transport Forum held in Changzhi China from 25 – 26 October 2011. The text is to translated into Chinese to facilitate rapid reference by the Changzhi audience and others in China. It has been prepared to support a contribution that Britton had prepared as comoderator to the carshare session, working by videoconference links from his Paris headquarters. The communications link between Changzhi and Paris failed just at the time of his final summary, and this document and an informal six minute video available here were prepared to compensate for that final presentation to the conference. You may find it useful to read it in parallel with the keynote address and conference introduction on the more global focus of sharing in transport, which you can find in the China Collection of the World Streets Reading Room here - http://www.scribd.com/my_document_collections/3279457

Dossier contents
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Closing moderator comments to Changzhi carshare session 2 There is nothing new about carsharing 3 Why do people carshare? 4 Two images that tell us much about the future of carsharing 5 The benefit to society of one less car on the road 6 The key is the city 7 Summing up 8 Annex A. The Paris carshare label ("Label Autopartage") 9 Annex B: The Seven Pillars of Transition to the New Mobility Agenda

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Some places to turn for more on carsharing
        World Carshare Consortium – www.worldcarshare.com World Streets on carsharing – http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/sharetransport/carshare/ (68 articles) World Streets on Peer-to-Peer carsharing http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/modes/p2p/ (7 articles as of this date) World Carshare Café - http://tinyurl.com/carshare-cafe World Streets Reading Room - http://www.scribd.com/my_document_collections/3279457 Wikipedia on carsharing - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_sharing Supporting video to this presentation - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unmpPXOXuKU Author background note - http://wp.me/P1zD54-1r

There is a great wealth of information from a great many sources, for the most part in Europe and North America. These of course are readily available via Google. Or if you wish to narrow the scope of your search to the leading sources in our field, try our more tightly focused http://Knoogle.net browser.

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Toward a New Mobility Agenda
A World Streets Policy Brief Closing moderator comments to Changzhi carshare session
Presented to the Changzhi World Forum on Share/Transport. 24 Oct. 2011 - Eric Britton, World Streets and the New Mobility Partnerships, Paris. As co-moderator of this session I was asked to provide a final summary to close out this part of our forum, drawing on my experience in this field to share with you my best critical thoughts as to if, how and when carsharing might become a real option for Chinese cities. Here it is. Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts with you on this important topic. Let me open with my final conclusion: The concept and the reality of carsharing is going to be very much part of China's transportation future, starting in cities but by no means stopping there. There can be no doubt about it. I have been impressed by the presentations made this afternoon showing carsharing as a 21st century share/transport option that works, and also by the discussion on the part of several of the experts in the audience. However, we have been looking here at what are some of the best-known and most successful carsharing projects up to the present. These are working well in various parts of the world today, so it makes perfect sense to give the floor to them. As a starting place in our discussions. That said, it is my firm belief that the real future of carsharing in China is not going to stop with those known, let's call them, Western models. I except that you are going to look closely at them and then innovate and bring in new forms that are better adapted to your cities and culture. And for this you are in luck, because there is a whole new wave of innovation currently going on and as a result transforming the face and potential of this new way of getting around in the city. It will be an exciting process for you. To conclude, here are four hard-learned lessons about carsharing that are, I very much hope, going to effect the future of car ownership and use in Chinese cities.: Fact 1. Carsharing is not a new form of transportation. It has been around for decades and is practiced on a daily basis in more than one thousand cities and communities in different parts of the world. This gives you a very firm base for your own future programs. Fact 2. You cannot get to sustainable transportation and sustainable cities without it. (Time does not permit me to expand this as I should, so for now I ask you to think about this.) Fact 3. The kind of carsharing that you will see taking shape in cities and even rural areas across China are going to look very different from what we are seeing in the OECD region . Fact 4. The key to a successful carshare program is the city and local government. However unto now, few cities have had a well thought out program as to how to get the best mileage out of this new way to own and use cars. This is a great opportunity for you. These are very cryptic statements and may surprise. So to round out this discussions I have prepared some brainstorming notes in print form that I will now submit to the organizers in the hope they will share them with you in the days and weeks ahead. (And in Chinese of course)

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Carsharing in China's cities

There is nothing new about carsharing
Ever since there were cars, there were people sharing them. Carsharing has not only been around in many forms for a long time, but over the last decade organized carsharing has become a mobility reality in many places around the world, albeit the most part in the OECD nations. It is thus not something new and strange. Coming to the present, the more formal carsharing projects began to take shape in the early 1970s. And over the next decades there were many tries in many places in many ways, some successful, many not. However even with all of this rising groundswell of activity, no clear carsharing delivery model emerged until the early 1990s.

