New Carsharing Association Aims to Reduce Car Ownership

Eighteen carsharing companies from around the world recently formed a new association that emphasizes the environmental and social impact of their work, with a focus on reducing car ownership and promoting integrated public transportation. It makes sense that carsharing leaders would eventually come together to share common goals and business practices, considering the growth of the industry, especially in North America.

Two weeks ago, the CarSharing Association (CSA) became official. The CSA aims to improve the credibility, quality of service and general awareness of carsharing by acting as a “unified industry voice” that “supports its members, their constituents and the communities in which they operate.” The organization plans to advocate, promote and provide education and services of socially responsible carsharing programs.

The member companies represent more than 2,000 shared cars used by 50,000 people. They are all committed to improving transit-oriented mobility and carsharing services for shorter trips that act as an extension of a city’s public transport network. Member organizations agree to follow a “Code of Ethics” and “Standards of Practice.” Sharon Feigon, the CEO of I-GO Car Sharing in Chicago and the current chair of the CSA, says this group of for-profits, non-profits and cooperative companies has been working together informally for years. They decided to formalize the association, including rental car companies like Hertz and Enterprise. (Interestingly, Zipcar, the world’s largest carsharing company, is not a member.)