There are more than 1000 cities and communities in various parts of the world in which you can obtain and drive a carshare vehicle this morning.

The 1990s served as a formative decade of quite a range of early pioneering projects that between them basically set the pattern that is most often understood as carsharing today. The basic pattern is what we might call "corporate carsharing", i.e., arrangements whereby a "carshare organization", either privately held or in some other public or local form, acquire a fleet of vehicles, set up their backoffice and IT support system, and to into the business of flexible sharing of cars with groups of carefully designated users. However it was the first ten years of the present century in which organized carsharing really started to take off. As an indicator of what we mean when we say "take off", two years ago we got together with a number of our best carsharing sources and operators around the world and carried out for World Streets a collaborative tabulation in which we ended up identifying more than one thousand cities and communities in which you could carshare any morning of the week. And we know for sure that that number has continued to grow steadily since. Thus, when we say that this is not an area of any great uncertainty, it is this large number of ongoing projects in so many places that make it a reality that we need to know about and integrate into our city's sustainable transportation arrangements. Bottom line: Carsharing is not a laboratory project, nor is it rocket science. If we are capable of learning from this rich background of practical experience on the street over these last decades, there may be some very useful lessons to be learned. However because of various forms of technological, organizational and institutional advances, the kinds of carshare operations that are likely to be most useful in China will be altogether new forms. But let's look at a bit more general background on our topic before starting to get into the strategies.

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Toward a New Mobility Agenda Why do people carshare?
The first and certainly the most important answer to that question is that people carshare because they want to. Let me elaborate if only briefly on what may at first seem to be a minor point, because in fact it is not. Carsharing, got right, is central to the strategy of new mobility in cities. To move to carsharing is a purely personal choice. We know of no country or city in the world in which some administrator or commissar has made a law in which people are compelled to carshare. And if we have learned anything over all these years of trying to master the art/science of sustainability, the one thing is that culture, our basic motivational systems, are far more critical than even laws. So why do they choose to do it? We have so many carshare operations to study and understand, that we can answer this question quite precisely.

The first and most important answer to that question is that they carshare because they want to.

1. Because it allows them a higher quality of life. Now let us not be naïve, this is not to say that carsharing by itself creates this new quality of life, but it is part of a broader shift and, based on the studies we have seen, seems to be the primary reason for people choosing carsharing as part of their overall mobility package. After all it is their decision and they are making it for their own reasons. 2 For economic reasons. Right at the top of the list, people carshare invariably end up saving money for their overall transportation expenses. Money they prefer to hold for other uses. 3. Because it is more convenient. If you belong to a carshare organization, as opposed to owning your car, you will find that membership liberates you from a whole string of nagging obligations and less than trivial costs. Such as worries about car maintenance, buying gas, oil changes, repairs, insurance, parking (that is to say, finding a parking place and then paying for it, an increasingly big problem for many), parking tickets and fines, gassing up, and all the myriad worries that go with owning your own car. 4. Health: Studies show that people who carshare are on average notably more healthy than those who drive their own car all the time. Carsharers walk more, bike more, use public transport more, and move more under their own steam. More movement + better health. 5. A sense of civic participation: Not to be discounted. A certain number of carshare users, not such a small number in many places actually, tell us that they have moved from car ownership to carsharing because it gives them a sense of civic participation. Since they are using their cars less, environmental impacts are reduced and traffic is reduced by one less car; etc. The report a feeling of satisfaction that at least in one small way they feel they are becoming part of the solution, and not part of the problem. 7. Snobbery? This may surprise you but there are some who may do it simply because in expanding number of situations being a carsharer can be actually a sign of social status. That may surprise anybody who has spent most of their life living in a world in which many people, more often male than female, actually had a sense of even social identification with the car they own.

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Carsharing in China's cities Two images that tell us much about the future of carsharing
Annual cost of car ownership in the US (averaging anywhere from $5,000 - $10,000/year)

Growth of carshare membership in the US: 1998 - 2010

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Toward a New Mobility Agenda The benefit to society of one less car on the road
1. Carsharing reduces the number of cars that people need in that place -- freeing street space and

reducing the number of vehicles crowding the traffic stream
2. Carsharing significantly reduces the requirement for parking space, a big ticket item when it

comes to scarce public space in all our cities.. (It is not all that hard to come up with a credible figure for the value to the community of one parking space saved. We need to know this number to make wise policy decisions. It is not a small number.)
3. As the number of cars on the road and parked in public places goes down, so too does the

relative cost of maintaining the existing transportation infrastructure. And equally important, this takes pressure off of local government to invest in expanding the existing infrastructure. These are major savings to the community as a whole.
4. Big savings on public investments in the car infrastructure frees money for more important

social uses: education, health, housing, research, job creation and more.
5. Fewer cars, less traffic, sets off a positive spiral of benefits (which are so numerous and

generally well known that I do not have to list here). But among them are such important things as cleaner air, fewer traffic incidents and fatalities, improved public health for the city and those who live there, and more neighborliness between carshare users.
6. Less traffic, less carbon. Less pressure on the planet so that we can leave a fair deal for our

children and grandchildren. . But there is a problem here that we need to be able to deal with for political and economic reasons. As things stand today we do not in most places know what is the value to society of these benefits. But this is a key number and can be estimated as an acceptable approximation. It is an important supporting research task that good approximations of these values be found and used in support of policy purposes. (I propose that this important task not be treated a one more PhD topic but that it be given high priority so that even very rough numbers can be generated with reasonable confidence without delay.) This is, in my view, a very big number indeed – and until I see better I estimate the benefit of taking a car out of the traffic stream at € 1.00 per km. not travelled. And if you play with this indicator – or hopefully a better one — you will see that it generates very large scale benefit estimates. Once we know these, the public sector will understand better why it is worth investing money in all solutions that can help cut back traffic (while not reducing mobility or quality of life for all in the city) And this is the policy context for carsharing.

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Carsharing in China's cities The key is the city
What is the bottom line as far as policy and decision-makers are concerned? The first is that virtually all of the most important decisions are taken at the level of the city. Unfortunately at the present time there are few cities on this planet that have a well worked out strategy for carsharing. That is regrettable, because carsharing will play a major role in the future of cities and communities around the world. Consider that not as a problem but as an opportunity. From the vantage of the city what is important about carsharing is not the mechanics of making it work - that being that job and preoccupation of the organizations that do it. But what can city administrators and elected officials do to encourage and support more and better carsharing? Here is a first shortlist: 1. Consult the leading sources of experience and expertise worldwide to benefit from their hardearned competence. You will find many strong sources out there and ready to work and share with you. Work with the best. 2. From the beginning link to the overall mobility strategy, motorized and active transport Carsharing is not a technical detail.. It is part of a greater whole and must be planned as such. 3. A well thought out strategic parking policy – provision, economics, motives, enforcement -- is a vital key to success. (If you don’t get this right, your program will suffer. We know or at least can figure out in every case the value to the city of one parking place saved by carsharing.) 4. Link parking space savings to public space improvements. For example, when you take out onstreet parking, create some miniparks, bike parking and other soft benefits people can see. 5. Zoning ordinances, especially those which mandate minimum parking, will almost surely need to be studied and revised. 6. Stand back from the possibility of the city trying to run such a system. Carsharing is not a competence of government. It requires significant management skills and entrepreneurship. 7. Run the planning phase with maximum public openness, inviting both ongoing review and feedback from the full range of concerned local and other sources and interests. Better to have their feedback and reservations early in the process, so that you can adjust in advance. 8. Please do not try to mandate or decide about technology. This is not a demonstrated area of competence of the public sector. Instead set performance and environmental standards, and then let the best technologies and the best managers win the day. 9. Create an operations framework whereby the city defines roles, standards, etc. to optimize system performance. Example: Paris’s excellent “Label Autopartage” which provides a short list of operational criteria setting standards for those who deliver the services. (See below.) 10. Open up the system from the beginning to city, other government employees – promotion and facilitation. Put carshare parking slots in front of all public buildings. 11. Study the reorganization of all city fleets to be run on a carsharing basis. 12. Lead by example: The mayor and all city officials, administrators, contractors, etc. to be registered and in time become active carshare users.

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Toward a New Mobility Agenda Summing up for 2012
It is time to start to lay the base for carsharing in China. A lot of it and fast! To make this point, let me go back to the beginning of this exchange, and repeat the four strategic remarks with which I opened our talk, in the hope that the additional background provided here – along with the abundant references you may wish to follow up on – will give greater meaning to the key points I wish to share with you. This plus a quick run of the five minute video message just below will pretty well sum up what I had in mind to share with you and the meeting on our important topic Fact 1. Carsharing is not a new form of transportation. It has been around for decades and is practiced on a daily basis in more than one thousand cities and communities in different parts of the world. This gives you a very firm base for your own future programs. Fact 2. You cannot get to sustainable transportation and sustainable cities without it. Fact 3. The kind of carsharing that you will see taking shape in cities and even rural areas across China are going to look very different from what we are seeing in the OECD region . Fact 4. The key to a successful carshare program is the strategic involvement of city and local government.

Click here for informal 5 minute video message to the meeting
Figure 1 Britton presentation on carsharing strategies for China

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Carsharing in China's cities

Annex A. The Paris carshare label ("Label Autopartage")
The Paris carshare system provides a good example of the role the city can play in creating a successful policy framework for carsharing. The city is today served by half a dozen independent suppliers. The city sees its role as creating performance and operational standards to ensure that the carshare system as a whole make s its fullest contribution to the overall mobility system and to guarantee performance and quality of service to their users. 1 1. The carshare operator guarantees equal access to any person or entity previously identified. 2. The vehicle access stations are located throughout the city so that users will have easy access on foot, bicycle or public transport. 3. The reservation service works 24 hours 24, 7 days 7. 4. Vehicles can be reserved up to time of use (the minimum time of booking before start time is a maximum of 15 minutes). 5. Procedures require paperless billing and payment. 6. Rates include a fixed fee and optionally a charge to access the service. I t is allowed to charge a minimum use fee for one hour. 7. User charges are calculated in proportion to time used and possibly mileage. The user rates take into account all operating costs including fuel, insurance, maintenance, troubleshooting, etc.. 8. The quality of service is based on the broad operator guarantee of service availability to best meet user demands. The operator shall ensure that at least 80% of reservations made 24 hours in advance will be met. 9. The operator guarantees that its vehicles will be in good working order and properly maintained, including safety devices. The user contractually agrees to return the vehicle in good shape. 10. The fleet must meets the latest Euro environmental standards no later than one year after the date of entry into force for all types of new vehicles . Fleet vehicles in 2010 emit on average less than 120 g CO2/km in 2010 11. Carshare operators are required to work with all key partners, to encourage users to use public transport and soft modes.

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Source: This document is in French at http://www.paris.fr/pratique/portal.lut?page_id=8158&document_type_id=4&document_id=35956&portlet_id=195 48&multileveldocument_sheet_id=8451

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Toward a New Mobility Agenda
Annex B: The Seven Pillars of Transition to the New Mobility Agenda
1. An overarching urban environment policy: Such a policy is needed in all our world cities, to

coordinate the provision of not just transport, but also housing, energy and other vital services. Tinkering with any one of these issues in isolation is bound to fail, as it has in the past. We can and must do better if we are to meet environmental challenges and improve the health, wellbeing and economic situations of all citizens.
2. Target improvements for people, quality of life in very specific, felt ways. And not new

infrastructure additions, increased vehicle throughput, or top speeds. A city’s transport system is not a goal; it is a means to something far more important.
3. Packages of measures: The New Mobility Agenda is distinguished from the old ways of planning and

making investments by the fact that it will in most places be characterized by very large numbers of often quite small projects and initiatives. And by many more actors and participants. One of the main challenges of an effective policy will be to find ways to see these various measures as interactive synergistic and mutually supporting projects within a unified greater whole. This is a significant challenge to our planners at all levels.
4. A single systemic performance measure: "People manage what they measure". Chose a single

measure of system performance, improvement (degradation) which will somehow cover the performance of the transportation system as a whole. We propose CO2, but it may be either some other GHG indicator or, if you can figure it, traffic in the system as a whole. Once you have it insight, post it and make sure that progress is made widely known over the Web and other accessible public fora.
5. Plan for people: Get away from planning and decision making by experts looking at moving

vehicles, and not people. Reach out into the community, talk to and involve the many people who understand the issues and can help deepen the quality of the overall system and help you get broader public support for your performance improvements.
6. Target the short term: The problems we are facing in all our major cities are too immediate and too

grave to be allowed to wait. The short term – the next two to four years – needs to become the main focus for transport policy and investment. At least 80-90% of all spending should be digested to measures, tools and projects that are going to yield significant performance improvements in the next two – four years. Once we have done this and achieved the very large results of which we are capable, we can in 2015 perhaps sit down and think about 2050.
7. Ensure success. And the final pillar, which should not be forgotten in a world in which political

realities and public opinion are not about to go away. We need to select and work with measures and tools which have proven themselves in other places, and that every act is directed to making sure that we succeed in all we set out to do. Success is critical! It is non-negotiable.

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

Carsharing in China's cities

New Mobility Partnerships – at http://newmobility.org 8 ,rue Joseph Bara 75006 Paris France Tel: +331 7550 3788 Skype: newmobility

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Changzhi – Carsharing commentary/strategy by Eric Britton, World Streets & New Mobility Agenda

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